The Chemistry of Food and Nutrition
by A. W. Duncan
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Professor Jaffa, who made the investigation, says:—"It would appear that all the subjects were decidedly under-nourished, even making allowance for their light weight. But when we consider that the two adults have lived upon this diet for seven years, and think they are in better health and capable of more work than they ever were before, we hesitate to pronounce judgment. The three children had the appearance of health and strength. They ran and jumped and played all day like ordinary healthy children, and were said to be unusually free from colds and other complaints common to childhood. The youngest child, and the only one who has lived as a fruitarian almost from infancy was certainly undeveloped. She looked fully two years younger than she was. Still, there are so many children who are below the average in development, whose dietaries conform to the ordinary standards, that it would be unfair to draw any conclusions until many more such investigations are made."

The research shows that not only is there need of a revision of the "standard" quantity of proteids, but also of the carbo-hydrates and fats. It is generally said by those who have no practical experience amongst vegetarians, that the latter require a much larger quantity of food than do those who include flesh. The truth is that vegetarians eat less, often much less. It is a common experience that vegetable food has a more staying power, and a much longer period can be allowed between meals, without the inconvenience that a flesh-eater, especially a flesh and alcohol consumer, suffers. This is due, in part at least, to its less stimulating character and its slower digestion. This fact has been shown by the success of vegetarians in feats of strength and endurance, and especially in the comparatively fresh condition in which they have finished long walking, cycling, tennis, and other matches. Those who attempt to prolong their powers of endurance by flesh extracts and stimulating foods and drinks, usually finish in a very exhausted condition. The superior endurance and recovery from wounds, when compared with our English soldiers, of simple feeding men, such as the Zulus, Turks and Japanese, has often been remarked. It is often said that vegetable food, as it contains more fibre and is slower of digestion, taxes the bodily organs more. If we attempted to eat uncooked, the more fibrous vegetables, the grains, and unripe fruit, it would be quite true, but it is not so of the ordinary food of vegetarians. A slowness of digestion does not necessarily imply a greater strain on the system. As vegetables, in particular, are for the longest period of time in the intestines, and undergo the greater part of their digestion there, a gentle and slow process of digestion in that organ may be more thorough. It may also entail less expenditure of nervous energy than if the food had been of such a stimulating character, as to be hurried along the digestive tract. Digestion is for the most part a chemical process. If the food is of right kind and quantity, thoroughly masticated, assisted if necessary by cookery, and the digestive ferments are normal, digestion proceeds without any sensible expenditure or energy or consciousness of its accomplishment. There is nothing improbable in a flesh-eater requiring more food than a simple living vegetarian. His food contains more proteid, and excrementitious matter or extractives; these stimulate the digestive organs and overtax the excretory ones. Generally, he is fond of condiments, salt, and elaborate cooking, often also of alcohol; if a man, probably of tobacco. He lives, as it were, at high pressure.

There are on record certain experiments which appear to indicate the necessity of a large proportion of proteid, especially when the diet has been of vegetable origin. These experiments are inconclusive, because the subject has been accustomed to an ordinary flesh diet, perhaps also to alcoholic drinks. The change to a comparatively non-stimulating diet cannot be made, and the digestive organs expected to adapt themselves in a few days. Perhaps not even a month or a year would suffice, for some people, and yet that same diet would suit others. In some experiments the food has not been appetising, the subject has even taken it with reluctance or even loathing; an excess of some food has been eaten which no vegetarian or anybody else would think of using in a practical dietary.

Sometimes persons on changing from an ordinary flesh dietary, lose weight and strength. Generally, it is found that they have done little more than discontinue the flesh, without substituting suitable foods. Authorities think it is from a deficiency of proteid, and recommend an addition of such foods as pulse, wheatmeal, oatmeal, eggs, milk, cheese, and such as a reference to the table of analyses, show a low nutrient ratio figure. This may also be due to an insufficiency of food eaten, owing to the comparatively insipid character of the food and want of appetite. In making a change to a vegetarian diet, such foods had better be taken that are rather rich in proteid, and that approximate somewhat in their flavour and manner of cooking to that used previously. A further change to a simpler diet can afterwards gradually be made, according to conviction, tastes and bodily adaptability. It must not be expected that a change, even an ultimately very advantageous one, will always meet with an immediate and proper response from digestive and assimilative organs which have been accustomed for many years, perhaps by inheritance for generations, to another manner of living. There are several preparations produced from centrifugalised milk—that is milk from which the butter fat has been removed, which consist chiefly of proteid. These have a value in increasing the proteid contents of foods which may be thought deficient. The addition of these manufactured products appear unnecessary, as most of our food contains an abundance of proteid, and we can easily limit the quantity or avoid altogether those that are thought defective.

The later apologists for a flesh diet have had to admit that it is not a physiological necessity; but they have attempted to justify its use by a theory somewhat as follows. It is admitted, that any excess of proteid over that necessary for its special province of producing tissue, is utilised as a force-producer, in a similar manner to the carbo-hydrates. When the molecule is split up, and the carbon utilised, the nitrogen passes off in the form of urea by the kidneys. The theory propounded is that at the moment the nitrogen portion is liberated, it in some manner stimulates the living protoplasm of the nerve cells in its immediate neighbourhood to a higher state of activity. These views are given by Dr. Hutchison in his book on "Food," but there are no substantial grounds for them. It is only prompted by a wish to excuse a cherished habit. Sir William Roberts, M.D., in "Dietetics and Dyspepsia," p. 16 says that "high feeding consists mainly in a liberal allowance of meat, and in the systematic use of alcoholic beverages, and that low-feeding consists in a diet which is mainly vegetarian and non-alcoholic," and he proceeds to say that the high-fed classes and races display, on the whole, a richer vitality and a greater brain-power than their low-fed brethren. That "it is remarkable how often we hear of eminent men being troubled with gout, and gout is usually produced either by personal or ancestral high-feeding." We can only spare room for a few remarks on this subject. Intellectual and business ability brings wealth, wealth frequently leads to the pleasures of the table, but such habits are detrimental to sustained effort and clearness of mind. The children and grandchildren of such high livers are usually common-place, intellectually, and of deteriorated physique. The aristocracy who are generally high livers, notwithstanding their great advantages of education, travel and leisure, are not as a rule famed for their intellectual gifts. In the recent war the frugal living Japanese soldier has proved himself the most enduring and bravest in history; whilst the Japanese officers are more resourceful and tactful than the wealthier, high-fed Russian officers, with their aristocratic lineage. What is called high-feeding, is of the greatest benefit to the doctors and the proprietors of remedies for digestive and nervous disorders.

Food Adjuncts and Drugs.—In addition to the nutrients and the small quantity of indigestible fibre of which we have already written, food generally contains small quantities of substances which are difficult to classify, and whose action on the body is but imperfectly understood. Many of these possess pungent or strong odours and flavours. To them, various fruits, meats, etc., owe much of their characteristic differences of taste. When pure the proteids and starches are devoid of taste. Such oils and fats as are generally eaten have also but little flavour, providing they are free from rancidity and of good quality. The sugars differ from the other nutrients in possessing a more or less decided taste. The free vegetable acids also strongly affect the sense of taste, but they are only consumed in small quantities.

