This book is written for those who are seriously looking for light on the obscurities of diet. The world is full of sufferers who have sinned against the laws of diet through ignorance of facts. For the complexities of modern life, with its staggering artificiality in every expression of living - where the natural instincts and cultured restraints are lost in a whirlpool of desires and unnatural appetites - it is a task of no ordinary magnitude for the individual to succeed in selecting with calm and unerring mind the food-stuffs conducive to his health, strength and usefulness.
Such a power of selection is attainable only on a basis of knowledge concerning the vital factors involved in the relation of certain foodstuffs to physiological chemistry - and, furthermore, in his moral courage and determination of will, to live up to this knowledge. For the power of truth, like any other power, is obtainable only through practical application.
The great majority of mankind is still in ignorance of the conditions that lead to a thorough and permanent enjoyment of perfect health - an ignorance which alone makes possible a traffic in the life-inimical food-preparations that constitute the principal dishes in our public and private bill-of-fares. It has become a tradition in the social household, that the very fact of the existence of a food mixture - no matter how hygienically unreasonable - is a warrant for its right to be enjoyed. Vox populi vox Dei has not only its field of application in the political and social world, but also in a presumptious kitchendom, where the voice of the cook almost holds the prerogatives of the voice of God.
It seems to be a law in our present mongrel type of life, that the wisdom of health shall be taught by the lesson of disease, and only those that have paid the severe penalty of the latter, shall be able to realize the profound significance of the former. It seems, that only at a certain point of suffering, the individual finds the insight and the power to shake himself loose from the thralldom of a sensuous, whimsical appetite, and stand ready to sacrifice the transitory joys of the palate, for the possession or re-posession of that sustained flow of exuberance, that triumph of efficacy, and that radiance of feeling and good will, which accompany all true health.
It is in the realization of this fact - the supreme importance to human life and usefulness of an adequate knowledge concerning the principles underlying our food-stuffs and their destructive and constructive mixtures - that this book has been produced. It proposes to offer a practical health-guide to the individual who takes his life seriously, and who is desirous to know the laws of health, not in order to evade them, but to obey them.
"In my practice as surgeon I am impressed by the alarming increase of cancer cases lately brought to my notice - an increase which, in the light of general hygienic and sanitary improvements of our time, can have no other cause than en indulgence in certain foodstuffs detrimental to the norman life of the body.
Dr. Chas. Mayo