Compared with the ravages that digestion is subjected to by the use of the brown gravy, most soups are quite innocent. Every detrimental feature of the soup is present in the gravy - only in accentuated degree. To the extent the gravy is rich, it is indigestible. Starches, carbons, proteids and fats are all present in the gravy, and by the inevitable browning or frying process, are thoroughly encapsulated and rendered impervious to the gastric secretions, involving inestimable losses of labor and waste throughout all the fields of salivary, gastric and intestinal digestion and assimilation.
In the preparation of gravy an alkaloid substance is formed, due to the exposure of the mass to the scorching heat of the frying-pan. The brown color thus imparted to the mixture is the produce of a most dangerous alkaloidal substance, containing a chemical compound of fatty acid and carbon which is not only indigestible, but acts on the trophic cell-structure with the virility of a toxin. Especially is this carbonized fatty acid destructive of the epithelial linings of the glomerules and tubings of the kidneys.
In the majority of cases, however, the blame for this breakdown is not laid at the door of the gravy, but of the meat. Meat, like charity, is made to cover a multitude of sins. Often under the influence of vegetarianism, meat is dropped, while the gravy is retained - a procedure which is not only a blunder, but a serious violation of physiological laws. It is the soup and the gravy that renders the meat dinner harmful, not the meat itself. The latter, if enjoyed in moderation, two or three times a week, or in accordance with individual needs, has often in cases of systemic nervousness and catarrh, proved to be a great remedial agent. But to derive the full benefit of the meat, its usual and time-honored combination with bread should be substituted by spinach or boiled onions. Any additional mixture in the form of dessert, creams, nuts, sweets, etc., means the perversion of the entire meal into forms of decomposition and malnutrition.