A drug may be defined as a substance which modifies the functions of the body or of some organ without sensibly imparting nourishment. This action may be one of stimulation or of depression. A drug is taken for its medicinal action, a food adjunct for its modifying action on food. It is impossible to give a quite satisfactory definition, or to draw sharp distinctions. For example, tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco are sometimes placed in one group, and sometimes in another, according to opinion of their action and the definition of the terms food adjuncts, drugs and poisons. The difference of grouping often depends upon intensity rather than of kind of action. If taken frequently and not in quantity sufficient to have a markedly medicinal action, such things are generally called food adjuncts or supplementary foods, although much may be said in favour of a different view. The volatile oils of mustard, caraway, cloves, etc., are used in medicine; also the alkaloids of coffee and cocoa. Even honey is used as a mild laxative for infants; that is, as a drug. The difference between a drug and a poison is one only of degree. Some of the most esteemed drugs have to be administered in very small quantities, or they cause death; e.g., strychnine and morphine.

Classifications are necessary for methodical study, and for assisting the memory in grasping large numbers of things which can be grouped together. Classifications, however, are artificial, not due to natural lines of demarkation, but according to man's knowledge and convenience; hence a group is apt to approach and finally merge into another group, although on first consideration they appeared quite distinct. The disregard of this often leads to confusion and useless discussions.

Plants, like animals, as the result of tissue change, have certain used-up or waste matters to get out of the way. Animals have special excretory organs for the purpose; waste matter remains in the flesh and blood of dead animals. In plants are found a large number of powerful volatile oils, alkaloids, bitter resins, etc. Many of these are, in all probability, excretory products of no assimilative value to the plant. Certain volatile oils may attract insects, and in obtaining nectar from flowers insects assist fertilisation. Agreeable volatile oils and flavouring substances in fruits attract birds and animals. The eating of the fruits cause the seeds, which are uninjured by passing through the digestive system, to be disseminated over wide areas to the advantage of the plant species. On the other hand, nauseous and poisonous alkaloids, oils, resins, etc., serve as a protection against the attacks of browsing animals, birds, caterpillars, snails, etc. These nauseous substances are most abundant in the bark, husk, skin and outer parts. It is commonly supposed that the food on which each animal, including man, subsists, is especially produced by Nature for the purpose. This is an error, for each species of plant and animal lives for itself alone, and protects itself, with more or less success, against destruction by its competitors and enemies. Each species of animal selects from its surroundings such food as is most suitable. Such food may not be theoretically perfect; that is, it may not contain the maximum of nourishment free from innutritious matter; but during the long period of evolution, each species of animal has become possessed of organs suited to its environment. If to such animals be given food containing less indigestible matter, or food which is more readily digested by laboratory tests made independently of the living animal, their digestive system will be thrown out of gear, become clogged up or refuse to work properly, just as the furnace of a steam boiler, made to burn coal, will act badly with wood or petroleum. Many scientific men have overlooked this fact, and have endeavoured to produce food substances for general consumption, in the most concentrated and soluble form, thinking such food would be more easily assimilated.

The Volatile and Essential Oils are contained in minute quantity in a very large number of animal and vegetable foods. They contribute in part to the flavour of fruits. They are the cause of the pungency and aroma of mustard, horse-radish, cloves, nutmegs, cinnamon, caraway seeds, mint, sage and other spices. Onions contain a notable quantity. When extracted the essential oils become powerful drugs. In moderate quantities they are stomachic and carminative, in larger quantities irritant and emetic. Condiments and spices not only add flavour to food, but stimulate the secretion of gastric juice and peristaltic movement.

The Alkaloids most used are those of tea, coffee, kola-nut, cocoa, coca, tobacco and opium. Although the two last are generally smoked, they must be classed amongst the food adjuncts. It is of little consequence whether their active principles enter the body by the mouth and saliva or the lungs; their action on the blood and nervous system is the same.

The Extractives, as they are called, comprise a number of bodies of varying nature. They especially exist in flesh and flesh extracts. Amongst these are the purins. They will be treated at greater length hereafter.

Alcohol is to some extent a true food, but its stimulant and other action quite overshadows any food value it may possess.

There are other bodies such as the resins and bitters. The active principle of Indian hemp is a resin.

There is a great difference of opinion as to the extent to which stimulants may advantageously be used. It is remarkable that amongst nearly all nations, either alcohol in some form or one of the stronger alkaloids is in common use. From this fact it is sometimes argued that stimulants must supply a physiological need. The same method of reasoning will apply with greater force to the use of condiments. Such conclusions appear to us to be scarcely warranted. If the extensive or even universal practice of a thing proves its necessity, then has there been justification, either now or in the past, for war, lying, avarice and other vices. It is strange that drugs differing so greatly in their immediate and obvious effects as, for example, alcohol and opium, or coffee and tobacco should be used. Should it he said that only some of the much used stimulants are useful, there is an end to the argument based on their universal use. There is no doubt that the use of stimulants in more than very small quantities is distinctly injurious, and it is difficult to see what physiological advantage there can be in their habitual use, to what is vaguely called a moderate extent. Sometimes they are taken for a supposed medical necessity, and where taste attracts, little evidence satisfies. Those in the habit of taking them, if honest, must confess that it is chiefly on account of the apparent enjoyment. The ill-nourished and the depressed in body and mind crave most for stimulants. A food creates energy in the body, including the nervous system, and this is the only legitimate form of stimulation. A mere stimulant does not create but draws on the reserve forces. What was latent energy—to become in the natural course gradually available—under stimulation is rapidly set free; there is consequently, subsequent depletion of energy. There may occasionally be times when a particular organ needs a temporary stimulus to increased action, notwithstanding it may suffer an after depression; but such cases are so rare that they may be left out of our present argument, and stimulants should only be used, like other powerful drugs, under medical advice. In the last 25 years the use of alcohol by the medical profession has steadily diminished, its poisonous properties having become more evident.

There is a general similarity in the effects of stimulants on the digestive and nervous systems. The most largely used stimulant is ethyl alcohol, and as its action is best known, it may be useful to name the principal effects. Alcohol in the form of wine and spirits, in small quantities, first stimulates the digestive organs. Large quantities inflame the stomach and stop digestion. (Beer, however, retards digestion, altogether out of proportion to the alcohol it contains.) Alcohol increases the action of the heart, increases the blood pressure, and causes the vessels of the whole body to dilate, especially those of the skin; hence there is a feeling of warmth. It the person previously felt cold he now feels warm. The result of the increased circulation through the various organs is that they work with greater vigour, hence the mental faculties are brightened for a time, and the muscular strength seems increased. The person usually feels the better for it, though this is not always the case; some have a headache or feel very sleepy. It has been repeatedly proved that these good results are but transitory. The heart, although at first stimulated, is more exhausted after the action of the alcohol has passed away than it was at first. This is true of all the organs of the body which were stimulated. In consequence of the dilatation of the blood vessels of the skin, an unusual quantity of heat is lost and the body is cooled. After taking alcohol persons are less able to stand cold. When overtaken by snowstorms or subjected to excessive or prolonged cold, it has often happened that those who resorted to spirit drinking have succumbed, whilst the others have survived. Insurance statistics have conclusively shown that teetotallers are longer livers than the so-called moderate drinkers. The terrible effects on both body and mind of the excessive drinking of alcohol, or the use of other strong stimulants or narcotics, are too obvious to need allusion to here; we are only concerned with what is vaguely called their moderate use.

