nut foods are practically a new thing among the civilized people of the world. Only a few years have elapsed since they have been used at all; but so well are they being received by all classes of people, that the time promises to be near at hand when those who desire to live healthfully, and avoid the diseases caused by meat-eating, can do so by substituting in its place pure, nutritious, and healthful nuts.
That nuts can fully take the place of meat can be proved by analysis, which shows that they actually contain more of the nutritious elements of beefsteak than beefsteak itself. The following is a comparison between the two :-
. . 19%
"When we feed on flesh, the juices of what we eat pass into the circulation, a feverish condition is created, because the animals are diseased, and by partaking of their flesh, we plant the seeds of disease in our own tissue and blood. Then when exposed to the changes in a malarious atmosphere, to prevailing epidemics, and contagious diseases, these are more sensibly felt, for the system is not in a condition to resist disease. The practise of eating largely of meat is causing diseases of all kinds, - cancers, tumors, scrofula, tuberculosis, and other like affections."- "Healthful Living."
Eminent physicians are being aroused by the increase of disease in the land, and health boards have been established which are doing all they can in the line of educating and enlightening the people upon these subjects, and warning them to be careful in contagious diseases that they destroy all germs by thorough disinfection. They are also more than ever cautioning the people about their water and milk supply. So much has been said about the diseases of animals in the last few years that a great many people would be glad to give up eating the flesh and using the products of animals if they could get something to fill their place. Some who have conscientiously entered into a reform on diet, rejecting flesh, animal fats, and butter, have sat down to a table so impoverished that the food upon it is scarcely sufficient in nutrition to hold the body and soul together; so they finally lose their conscientiousness in the matter and go back to meat-eating, because the old adage is true which says, "The conscience is never strengthened by an empty stomach." "Something must be prepared to take the place of meat, and these foods must be well-prepared so that meat will not be desired."-"Healthful Living," par. .440.
And this is just what nut foods will do, not only as far as nutrition is concerned, but they will also render food more palatable, much like the taste of meats, without having their injurious effects.
A meal composed of potatoes, beans, and rolled oats, with no other seasoning than a little salt, although it be thoroughly cooked and perfectly hygienic, and having all the elements that the body needs, would not be a palatable meal for one who has been in the habit of living upon a highly seasoned meat diet, and accustomed to having vegetables served dripping with grease, and full of pepper and salt; and there are very few who have the moral backbone to live upon a plain 5 diet. But if they will persevere, the appetite, which has been perverted, will become so changed that they will relish the very foods which they once loathed. This would certainly be the case if the healthful diet was persisted in long enough. But the majority must be educated away from meat, by preparing dishes that so closely resemble the taste of meat dishes that the meat will not be missed. By using nuts for seasonings, we have the fats, and to some extent the flavor, of meat, and there is no harm in using a little of the more simple seasoning, as a little salt, sage, celery, parsley, onion, vanilla, and rose-water.
A roast made of walnut or butternut meal, bread-crumbs, water, a little salt, sage, and onion juice, with perhaps the addition of some beans, peas, or lentils, would be far superior to roast beef; and a mince pie made of pecan meal, apples, citron, raisins, and a little sugar, would fully take the place of, and be far more healthful than, a pie made of stale meats, black with spices, and seasoned with wine or brandy. A cake raised with air, shortened with nuts, and flavored with vanilla, would be better than one raised with baking-powder or soda, and oily with animal fats.
Thus one might go through the whole catalogue of foods, and make a substitute for nearly every hurtful dish, that would be healthful and at the same time palatable, by the use of nuts in some form.
It is not necessary to be confined to one kind of nut; all of them are useful in some form. The pinon, or pine-nut, is excellent for seasoning foods, and would probably be much cheaper than peanuts in Arizona, New Mexico, southern California, and other countries where the pine-nut grows. In countries where the pecan and hickory-nut are plentiful, these can be used. They do not make quite so nice a butter to spread on the bread as the peanut or almond, but they are equally as good in seasoning and shortening, and in cake making are far superior.
Nuts are usually described as a fruit, consisting of a kernel, or seed, enclosed in a hard, woody, or leathery shell that does not open when ripe. They are usually the fruit of shrubs or trees, but the tubers of some plants are also called nuts, on account of their resemblance to the nuts in taste, and their richness in fats.
Of all the foods which nature gives to man, the nut contains the most fats, and that in a form which is much easier of digestion than animal fats, such as lard, tallow, and butter. The reason for this is that the fats of animals are free fats, and will not mix with water, while the fats of nuts freely mix with water and form an emulsion very much resembling cream.
Fats are very essential in the system to give the body its beautiful form by filling up unsightly cavities and forming cushions.
Nuts also contain other nutritious elements, such as albumen, sugar, and salts. In fact they are one of the most nutritious foods, and the one that most fully takes the place of meat in the system. When the legumes and grains are used quite extensively, there is no lack in the system; but if the diet is white bread, vegetables, and fruits, there is a lack of the nitrogenous elements; and nuts, instead of meat, should be used to make up this deficiency. That the Creator never intended man to eat meat is clear from the fact that it was not mentioned in the original bill of fare (Gen. 1:29); and not until after the flood was he permitted to partake of flesh, and then, that only of certain kinds of animals. Fats and blood were strictly forbidden. "But the flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." Gen. 9:40. "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood." Lev. 3:17. "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat." Lev. 7:22, 23.
The Lord did not lay down these rules for ancient Israel and all succeeding generations to be arbitrary or to show his authority, but for the reasons given in Deut. 12:25 : "Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord."
The fat of animals is more likely to be diseased than other portions of the body; for it is not used in exercise as are the muscles. But the blood, which passes through the body, washing out all its poison, is undoubtedly itself the most poisonous part, and to use these poisonous substances as articles of food could work nothing but disease. The Lord, who saw all things from the beginning, foresaw the result of using such articles of food, and would save man from the consequences.
It was only on account of the hardness of men's hearts that God permitted them to eat flesh; but in the beginning it was not so. God designed that man should live only upon the pure, healthful things of earth, - that which would best sustain and build up the brain and body of man.
The purest and most easily digested of all meats is the meat of nuts. In nutritive value, they far exceed all flesh-meats. Beefsteak, for example, has 19 per cent. of nitrogenous material and 4 per cent. of carbonaceous, total, 28 per cent.; while the peanut has 28 per cent. of nitrogenous and 46 per cent. of carbonaceous, total 79 per cent. nutritive. That is, one pound of peanuts is equal in nutritive value to more than two and one-half pounds of beefsteak.
Nuts contain but little starch, excepting the chestnut, which has 70 per cent., and the walnut, which has 14 per cent. of starch; but the other kinds of nuts have very little. For this reason, they are adapted to people that are suffering from hyperpepsia, who are usually unable to digest starch. For such persons a diet of nuts with digested starch, as is found in malt extract, is very beneficial. Malt can be combined with any of the nuts, either after they are made into butter or in the meal.
Nuts are more digestible if they are first emulsified, as very few can masticate them fine enough to be acted upon by the digestive juices. The question of emulsifying nuts has been practically settled in the last few years by the invention of machinery for that purpose, both for family and factory use. It is sincerely hoped and believed that the time is not far distant when nuts will fully take the place of animal flesh, fats, and products.