The nicety of adjustment existing between the needs of the organism and the supply of food, is lost to the individual when he permits his system to be gorged by undietetic mixtures, either in the form of preparations of the food itself, or in the combinations of the heterogenous dishes thus prepared. For through these mixtures an altogether alien taste is imparted to the food, and as the chief function of seasoning lies in its stimulating effect on the gastric secretions, relative to the digestion of food, which again means an undue irritation of the glandular mechanism, that produces the sensation of appetite - it follows that the normal relation between the self-conscious irritation of wants felt as hunger, and the unconscious or unperceived needs or necessities of a system, is entirely lost, as long as the individual proceeds to indulge in things and ingrediencies for which his organism has positively no vital needs - neither quantitatively or qualitatively. By a clever juggling with su gar, grease and flavoring extract, the cook can so mask the original character of food that the stomach, utterly deceived as to the power of the charge, proceeds to whip its secretory glands into activity, urging the individual to continued indulgence, far after the needs of the nutritional system have been satisfied.

There is a pathetic, not to say tragic, element in the trust and confidence with which we accept the culinary manipulations and gustatory sleight-of-hand performance of this dangerous functionary of the kitchen. Under his guidance we are rendered utterly blind both to the needs and the capacities of our digestive system, while losing all sense of the life-and-health-determining flavors contained in the uncontaminated natural foods.

While constantly devising new schemes and methods to affect control over the activities of the world of microbes and bacillus, by a scrupulous disinfection of every article exposed to public usage, we are serenely indifferent to the infections arising from the ignorance or unscrupulous boldness of our cooks. Thus, like Prof. Metchnikoff, we may bake our napkins, sterilize our milk, and immerse our salad lettuce in a pot of boiling water, as safeguard against microbic invasion - and yet remain indifferent with regard to the utter ignorance of every dietic and physiologic principle of the chief functionary of the realm - the cook himself. A railroad engineer, a street-car conductor, or a chauffeur, are compelled to acquire a knowledge of the principles and factors involved in the operation of their respective machines, but a cook is permitted to take charge of the most vitally important department of the home - the kitchen - where is prepared and combined the elements on which, as living, vegetative creatures, we depend for our health and strength - without subjecting him to a single examination with regard to the principles involved in dietetic or physiologic chemistry. The effect of food combinations on digestion and assimilation, and the reactions of these mixtures in relation to dyspepsia, catarrh and general functional disturbances, have not the remotest meaning or significance to him. We are very particular that our baker delivers his bread in sterilized, hermetically sealed paper-wrappers, but take small interest in the treatment of the bread itself - its arsenic bleached flour; its sponge, soured by yeast-spores, sweetened by saccharine, lightened by soda and stiffened by alumn - ingredients which both chemically, mechanically and vitally, undermine the integrity of the sensitive mucous lining of stomach, intestines and kidneys - while, as an end-effect, poisoning the entire circulation with its fermentative processes.

Or how about the personality of the man himself with whom we trust the serious business of turning out our daily bread? What about the influence of his moral and physical nature on the contents of the dough into which he pours his breath, and digs his hands? Are we not daily reminded, by investigations of the psychic and moral laws, which are operating back of mental and physical existence, that emotions are terrible factors in human life, and that the physiological processes of our nature are both directly and indirectly influenced by our psychic and mental indulgences. Prof. Elmer Gates proved, by perfect scientific methods, the power of anger to poison a glass of water in which the angry subject had immersed his hand; while the same authority found that food taken into the stomach by a man in anger generated poisonous changes in his gastric secretions and seriously affected his whole system.