The stimulation produced by tea and coffee is in some respects like that of alcohol. The heart is stimulated and the blood pressure rises. The kidneys are strongly affected in those unaccustomed to the drug, but this ceases after a week or more of use. Their chief effect is on the brain and nervous system.

Many have boasted that they can take of what they call the good things of life to their full, without any bad effect, and looking over a few years, or even many years, it seems a fact. Some of us have known of such men, who have been esteemed for their joviality and good nature, who have suddenly broken down at what should have been a hearty middle life. On the other hand there are men who were badly equipped for the battle of life, with indifferent constitutions, who never had the buoyancy and overflow of animal spirits, but who with care have long outlived all their formerly more robust but careless companions.

Simple versus Highly-flavoured Foods.—It is very difficult to decide to what extent condiments and flavourings should be used. These have stimulating properties, although differing from the more complex properties of alcohol and the alkaloids. The great differences in the dietetic practices of nations does not appear to be in conformity with any general rule. It varies with opportunity, climate and national temperament; though doubtless the national temperament is often due in part to the dietetic habits. Some races are content with the simplest foods, large numbers subsist chiefly on rice, others on the richer cereals, wheat, oatmeal, etc., and fruit. On the other hand there are races who enjoy stronger flavoured food, including such things as garlic, curry, pickles, pepper, strong cheese, meat extracts, rancid fats, dried and smoked fish, high game or still more decomposed flesh, offal and various disgusting things. The Greenlanders will eat with the keenest appetite, the half-frozen, half-putrid head and fins of the seal, after it has been preserved under the grass of summer. In Burmah and Sumatra a mess is made by pounding together prawns, shrimps, or any cheap fish; this is frequently allowed to become partially putrid. It is largely used as a condiment for mixing with their rice. Numerous examples of this sort could be given. There is scarcely anything that it is possible to eat, but has been consumed with relish by some tribe or other. The strongest flavoured, and to our minds most disgusting foods are eaten by the least intelligent and most brutal races. It is hunger that compels the poor African bushman to eat anything he can get, and the Hottentot not only the flesh, but the entrails of cattle which die naturally, and this last he has come to think exquisite when boiled in beast-blood. All this shows a wonderful range of adaptability in the human body, but it would not be right to say that all such food is equally wholesome. The most advanced and civilised races, especially the more delicately organised of them are the most fastidious, whilst it is the most brutal, that take the most rank and strongly flavoured foods. Even amongst the civilised there are great differences. The assimilative and nervous systems can be trained to tolerate injurious influences to a remarkable degree. A striking example is seen in the nausea commonly produced by the first pipe of tobacco, and the way the body may in time be persuaded, not only to tolerate many times such a quantity without manifesting any unpleasant feelings, but to receive pleasure from the drug. Opium or laudanum may be taken in gradually increasing quantities, until such a dose is taken as would at first have produced death, yet now without causing any immediate or very apparent harm. Nearly all drugs loose much of their first effect on continued use. Not only is this so, but a sudden discontinuance of a drug may cause distress, as the body, when free from the artificial stimulation to which it has become habituated, falls into a sluggish or torpid condition. For the enjoyment of food two things are equally necessary, a healthy and keen appetite and suitable food; without the first no food, however good and skilfully prepared, will give satisfaction. The sense of taste resides in certain of the papilloe of the tongue, and to a much less degree in the palate. Tastes may be classified into sweet, bitter, acid and saline. Sweet tastes are best appreciated by the tip, acid by the side, and bitter by the back of the tongue. Hot or pungent substances produce sensations of general feeling, which obscure any strictly gustatory sensations which may be present at the same time. To affect the taste the food must enter into solution. Like the other senses, taste may be rendered more delicate by cultivation. Flavours are really odours, and the word smell would be more appropriate. For example, what we call the taste of an onion, the flavour of fruit, etc. (independent of the sweetness or sourness of the fruit) is due to the nose.

Much has been written on the necessity of making food tasty, so as to stimulate the appetite and digestion. It is urged that unless this is done food will not be eaten in sufficient quantity. Innumerable receipts (some very elaborate) have been published for this purpose. All this is supposed to increase the enjoyment of food. The Anglo-Saxon race—the race whose dietary is the most elaborate—is especially subject to digestive derangements, and without good digestion and the consequent healthy appetite, no food will give full gustatory pleasure. The most wholesome food, and that which can be eaten most frequently without weariness, is mildly flavoured and simply prepared. Plain bread is an example; whereas sweet bread, currant bread, etc., though agreeable in small quantity, or as an occasional delicacy, soon palls on the appetite. Rice is the poorest and mildest flavoured of the cereals, it is therefore often, perhaps generally, made more tasty by the addition of fish, curry, etc. The bulk of the Chinese live on rice, with the exception of only 3 or 4 ounces of fish per day, and they are a fine, big and strong race. The Japanese labourer lives on similar food. In India rice is the food most in use, though many other cereals are eaten there. Other races live chiefly on fruits. It appears that the digestive organs will perform their functions perfectly with the mildest flavoured food. There is nothing surprising in this. The strongest, most intelligent, and largest animals are those which feed on grass, herbs and fruits. Even the African lion is no match for the gorilla. The lion and tiger are capable of great strength, but they cannot put it forth for long periods as can the herbivora. Our most useful animal, the horse, can exert much more muscular energy, weight for weight, than any of the carnivora. The cost of feeding one of the herbivora is much less than that of one of the carnivora of the same weight. This is so whether we take the cost of purchasing the food; or the expenditure of time, labour and energy on the part of man or of natural forces in the production of the food. Herbs, roots, corn and fruit are produced much more abundantly and freely than the corresponding quantity of sheep, deer, etc., on which the carnivora feed.

The restlessness, craving for novelty, and love of excitement, so characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon, and to a less extent of some other European races, has its correspondence in the food of these races. Highly-seasoned and nitrogenous foods act as a stimulant and favour spasmodic, and for a time perhaps, great intellectual and physical exertion, with a succeeding period of exhaustion. Simpler food favours long, sustained, uniform muscular strength, clearness of intellect, and contentment. Let no one misunderstand us; we do not assert that all who live on simple food have either clear intellects or are contented, because there are other factors besides food, but that such qualities are more easily retained or obtained under that condition. It is well known that the over-fed and badly fed are the most irritable and discontented Those living on a stimulating dietary consisting largely of flesh have their chief successes in feats of short duration. Simple and abstemious living individuals or races excel in laborious work requiring endurance over long periods, such as long walking, cycling, and other athletic feats and long military campaigns.

The digestive and assimilative organs need the food constituents of which we have written, in proper proportion and quantity, and in a fairly digestible condition. Within these very wide and comprehensive limits, the organs can be trained. Very much of the great difference in food is due to the non-essential flavouring and stimulating part, rather than to that part which is essential and nourishing. What is the best, interests but few; whilst what is at present the pleasantest, influences the many. The ego, the superphysical conscious and reasoning entity should rule its material body, its temporary vehicle. The body, being the servant of the ego, just as a horse, dog, or other of the lower animals recognises its master, becomes a docile subject. The body can be led into good habits nearly as easily as into bad ones; often more easily, as bad habits are sometimes painfully acquired. The body being once habituated to certain movements, conditions, foods or drinks, within reasonable limits, derives pleasure therefrom and resists change. It is only when the food, etc., transgresses certain elementary principles, that the result is more or less painful. We may on scientific principles condemn flesh-foods, stimulants and elaborately prepared foods; but after ruling all this out, there is still left a very great variety of foods and methods of preparing them: hereon each individual must form his own opinion. Of the foods thus left, the same kind is not equally suitable to everyone, nor even to the same person at different periods.

