When meat is eaten beyond the digestive capacity, bacteria, which are omnipresent, set up fermentation in the undigested portion. As a consequence, toxin is liberated. Toxin is a potentiality of meat, but without the influence of the bacteria of fermentation this particular potentiality would never be developed. Meat without bacterial fermentation is non-toxic; bacteria without protein and an environment favoring fermentation are free from ptomain or toxin poisons. This poison is potential in meat, but, to cause it to materialize, a compounding of four elements is necessary--namely, bacteria, protein, moisture, and heat. Without this compounding, the potential--toxin--may never develop; or, if sufficient enzyme be added, the energy, instead of developing as toxin, becomes body and lifegiving.

Bacteria are not toxic per se; carbohydrates are not toxic per se; bacteria and carbohydrates combined are not toxic until the environment favors fermentation--until moisture and heat are added; then alcohol or acid is evolved. These two evolved elements did not exist before, except in potentiality.

Another very important point to keep in mind is that alcohol and acetic acid inhibit the action of unorganized ferments, while organized ferments--bacteria--build and thrive for a time in such an environment; but when fermentation is ended, the germs which caused it are consumed by their own products.