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.
This view is, again, further confirmed by those scientific facts which Dr. De Lacy Evans has so ably set forth, that the cereals and pulses are loaded with those earthy matters which are shown to be the cause of the ossification and decrepitude of old age; whereas nuts and fruit and eggs-truth being always homogeneous - are shown to be just those foods least apt to induce the ossification and the consequent decrepitude of old age. It will thus be seen that Dr. Allinson's allegations, quoted above, are "not founded on fact, nor supported" by anything except his own dogmatic assertions.
In the following pages it will be seen that I have set forth, somewhat at length, the arguments and proofs briefly summarised in the preceding paragraph, which go far towards demonstrating the correctness of that portion of the "fruit and nut theory" which asserts that cereals are an unnatural and unwholesome food for man. Oddly enough, in the issue of the Weekly Times and Echo) just preceding that from which the above quotation was taken, Dr. Allinson furnishes still another proof that cereal foods are unnecessary and unwholesome. I quote:
"The value of milk as food is that it contains its nourishment in an easily digested form, and those who are used to meat and wish to adopt a non-flesh diet will find the free use of milk very helpful whilst making the change. Sickly, weak, and delicate persons will find milk a valuable food if they will use it as I advise, and growing children may take it freely, but only at meal times. When babies cannot get breast milk, then that of the cow, mixed with barley-water, must be given. breast-fed children, when weaned from the bosom, must be allowed milk and bread, or milk and some farinaceous food. As children grow older they may still use milk freely; at meals they should drink it mixed with water instead of tea and coffee. They may also have porridge and milk, or brown bread and milk sop, at least once a day. Grown-up persons will also find milk puddings advantageous.
"During illness or recovery from disease I find milk an invaluable food. In disease of the stomach and bowels I rely almost entirely on milk and barley-water to keep my patients alive, whilst the necessary curative changes are proceeding. In ulceration of the stomach a diet of milk and barleywater only is the best cure. Equal proportions are mixed of each; a tumblerful is allowed every four hours; the mixture is taken cool, and slowly sipped. This diet and time, with rest in bed, is the best cure for ulcer of the stomach, accompanied by vomiting of blood. In all fevers and inflammations, or acute illnesses of any kind, I nearly always keep my patients on milk and barley-water until the worst symptoms have passed. By means of it I can keep down inflammation and prevent complications better than drug doctors can with their poisons, and my patients are not injured by the milk as they are by the medicines. In acute disease put the patient at once on a cup of milk and barley-water every four hours until the doctor comes. This mixture is far superior in value to all the beef-teas, beef-extracts, or animal soups ever invented. It alone will sustain patients for weeks during sickness."
And pray what is barley-water? As usually made, it does not contain more than one part of barley-meal to fifty parts of water, and, so far as food is concerned, Dr. Allinson practically recommends an exclusive diet of milk and water. Readers of the following pages will see an account of the wonderful curative effects of an exclusive diet of beef and water, and will see much going to show that the curative effect is not the result of any virtue inherent in beef, but that starch foods are a fruitful source of disease, and that a diet of beef and water removes the cause - starch foods - and the patient naturally recovers. It is the same with the barley-water and milk, which is practically milk and water; and if Dr. Allinson will use milk and water only, he will find that, if enough barley is used to have any effect, its elimination will always be a benefit. The curative effect of milk and water lies in the fact that no starch foods are used, the cause of the disease is removed, and the patients naturally recover - I think with Dr. Allinson, as to medicines, the less the better.
And when one comes to think of it, since the starch foods are of such a nature that Dr. Allinson finds himself obliged to exclude them until the patient recovers, would it not be well to try a diet of milk and fruits after recovery? And if such an experiment is made, it will be found that the patient will soon not need Dr. Allinson's services. Fruit will be largely substituted for cereals; and the office of fruit will be seen to be to keep the portals of the system open, to cool the blood, and furnish needed acids If too much fruit is eaten, only the minimum of damage is done; whereas if more cereals are eaten - and over-eating is almost universal - than is needed for the needs of the body, the patient is soon again in pursuit of his doctor. If milk is found to be heavy, let the patient try eggs; these will be found, if simply cooked, to be much more easily digested than milk; and then there is always danger of milk being diseased, whereas no one is ever - or rarely ever - said to be poisoned by eggs. An excellent method of cooking these is to whip them up and use them as custards either boiled or baked; or they may be cooked in water at scalding point until the yolk is hard, but the whites not leathery. To return to the consideration of Dr. Allinson's prescription, it will readily be seen that, if cereals are so difficult to digest that they must not be used in illness, it will surely be a good idea to see how a non-starch diet will work after recovery.
The fact that the whole civilised race is making cereals the basis of food will be seen to be no proof that these foods are not harmful. In arguing against the use of spirits, tobacco, tea, and coffee, I have often had the fact pointed out, with a triumphant gesture, that Mr. Smith or Mrs. Brown is eighty (even ninety) years old, and has used some one or more of these poisons all his or her life. Temperance reformers and hygienists have shown that such instances have been in persons of exceptional vigour, and in spite of the harmful effects of these poisons; and usually such aged persons have exceptionally good habits to compensate for the alcohol, tobacco, tea, or coffee. Eating too much is a common source of a shortened and decrepit life, and moderation in the quantity of daily food is usually found a characteristic of the aged poison user. This is pointed out in this connection only to emphasise that law is universal, and is always in force; the laws of physiology are as exacting as the law of gravitation; and whoever habitually takes poison, or indulges in any pernicious or unwholesome habit, shortens life, and suffers resultant decrepitude; and the fact that the poison user sometimes reaches the age of ninety is more an argument that man's natural term on earth is 120 years, than that the tobacco, or coffee, or whiskey does no harm. The same is true of the universal custom of eating bread. Plato tells of a nation where the men had no gray hairs at a hundred years; that they usually reached a great age; and that the men were frequently fathers of children after the age of a hundred. If one arguing in favour of bread could show such a nation, using cereals, it would be a conclusive proof that this food is not much, and probably not at all, harmful; but it will be found that such records are always of a people who do not use bread. On the other hand, the fact that illness is well-nigh universal points to a univeral cause; and the purpose of the following pages is to point out some of the proofs of this position.