A delicately balanced, fine-grained, high-toned mind and body responds to every tender influence, and is painfully jarred by that which is coarse. To such, fruits and delicately flavoured and easily digested foods are doubtless best and conducive to purity and clearness of thought. A coarse-grained, badly poised, roughly working body and spirit, is non-responsive except to loud or coarse impulses; and such a one's appetite is gratified, not by simple but by coarsely seasoned foods.

A person who is accustomed to a stimulating dietary of flesh-foods, especially if well-seasoned, finds a simple diet unsatisfying. Should such persons dine off simple vegetarian food, there is a tendency to over-eating. The less stimulating food fails to rouse the digestive organs and to appease the appetite; although an ample supply of nourishment be consumed. This is the reason why so many imagine that it is necessary to eat a larger quantity of food if it be vegetable. Should a distressing fulness and flatulence result from their over-feeding, they lay the blame to the vegetarian dietary instead of to themselves. Most persons, on changing to a vegetarian dietary, commence by imitating flesh dishes in appearance and flavour and even in the names. There is the additional inducement that the food may be attractive and palatable to friends who lack sympathy with the aesthetic and humane principles of the diet. After a while many of them incline to simpler flavoured foods. They revert to the unperverted taste of childhood, for children love sweets, fruits, and mild-flavoured foods rather than savouries. One who loves savouries, as a rule, cares much less for fruits. By compounding and cooking, a very great variety of foods can be prepared, but the differences in taste are much less than is usually, supposed. The effect of seasoning instead of increasing the range, diminishes it, by dulling the finer perception of flavours. The predominating seasoning also obscures everything else. The mixture of foods produces a conglomeration of tastes in which any particular or distinct flavours are obscured, resulting in a general sameness. It is often stated that as an ordinary flesh-eater has the choice of a greater range of foods and flavours than a vegetarian, he can obtain more enjoyment, and that the latter is disagreeably restricted. Certainly he has the choice, but does he avail himself of it to any considerable extent? No one cares to take all the different kinds of food, whether of animal or vegetable that are possible. Of edible animals but a very few kinds are eaten. A person who particularly relishes and partakes largely of flesh-foods will reject as insipid and unsatisfying many mild-flavoured foods at one end of the scale. The vegetarian may abstain from foods at the opposite end of the scale, not always from humane reasons, but because they are unpleasant. Thus there may be little to choose between the mere range of flavours that give enjoyment to each class of persons. The sense of taste is in its character and range lower than the sense of sight and hearing. The cultivation of the taste for savouries seems to blunt the taste for fruits and the delicate foods. The grass and herbs on which the herbivora subsist, seems to our imagination of little flavour and monotonous; but they eat with every sign of enjoyment, deliberately munching their food as though to get its full flavour. In all probability they find a considerable range of flavours in the great varieties of grasses commonly found together in a pasture.

Our elaborate cooking customs entail a vast amount of labour. They necessitate the cost, trouble and dirt from having fires in great excess of that required for warmth: the extra time in preparing, mixing and attending to food which has to be cooked: and the large number of greasy and soiled utensils which have to be cleaned. Cooked savoury food is generally much nicer eaten hot, and this necessitates fires and attention just previous to the meal. We have already said that soft cooked food discourages mastication and leads to defective teeth. Our elaborate cookery is mainly due to our custom of eating so largely of flesh, whilst the eating of flesh would receive a great impetus on the discovery of the art of cooking. Flesh can only be eaten with relish and with safety when cooked. Such a large proportion of it is infected with parasites, or is otherwise diseased, that it would he dangerous to eat it raw, even were it palatable in such a state. In those countries where man eats flesh in a raw or semi-cooked form, parasitic diseases are common. There is not the least doubt that our habit of eating so much cooked food is responsible for much over-eating, hasty eating, dyspepsia and illness. In regard to the making of bread, porridge, and many other comparatively simple prepared foods, the advantages of cooking seem overwhelmingly great. With our present imperfect knowledge and conflicting opinions, it is impossible to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion, and the whole question requires careful and impartial investigation. Experiments have been made with animals, chiefly pigs, with cooked and uncooked clover, hay, corn, meal, etc. (U.S. Department of Agriculture). It was found that the food was more or less diminished in digestibility by cooking. At least 13 separate series of experiments with pigs in different part of the country have been reported. In 10 of these trials there has been a positive loss from cooking the food. The amount of food required to produce in the animal a pound gain in weight was larger when the food had been cooked than when it was given raw. In some cases, the increased quantity of food required after cooking was considerable.

Those who live on uncooked food contend that a smaller quantity of nourishment is required. As uncooked food requires more mastication and is eaten more slowly, there is a better flow of saliva and time is given for the digestive organs to be gradually brought into complete action, and finally for the appeasing of the appetite. In the case of the members of the fruitarian family, whose food was uncooked, and of whom we have previously written, the quantity of nutriment taken was much less than that thought necessary, even after making full allowance for their small stature and weight.

