This section is from the book "The Natural Food Of Man", by Emmet Densmore. Also available from Amazon: How Nature Cures Comprising a New System of Hygiene.
I urge the reward of full and perfect high health, lengthened life, and increased happiness, with usefulness to each individual; but there is yet another consideration. My readers, I trust, will agree with me, that if the system put forth in this little book is based in truth, it is fraught with tremendous import to the human race; and each one of us who may give this regimen an adequate trial, not only finds a rich reward in individual gain, but also has the satisfaction of helping to make known this most important discovery. I appeal to every reader to lend a helping hand. Let us band together, prove all things, hold fast to that which is good, and do what we may to usher in the day so beautifully pictured by the prophet-poet, Shelley:
"Mild was the slow necessity of death; The tranquil spirit failed beneath its grasp, Without a groan, almost without a fear; Calm as a voyager to some distant land, And full of wonder, full of hope as he. The deadly germs of langour and disease Died in the human frame; mild purity Blessed with all gifts her earthly worshippers. How vigorous then the athletic form of age! How clear its open and unwrinkled brow; Where neither avarice, cunning, pride, nor care, Had stamped the seal of grey deformity On all the mingling lineaments of time. How lovely the intrepid front of youth! Which meek eyed courage deckel with freshest grace; Courage of soul, that dreaded not a name, And elevated will, that journied on Through life's phantasmal scene in fearlessness, With virtue, love, and pleasure, hand in hand.
O happy earth ! reality of heaven!
Thou consummation of all mortal hope ! . . . .
. . . . . . .
Of purest spirits thou pure dwelling place! Where care and sorrow, impotence and crime, Langour, disease, and ignorance, dare not come, O happy earth, reality of heaven !"
By Emmet Densmore, M.D
I USE the word natural, in the sense of God-designed. I am one of those unfashionable scientists who perceive design in the universe. It does not matter what title we give the Supreme Ruler: Natural Law, or God, or what you will: there seems to me conclusive evidence of intelligent design in the Great Artificer. The mechanism of the human body -the exquisite adjustment of means to ends -has been the wonder and delight of the anatomist and physiologist since science began. A man-made pump or engine manifests design; the human heart, while incomparably superior as a piece of mechanism, is no less the result of design. In meditating upon this subject, it has occurred to me that the Divine Architect, in contriving the several organs of the human body, has necessarily adapted that organism to a procurable food; that there is at hand a food for man exactly adapted to the needs of his organism; and it is in this sense that I use the term natural food.
We observe that all animals below man are supported by food spontaneously produced. Moreover, the careful observer of Nature will notice that those animals, and birds, and fishes, which are subsisting on foods spontaneously produced, are quite universally in perfect physical health and vigour. It has occurred to me that God is no respecter of persons, and that in all probability he has provided a food as well adapted to the needs of man's organism as he has for the needs of the lower animals; and that man has only to solve this riddle, to find his natural food, and to learn to obey the laws of his being, to banish sickness from the race.
Since all other animals subsist on food spontaneously produced by Nature, it is fair to conjecture that primal man must also have subsisted on such foods. It is affirmed by naturalists, from a study of the nature of man's organisation, that his birthplace must have been located in a warm climate; hence we ought to look to the products of the South, in our search for man's natural food. It has seemed to me probable, if primal man subsisted on foods spontaneously produced, that those same foods are so produced to this day. In conjecturing as to what those foods must have been, it is well to bear in mind that primal man had no tools, and that without tools he could neither slay animals nor catch fish with any regularity or reliability. It must also be recollected that fire and cooking are the result of subsequent discovery, and without fire it is plain that man would not subsist on animals, even allowing he could catch them, if he could find foods at hand less repulsive. Are there such foods? The nuts and sweet fruits of the South are yet the most toothsome and delightful food that we have. Are those foods an adequate nourishment for man? Years ago, when I first began the investigation of this subject, I was aware that fruits abounded in carbonaceous elements, but was under the impression that for the needed nitrogen we must look elsewhere. I was much . gratified, upon further investigation, to learn that some fruits are very rich in nitrogenous elements; the banana, if reduced to the same state of dryness as wheat, has rather more than double the proportion of nitrogen, and is fully equal in this regard to the pulses. Upon further investigation I learned that nuts are not only rich in carbonaceous food, but some varieties are also richer in nitrogen than any of the cereals; indeed, it will be found that the simple products of nuts and sweet fruits abound in all the needed elements of human food, and that they have these foods in the needed proportion, as determined by chemical analysis.
A sceptic at my elbow reminds me that it does not follow, even if it be admitted that nuts and fruits were the food of primal man, and if on this food primal man was as free from rheumatism and other diseases as the birds and animals - it does not follow that these foods are an adequate or desirable food for civilised man; that perhaps generations of civilisation have changed his nature, and that his habits and methods of life in civilisation demand a different food from what he needed in barbarism. A scientific mode of determining this question is to make the experiment. I have determined to try it; in the meantime, I desire to make some observations, and to offer some suggestions.