We have an elaborate organ, evidently adapted to serve very important functions, equipped with millions of microscopic glands that pour their secretions into the stomach and these adapted to secure certain definite and apparently useful results, and an elaborate nerve control of both the muscular and glandular activities of the stomach, and all of this for very trivial and dispensable activities! It doesn't make good sense except to a biologist or a physiologist, bent on justifying the surgical removal of the stomach.

Such is the complex apparatus by means of which is performed that marvelous function of transforming the proximate elements of vegetable substances into the feeling, thinking and acting structures of the animal--blood, organs, brain, nerve and muscle--and such is the importance of their functions that we should not overlook the care of the digestive organs in our Hygiene.

Stressing the importance of simple meals and advising that the meals be not complicated, either with too much variety or with condiments, Trall said: "It does not follow that because the digestive apparatus appears to be a complication and intermixture, as it were, of various tissues, of arteries, nerves, muscles, veins, absorbents and cells, that the articles of food must also be promiscuously mixed up and jumbled together in all possible ways."

He adds: "The grand essential in eating is simplicity of material. For this reason, a plain, mixed diet is often much better than a highly-seasoned, or greatly mixed and mingled vegetarian diet. Plain bread and beef may be better than puddings and sauces, where fruits and vegetables of various kinds are rendered fermentable and indigestible by profuse additions of salt, sugar, milk, butter, spices, etc.

"Food must not only be plain, and plainly cooked, and materials unchanged in their natural proximate qualities, but must be eaten slowly. And if all bread were made of unbolted grain, as it should be, and if none of it were either raised or fermented, as it never should be, we would have no difficulty in securing proper mastication and, hence, pure appetites with good digestion.

"Such food would soon give us natural appetites. We would soon find ample enjoyment and perfect satisfaction in eating without the pernicious additions of stimulants and condiments to provoke the appetite."

Physiological science had not advanced far enough to enable the early Hygienists to work out valid rules for food combining, but they did give considerable attention to this subject. It was a common practice among them, when called to care for patients with delicate digestion, to feed but one food at a meal in order not to complicate the digestive process. Graham himself, at an early period in his labors, advocated one food at a meal where difficulty arose in digesting simple meals.

Although not much was known of the physiology of gastric digestion, Hygienists understood vaguely that any valid rules for food combining would have to be based upon the physiology of digestion. Writing in The Science of Health, June 1874, Julia Coleman said: "The character of the gastric juice in individuals is influenced by the character of the food which they habitually take. This capacity for adjustment man seems to possess in a greater degree than most other animals. But it does not follow that these adjustments do not sometimes tax the system severely, and reduce its capacity for exertion in other directions, no doubt very often shortening life when greatly contrary to nature."

Nature is abundantly capable of making all the compounds that it is well for man to have without his blind assistance. The cook disputes this and mixes foods indiscriminately. Although no other creature eats such food mixtures as man eats and although they lack the means of mixing and processing foods, we take no lesson from this. All the lower animals, except a few for whom man supplies mixed foods, do very well without the mixing. They are all uniformly more healthy and vigorous than man. They do not lose their young from sickness, while man presents a high infant death rate.

All of this does not matter. Our cooks can disobey the natural order and they do it when they mix foods to induce man to eat foods that he never relishes alone. By thus forcing upon the body substances that it does not want in order to get what it does want, man's diet is rendered unwholesome. When we eat mixed foods, we are forced to eat them just as they are mixed; but if our foods are not mixed, we can eat each food separately and take as much or as little of it as we desire. If we take other foods at the same meal, we can see that no incompatible mixtures are taken.

Physicians and pharmacologists go far beyond the cook in this destructive art of mixing (compounding) various substances, not one of which man would relish to eat separately and, against the most violent remonstrances of the body, force their vile compounds into the one place they should never be introduced-the human body.

It was said that nature plainly says: "Eat of my compounds what you like best, and I will signify when you have eaten enough . . . The instant hunger is satisfied is the time to cease eating. If you persist in eating beyond this time, then I will send you another real friend--pain--who will compel you to cease eating before you do yourself irreparable harm. I shall make you suffer so much that you will lack all excuse for eating too much at a later time." How common is the practice of smothering the disciplining voice of pain and discomfort with a drug after meals!

If we cannot enjoy eating in the highest degree, this should be interpreted as a command to wait until we can enjoy food. There need be no fear of injuring ourselves by thus fasting until food can be eaten with a keen relish. Nature is a good conservator. Before she will permit a man to injure himself by fasting, she gives him such an imperious demand for food that he can no longer resist eating. Then if he chooses from among wholesome whole foods one that he likes, it will prove best for him.

Sometimes we are asked: "But God or nature has combined starch and protein in the same food; are not grain and legumes such combinations? How do you explain such natural combinations if starches and proteins should not be taken together?" We are asked this question very often and, although we have answered it repeatedly, the question will not down. The answer is as suggested in the foregoing quotation from Julia Coleman, that the digestive tube can adapt its digestive juices to the requirements of natural combinations, as these are found in an article of food; but such adaptations are not possible when a meal of several foods is eaten. There is a vast difference between a food, whatever its combination, and a meal in which foods are indiscriminately and haphazardly commingled. We are not indebted to the earlier Hygienists for any of our rules of food combining, but we are indebted to them for the initial studies of the subject.