Meat Extracts.—Justus von Liebig, the great German chemist, was the first to attempt to make these on the commercial scale. He described a method in 1847, and this not proving satisfactory, another one in 1865. He stated that the only practicable plan on a manufacturing scale, was to treat the chopped flesh with eight to ten times its weight of water, which was to be raised to 180 deg. F. In another passage he says it is to be boiled for half-an-hour. After straining from all the undissolved meat fibre, etc., and carefully cleansing from all fat, the decoction is to be evaporated to a soft extract; such a preparation is practically free from albumin, gelatin and fat; all the nutritive principles except the saline matter having been extracted. Liebig states that 34 pounds of meat are required to produce 1 pound of extract. In 1872, he wrote "neither tea nor extract of meat are nutritive in the ordinary sense," and he went on to speak of their medicinal properties. Druit, in 1861, in describing the effect of a liquid preparation of meat, states that it exerted a rapid and stimulating action on the brain, and he proposed it as an auxiliary and partial substitute for brandy, in all case of great exhaustion or weakness attended with cerebral depression or despondency. In like manner, a feast of animal food in savages, whose customary diet was almost exclusively vegetable, has been described by travellers as producing great excitement and stimulation similar to that of intoxicating spirits. Similar effects have been observed from a copious employment of Liebig's extract. Voit asserts, from the results of his experiments, that extract of meat is practically useless as a food, and other authorities are quite of the same opinion, although they may value it as a stimulant and drug. The Extra Pharmacopaeia, 1901, states that "Liebig's Extract or Lemco consists of creatin, creatinin, globulin and urea, with organic potash and other salts. It has been much over-estimated as a food either for invalids or healthy persons; still it is often valuable as a flavouring to add to soups, beef-tea, etc., and it is a nerve food allied to tea." Meat extracts stimulate the action of the heart and the digestive processes, but as in the case of other stimulants there is a succeeding period of depression. The British Medical Journal says that the widespread belief in the universal suitability of concentrated beef-tea is frequently responsible for increasing the patient's discomfort, and is even capable in conditions of kidney inefficiency, of producing positive harm. Some of the meat bases, the leucomaines, have been found to possess marked poisonous effects on the body. The manfacturers of meat extracts continue to mislead the public by absurdly false statements of the value of their products. They assert that their extracts contain the nutritive matter of 30, 40 or 50 times their weight of fresh meat, or that one or two meat-lozenges are sufficient for a meal. One company, asserts by direct statement, or imply by pictorial advertisement, that the nutritive matter in an ox can be concentrated into the bulk of a bottle of extract; and another company that a tea-cup full is equivalent in food value to an ox. Professor Halliburton writes: "Instead of an ox in a tea-cup, the ox's urine in a tea-cup would be much nearer the fact, for the meat extract consists largely of products on the way to urea, which more nearly resemble in constitution the urine than they do the flesh of the ox." Professor Robert Bartholow has also stated that the chemical composition of beef-tea closely resembles urine, and is more an excrementitious substance than a food. Those whose business it is to make a pure meat-broth, for the purpose of preparing therefrom a nutrient for experimenting with bacteria, cannot fail to recognise its similarity both in odour and colour to urine. Little consideration is needful to show the untruthfulness and the absurdity of the statements made by manufacturers as to the food value of these extracts. Fresh lean beef contains about 25 per cent. of solid nutriment and 75 per cent. of water. If lean beef be desiccated, one pound will be reduced to four ounces of perfectly dry substance; this will consist of about 80 per cent. of proteid matter and nearly 20 per cent. of fat including a little saline matter and the extractives. This is as far as it is possible to concentrate the beef. If it were possible to remove, without interfering with the nutritious constituents, the membraneous matter, the creatin, creatinine and purin bodies, we should reduce it to a little less than four ounces. It is very remarkable that the most nutritious matter of the beef, the muscle substance or proteid and the fat, are rejected in making Liebig's extract, whilst the effete or waste products are retained. In Bovril and some other preparations, some meat fibre has been added with the object of imparting a definite food value. Hence in some advertisements, now withdrawn, it was alleged that the preparations were immensely superior in nutritive value to ordinary meat extracts. The Bovril Company extensively circulated the following:—"It is hard for ladies to realise that the beef tea they make at home from the choicest fresh beef contains absolutely no nourishment and is nothing more than a slight stimulant. It is so, however, and many a patient has been starved on beef tea, whether made from fresh beef or from the meat extracts that are sold to the public. From these Bovril differs so much that one ounce of its nutritious constituents contains more real and direct nourishment than fifty ounces of ordinary meat extract." If analyses of meat extracts are referred to, it will be seen that the principal part of Bovril is the meat bases and other things common to all such extracts, and which the Company in their circular so emphatically condemn. If the meat fibre, which is the principal, if not the sole difference, is the only nourishing constituent, it is difficult to see the advantage over ordinary beef, which can be procured at a very small proportionate cost. Concerning this added meat fibre, C.A. Mitchell, in "Flesh Foods," writes: "As this amounts to at most some 8 or 10 per cent., it is obvious that a large quantity of the substance would be required to obtain as much unaltered proteid as is contained in an egg. On the other hand, it has been pointed out that there is nothing to show that flesh powder suspended in meat extract is more digestible than ordinary flesh in the same fine state of division, whilst the amount of flesh bases, the principal stimulating agents, is correspondingly reduced." Concerning added albumin and meat fibre, A.H. Allen, in "Commercial Organic Analysis," vol. iv., writes: "The amount of these constituents present in such a quantity of meat extract as is usually, or could be, taken at a time, is too insignificant to give it any appreciable value as nutriment." Notwithstanding such statements by analysts and others, Bovril is advertised to contain "the entire nourishment of prime ox-beef." The great extent of the extract of meat trade is shown by a circular issued by the Lemco and Oxo Company. They give the number of their cattle killed since 1865 as 5,550,000; stock of cattle 160,000; employees in works, farms and branches, 3,200. This is only one out of many such companies. It is a sad thing that myriads of animals should be slaughtered with all the horrible and brutalising surroundings of the slaughter-house to such a purpose—the nutritious matter being nearly all wasted. Reliance on these extracts is responsible for much sickness and death. Instead of their preventing colds, influenza, and other complaints as is professed, they predispose to them by overloading the body with waste products, taxing the excretory organs and reducing the vitality. The following analyses of meat extracts are by Otto Hehner:—

Gela- Albu- Meat Water. Fat. tin. min. Fibre.

Liebig Co.'s Extractum Carnis 15.26 0.34 5.18 — 2.12 Armour's Extract of Meat 15.97 0.21 3.31 — — Brand & Co.'s Extractum Carnis 17.85 0.38 4.56 — 1.81 Brand & Co.'s Meat Juice 55.48 0.10 0.69 1.00 — Brand & Co.'s Essence of Beef 89.68 0.06 5.12 — — Valentine's Meat juice 55.53 0.10 0.75 0.25 — Bovril Company's Fluid Beef 28.34 1.02 3.81 — 5.37 Bovril for Invalids 24.34 1.07 4.56 — 5.87

Albu- Pep- Meat moses. tones. Bases. Ash. Liebig Co.'s Extractum Carnis 2.01 8.06 39.32 23.51 Armour's Extract of Meat 1.75 5.13 41.12 29.36 Brand & Co.'s Extractum Carnis 4.19 10.16 38.90 18.80 Brand & Co.'s Meat Juice 1.06 2.50 12.50 11.06 Brand & Co.'s Essence of Beef 0.19 0.57 3.43 1.00 Valentine's Meat juice 2.00 2.87 12.48 12.01 Bovril Company's Fluid Beef 8.38 13.18 19.38 17.67 Bovril for Invalids 5.56 6.44 34.07 16.50

Some of the "Liebig's Extract of Meat" so called, contains yeast extract; some even, is almost entirely, if not altogether made from yeast. The latter can be manufactured at a very low cost from brewers' and distillers' waste products, and there is a strong incentive for unscrupulous dealers to substitute it secretly. Artificial meat extracts prepared from yeast have the appearance and taste of meat extracts, but some, at least, have a considerably sharper flavour. In one method of manufacture common salt is added, and this renders it unfit for use in more than very small quantities as a flavouring. J. Graff has made analyses of ten yeast extracts, and contrasted them with meat extracts (see Analyst 1904, page 194), and says, "It will be seen that the chemical composition of yeast extract does not greatly differ from that of meat extract." Yeast extracts contain purin bodies, and are probably equally as injurious as meat extracts. Such strong and rank flavours (the odour is suggestive to us of putrefaction) should be discouraged by those who would cultivate a refined taste in food.

