It is asserted by orthodox authorities that most of the native diets of the different races are far superior to the conventional American diet, even at is best. What a blow this must be to the smug complacency of that great mass of me-and-God physicians who assume that the American diet is an adequate diet and that any diet that radically differs from this is hopelessly inadequate.
These same authorities recognize the possibility of securing an adequate diet in a variety of ways, but they seem to overlook the important fact that the conventional American diet is inadequate, not because it is lacking in variety and amount, but because it is almost wholly a denatured diet. This failure to recognize the source of the inadequacies of the American diet leads them to say that, instead of trying to improve the diets of foreign peoples, who come to this country, by persuading these people to conform to American standards, a thing demanded by ignorant doctors, ignorant labor leaders and selfish food manufacturers (food spoilers); the "more logical procedure would be to persuade each nationality group to return to the best features of the diets of their native land."
This "more logical procedure" is not an ideal solution of nutritional problems. If the native Irish diet and the native German diet are both good, there is no reason why the German cannot eat the Irish diet and the Irishman eat the German diet. But if neither of these diets is the best possible, why not present both the German and the Irishman with the best diet instead of persuading him to eat as always? We want optimal growth and optimal health and the dietetic excellence upon which these depend.