Flesh Bases and Waste Products.—As the result of destructive metamorphosis or the wearing out of the body, there remain certain waste products which have to be expelled as soon as is possible. Their retention and accumulation would soon produce death. A part is expelled by the lungs as carbon-dioxide, or as it is generally though less correctly termed, carbonic acid. Upon the breaking down of the complex proteid and other nitrogenous matter, the nitrogen is left in comparatively simple combinations. These effete nitrogen compounds are commonly termed flesh bases or nitrogenous extractives. They exist in small quantity in flesh meat, but are concentrated and conserved in the making of beef-tea or beef-extract. The spleen, lymphatic and other glands, and especially the liver, break these down into still simpler compounds, so that the kidneys may readily separate them from the blood, that they may pass out of the body. By far the largest part of this waste nitrogen is expelled from the bodies of men and many other mammals in the form of urea. Pure urea is an odourless transparent crystalline substance, of cooling saline taste like nitre. It is soluble in an equal volume of water, and is expelled from the body with great ease. In the herbivora the nitrogenous waste takes the form of another body called hippuric acid. The nearly solid light-coloured urinary excretion of birds and serpents consists of urates; this is uric acid in combination with alkalies. In man, in addition to the urea excreted, there is also a little hippuric and uric acid or compounds of these. Uric acid is a transparent colourless crystalline body almost insoluble in water but soluble as urates in the presence of alkalies. As deposited from urine it is of a dull red sand-like appearance, as it has a great affinity for any colouring matter that is present.

It is only possible to make a brief reference to the chief organic bases. The xanthine bases are closely related to uric acid. Some of these occur in small quantity in the urine and animal tissues, others, such as caffeine, occur in plants. Creatine is a constant constituent of muscle substance. In fowl's flesh there is said to be 0.32 per cent., in cod-fish 0.17 per cent., and in beef 0.07 per cent. Creatinine is produced from creatine with great facility; it exists in urine. Both creatine and creatinine are readily soluble in water. A series of bases, closely allied to creatinine have been isolated from the flesh of large animals by A. Gautier; they are known as Gautier's flesh bases. When administered to animals, these act more or less powerfully on the nerve centres, inducing sleep and in some cases causing vomiting and purging in a manner similar to the alkaloids of snake venom, but less powerfully than the ptomaines. These bases are formed during life as a result of normal vital processes and are termed leucomaines.

Another class of bases of an alkaloidal nature, are termed ptomaines; these differ from the leucomaines, being produced by putrefactive or bacterial agency from dead flesh. The poisoning which has occasionally resulted from the eating of sausages, pork-pies, tinned meats, etc., is due to their having contained ptomaines.

Such quantities of waste products as are produced in the healthy body are excreted with ease, but it is otherwise in certain diseases. Either specially noxious substances are produced, or the usual substances are in excessive quantity and not eliminated with sufficient rapidity; in consequence the body is poisoned. Those who eat largely of flesh, introduce into their system the excretory matter contained therein, which super-added to the excretory matter resulting from the vital processes of the body puts an unusual and unnatural strain upon the liver and kidneys. It has been observed, that the eating of the flesh of some trapped animals has produced severe symptoms of poisoning. The pain and horror of having a limb bleeding and mangled in a most cruel steel trap, the struggles which only add to the misery, slowly being done to death during hours or even days of torture, has produced in their bodies virulent poisons. Leucomaine poisons have also been produced by the violent and prolonged exertions of an animal, fleeing from its pursuers, until its strength was completely spent. Cases are also known, where a mother nursing her infant, has given way to violent anger or other emotion, and the child at the breast has been made violently ill. We must not expect the flesh of any hunted or terrified animals to be wholesome. Animals brought in cattle ships across the Atlantic, suffer acutely. After rough weather they will often arrive in a maimed condition, some being dead. To this is added the terror and cruelty to which they are subjected whilst driven by callous drovers, often through a crowded city, to the slaughter house to which they have an instinctive dread. It is only to be expected that the dead flesh from such animals, should contain an unusually large quantity of the more poisonous flesh bases.

Purin Bodies.—The term purin has been applied to all bodies containing the nucleus C{5}N{4}. It comprises the xanthine group and the uric acid group of bodies. The principal purins are hypoxanthin, xanthin, uric acid, guanin, adenin, caffeine and theobromine. Purins in the body may either result from the wear and tear of certain cell contents, when they are called endogenous purins; or they are introduced in the food, when they are distinguished as exogenous purins. These purins are waste products and are readily converted into uric acid. The production of some uric acid by tissue change is, of course, unavoidable; but that resulting from the purins in food is under control.

An excess of uric acid is commonly associated with gout and similar diseases. The morbid phenomena of gout are chiefly manifested in the joints and surrounding tissues. The articular cartilages become swollen, with ensuing great pain. There is an accumulation of mortar like matter about the joints. This is calcium urate (not sodium urate as is generally stated). These nodular concretions are called tophi or chalkstones.

Very many are the hypotheses which have been propounded on the cause of gout and the part played by uric acid; many have had to be discarded or greatly modified. Though much light has recently been thrown on the subject, there remains much that is obscure. The subject is one which is surrounded with great difficulties, and would not be suitable for discussion here, were it not for the following reason: Certain views on uric acid as the cause of gout and several other diseases, are at the present time being pushed to the extreme in some health journals and pamphlets. Unfortunately many of the writers have very little knowledge, either of chemistry or physiology, and treat the question as though it were a simple one that had been quite settled. Our purpose is to clear the ground to some extent, for a better understanding of its fundamentals, and to warn against dogmatism. Our remarks, however, must be brief. It is undeniable that great eaters of meat, especially if they also take liberally of alcoholic drinks, are prone to diseases of the liver and kidneys, about or soon after the time of middle life. Flesh meat contains relatively large quantities of purins. Purins are metabolised in the body to uric acid, about half of the uric acid produced in the body disappears as such, being disintegrated, whilst the other half remains to be excreted by the kidneys.

One view is that whilst the organs of the body can readily dispose of its endogenous uric acid, or that produced by its own tissue change, together with the small amount of uric acid derived from most foods, the organs are strained by the larger quantity introduced in flesh-food or any other food rich in purins: that there is an accumulation in the system of some of this uric acid. Vegetable foods tend to keep the blood alkaline, flesh possesses less of this property; alkalinity of the blood is thought to be favourable to the elimination of uric acid, whilst anything of an acid nature acts contrarily. Dr. Alexander Haig writes "I consider that every man who eats what is called ordinary diet with butcher's meat twice a day, and also drinks acid wine or beer, will, by the time he is 50, have accumulated 300 to 400 grains of uric acid in his tissues, and possibly much more; and about this time, owing to the large amount of uric acid in his body, he will probably be subject to attacks of some form of gout or chronic rheumatism." Dr. Haig ascribes to the presence of uric acid in the system, not only gout and rheumatism, but epilepsy, hysteria, mental and bodily depression, diseases of the liver, kidneys, brain, etc.

The opinion of the majority of eminent medical men, during recent years, is that uric acid is not a cause, but a symptom of gout, that uric acid is not an irritant to the tissues, and that it is readily excreted in the healthy subject. Some of the reasons for this latter and against the previously stated hypothesis, are as follows:—Birds very rarely suffer from gout—the nodular concretions, sometimes found about their joints and which have been ascribed to gout, are of tuberculous origin—yet their blood contains more uric acid than that of man, and the solid matter of their excretion is mainly urates. If uric acid caused gout we should expect the disease to be common in birds. It is a remarkable fact that the waste nitrogen should be excreted in the form of uric acid or urates from such widely differing classes of animals as birds and serpents. Birds have a higher body temperature than man, they are very rapid in their movements and consume a large amount of food proportionate to their weight. They live, as it were, at high pressure. Serpents, on the other hand, have a low body temperature, they are lethargic and can live a long while without food. There is no obvious reason why some animals excrete urea and others uric acid. As uric acid is a satisfactory and unirritating form in which waste nitrogen is expelled from the body of the active alert bird, as well as from the slow moving reptile, it is surprising if a very much smaller quantity acts as a poison in man. Many physicians are convinced that uric acid is absolutely unirritating. Uratic deposits may occur to an enormous extent in gouty persons without the occurrence of any pain or paroxysms. Urates have been injected in large amounts into the bodies of animals as well as administered in their food with no toxic result whatever, or more than purely local irritation. The most careful investigations upon the excretions of persons suffering from gouty complaints, have failed to show uric acid in the excretions in excess of that in normal individuals, except during the later stage of an acute attack. There is an excess of uric acid in the blood of gouty subjects; some eminent medical men say it is in the highest degree probable, that this excess is not due to over production or deficient destruction, but to defective excretion by the kidneys. The excess may arise from failure of the uric acid to enter into combination with a suitable substance in the blood, which assists its passage through the kidneys. Under the head of gout are classed a number of unrelated disturbances in the gastro-intestinal tract and nutritive organs, whose sole bond of union is that they are accompanied by an excess of urates, and in well developed cases by deposits in the tissues. This is why there are so many different causes, curative treatments, theories, contradictions and vagaries in gout. There are good reasons for believing that uric acid is not in the free state in the body. In the urine it is in combination with alkalies as urates, perhaps also with some organic body. It has been shown that the blood of the gouty is not saturated with uric acid, but can take up more, and that the alkalinity of the blood is not diminished. The excess over the normal is in many cases small; it is said to be absent in some persons, and rarely, if ever reaches the quantity found in leukaemia. Leukaemia is a disease marked by an excessive and permanent increase in the white blood corpuscles and consequent progressive anaemia. Neither does the uric acid of gout reach the quantity produced in persons whilst being fed with thymus gland (sweetbread), for medical purposes. In neither of these cases are any of the symptoms of gout present. In the urine of children, it is not unusual to find a copious precipitate of urates, yet without any observed effect on them.

The symptoms of gout point to the presence of a toxin in the blood, and it is this which produces the lesions; the deposition of urates in the joints being secondary. This poison is probably of bacterial origin, derived from decomposing faecal matter in the large intestine. This is due to faulty digestion and insufficient or defective intestinal secretions and constipation. This explains why excessive feeding, especially of proteid food, is so bad. The imperfectly digested residue of such food, when left to stagnate and become a mass of bacteria and putrefaction, gives off poisons which are absorbed in part, into the system. This bacterial poison produces headache, migraine, gouty or other symptoms. Because of the general failure of gouty persons to absorb the proper amount of nutriment from their food, they require to eat a larger quantity; this gives a further increase of faecal decomposition and thus aggravates matters. The voluminous bowel or colon of man is a legacy from remote pre-human ancestors, whose food consisted of bulky, fibrous and slowly digested vegetable matters. It was more useful then, than now that most of our food is highly cooked. About a third part of the faecal matter consists of bacteria of numerous species, though chiefly of the species known as the bacillus coli communis, one of the less harmful kind which is a constant inhabitant of the intestinal tract in man and animals. This species is even thought to be useful in breaking down the cellulose, which forms a part of the food of the herbivora. Flesh meat leaves a residue in which the bacteria of putrefaction find a congenial home. Poisons such as ptomaines, fatty acids and even true toxins are produced. It is believed that there exists in the colons of gouty persons, either conditions more favourable to the growth of the bacteria of putrefaction, or that they are less able to resist the effect of the poisons produced. It has generally been found that milk is a very good food for gouty patients. This seems due to its being little liable to putrefaction, the bacterial fermentation to which it is liable producing lactic acid—the souring of milk. The growth of most bacteria, particularly the putrefactive kinds are hindered or entirely stopped by acids slightly alkaline media are most favourable. This explains how it is that milk will often stop diarrhoea.

Dr. Haig condemns pulse and some other vegetable foods, because, he says, they contain uric acid. Pulse, he states, contains twice as much as most butcher's meat. Vegetable foods, however, contain no uric acid and meat but a very small quantity. The proper term to use is purins or nucleins. Dr. Haig has used a method of analysis which is quite incapable of giving correct results. Many vegetarians have accepted these figures and his deductions therefrom, and have given up the use of valuable foods in consequence. We therefore give some of the analyses of Dr. I. Walker Hall, from "The Purin Bodies in Food Stuffs." The determination of the purins has proved a very difficult process. Dr. Hall has devoted much time to investigating and improving the methods of others, and his figures may be accepted with confidence.

The first column of figures indicates purin bodies in parts per 1,000, the second column purin bodies in grains per pound:—

Sweet bread 10.06 70.4 Liver 2.75 19.3 Beef steak 2.07 14.5 Beef Sirloin 1.30 9.1 Ham 1.15 8.1 Chicken 1.3 9.1 Rabbit 0.97 6.3 Pork Loin 1.21 8.5 Veal loin 1.16 8.14 Mutton 0.96 6.75 Salmon 1.16 8.15 Cod 0.58 4.07 Lentils and haricots 0.64 4.16 Oatmeal 0.53 3.45 Peameal 0.39 2.54 Asparagus (cooked) 0.21 1.50 Onions 0.09 0.06 Potatoes 0.02 0.1

The following showed no traces of purins: white bread, rice, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower and eggs. Milk showed a very small quantity, and cheese consequently must contain still less.

The researches of Dr. Hall show that the purins of food are metabolised or broken down by gouty patients, almost as well as by normal individuals, any slight retention being due to increased capillary pressure. A portion of the purins remain undigested, the quantity depending upon the particular purin and the vigour of the digestive organs. Two rabbits had the purin hypoxanthin given to them daily, in quantities which if given to a man in proportion to his weight, would have been 17 and 3 grains respectively. These rabbits showed malnutrition, and after death degenerative changes were visible in their liver and kidneys. Dr. Hall has made a large number of personal experiments, and says that when he has taken large doses of purin bodies—such as 7 grains of hypoxanthin, 15 to 77 grains of guanin or 7 to 15 grains of uric acid, apparently associated symptoms of general malaise and irritability have frequently appeared. In gouty subjects such moderate or small quantities of purins which are without effect on the healthy subject, may prove a source of irritation to the already weakened liver and kidneys.

Professor Carl von Noorden says of gout, "with regard to treatment we are all agreed that food containing an excess of purin bodies should be avoided, and those words embody almost all there is to be said as to dietetics. Alcohol is very injurious in gout. Salicylic acid is a dangerous remedy. Alkalies in every form are utterly useless." Dr. J. Woods-Hutchinson says, "the one element which has been found to be of the most overwhelming importance and value in the treatment of gout and lith3/4mia, water, would act most admirably upon a toxic condition from any source; first, by sweeping out both the alimentary canal primarily, and the liver, kidneys and skin secondarily; and secondly, by supplying to the body cells that abundant salt-water bath in which alone they can live and discharge their functions." Dr. Woods-Hutchinson proceeds to state, that the one active agent in all the much vaunted mineral waters is nothing more or less than the water. "Their alleged solvent effects are now known to be pure moonshine." The value consists in "plain water, plus suggestion—not to say humbug—aided, of course, by the pure air of the springs and the excellent hygienic rules."

It is a common experience amongst rheumatic patients, that they cannot take lentils, haricots and some other foods; sometimes, even eggs and milk are inadmissible. This is not for the alleged reason that they contain purins, or as some misname it, uric acid; but because the digestive organs are unequal to the task. It will be seen, that although Dr. Haig's hypothesis of uric acid as a cause of gout and some other diseases is disputed by many eminent physicians, his treatment by excluding flesh and other foods which contain purins, and also pulse, which is difficult of digestion by the weakly, is a wise one. It has proved of the greatest value in very many cases.

Digestion and nutrition is a complex process, and it may be faulty at various stages and in several ways; there may be either deficient or excessive secretions or inaction. Thus there are exceptions, where gouty symptoms, including an excessive quantity of urates in the urine, have only been relieved by the giving up of milk foods or starch foods (see Lancet, 1900, I., p. 1, and 1903, I., p. 1059).

Those particularly interested in the subject of the purins and gout are referred to the lecture on "The meaning of uric acid and the urates," by Dr. Woods-Hutchinson, in the Lancet, 1903, I., p. 288, and the discussion on "The Chemical Pathology of Gout" before the British Medical Association at Oxford (see British Medical Journal, 1904, II., p. 740).

Dr. George S. Keith, in "Fads of an Old Physician," has a chapter on rheumatic fever; he says that the disease is much more common than it was fifty years ago. He has never met with it in the young or old except when the diet had consisted largely of beef and mutton, and this although he has been on the outlook for at least forty years for a case of the disease in a child or youth who had not been fed on red meat. He speaks of it as being exceedingly common in Buenos Ayres and Rosario in the Argentine Republic, amongst the young; and that it leads to most of the heart disease there. The amount of meat, especially of beef, consumed by old and young is enormous. The main evils there, were anaemia in children and neuralgia both in old and young. Dr. Haig relates how he suffered from migraine all his life, until the time of his discontinuing butchers' meat. As meat contains a comparatively large quantity of purins and other bodies called extractives, it is probable that such quantities have an injurious effect, quite apart from the question of uric acid production. That an excessive meat diet lessens the vitality of the body and pre-disposes to disease is undoubted, but opinions differ as to how the injury is brought about.

On thorough Mastication.—We have written at some length on the quantity and constituents of food required per day and have criticised the usually accepted standards. We have since read a valuable contribution to the subject by Mr. Horace Fletcher in his book, "The A.B.-Z. of our own nutrition" (F.A. Stokes & Co., New York). Ten years previous to the writing of the book, when of the age of 4, he was fast becoming a physical wreck, although he was trained as an athlete in his youth and had lived an active and most agreeable life. He had contracted a degree of physical disorder that made him ineligible as an insurance risk. This unexpected disability and warning was so much a shock, that it led to his making a strong personal effort to save himself. He concluded that he took too much food and too much needless worry. His practice and advice is, be sure that you are really hungry and are not pampering false appetite. If true appetite that will relish plain bread alone is not present, wait for it, if you have to wait till noon. Then chew, masticate, munch, bite, taste everything you take in your mouth; until it is not only thoroughly liquefied and made neutral or alkaline by saliva, but until the reduced substance all settles back in the folds at the back of the mouth and excites the swallowing impulse into a strong inclination to swallow. Then swallow what has collected and has excited the impulse, and continue to chew at the remainder, liquid though it be, until the last morsel disappears in response to the swallowing impulse. In a very short time this will become an agreeable and profitable fixed habit. Mr. Fletcher has been under the observation of several eminent scientific men. Professor R.H. Chittenden, of Yale University, in his report refers to the experiments of Kumagawa, Siven, and other physiologists; who have shown that men may live and thrive, for a time at least, on amounts of proteid per day equal to only one-half and one-quarter the amount called for in the Voit standard (see p. 32), even without unduly increasing the total calories of the food intake. Such investigations, however, have always called forth critical comment from writers reluctant to depart from the current standards, as extending over too short periods of time.

Dr. Chittenden writes that he has had in his laboratory, for several months past, a gentleman (H.F.) who for some five years, practised a certain degree of abstinence in the taking of food and attained important economy with, as he believes, great gain, in bodily and mental vigour and with marked improvement in his general health. The gentleman in question fully satisfies his appetite, but no longer desires the amount of food consumed by most individuals. For a period of thirteen days, in January, he was under observation in Professor Chittenden's laboratory. The daily amount of proteid metabolised was 41.25 grammes, the body-weight (165 pounds) remaining practically constant. Analysis of the excretions showed an output of an equivalent quantity of nitrogen. In February a more thorough series of observations was made. The diet was quite simple, and consisted merely of a prepared cereal food, milk and maple sugar. This diet was taken twice a day for seven days, and was selected by the subject as giving sufficient variety for his needs and quite in accord with his taste. No attempt was made to conform to any given standard of quantity, but the subject took each day such amounts of the above foods as his appetite craved. The daily average in grammes was, proteid 44.9 (1.58 ounces), fats 38.0, carbohydrates 253.0, calories 1,606. The total intake of nitrogen per day was 7.19, while the output was 6.90. It may be asked, says Professor Chittenden, was this diet at all adequate for the needs of the body—sufficient for a man weighing 165 pounds? In reply, it may be said that the appetite was satisfied and that the subject had full freedom to take more food if he so desired. The body-weight remained practically constant and the nitrogen of the intake and output were not far apart. An important point is, can a man on such food be fit for physical work? Mr. Fletcher was placed under the guidance of Dr. W.G. Anderson, the director of the gymnasium of Yale University. Dr. Anderson reports that on the four last days of the experiment, in February, 1903, Mr. Fletcher was given the same kind of exercises as are given to the 'Varsity crew. They are drastic and fatiguing and cannot be done by beginners without soreness and pain resulting. They are of a character to tax the heart and lungs as well as to try the muscles of the limbs and trunk. "My conclusion, given in condensed form, is this: Mr. Fletcher performs this work with greater ease and with fewer noticeable bad results than any man of his age and condition I have ever worked with." "To appreciate the full significance of this report, it must be remembered," writes Professor Chittenden, "that Mr. Fletcher had for several months past taken practically no exercise other than that involved in daily walks about town." Sir Michael Forster had Mr. Fletcher and others under observation in his Cambridge laboratories, and in his report he remarks on the waste products of the bowel being not only greatly reduced in amount, as might be expected; but that they are also markedly changed in character, becoming odourless and inoffensive, and assuming a condition which suggests that the intestine is in a healthier and more aseptic condition than is the case under ordinary circumstances. If we can obtain sufficient nourishment, as Mr. Fletcher does, on half the usual quantity of food, we diminish by half the expenditure of energy required for digestion. By thorough mastication the succeeding digestive processes are more easily and completely performed. What is also of great importance is that there is not the danger of the blocking up of the lower intestines with a mass of incompletely digested and decomposing residue, to poison the whole body. Even where there is daily defaecation, there is often still this slowly shifting mass; the end portion only, being expelled at a time, one or more days after its proper period. All this improved condition of the digestive tract, leaves more vitality for use in other directions, a greater capacity for work and clearness of brain.

Professor R.H. Chittenden, in "Physiological Economy in Nutrition," writes:—"Our results, obtained with a great variety of subjects, justify the conviction that the minimum proteid requirements of the healthy man, under ordinary conditions of life, are far below the generally accepted dietary standards, and far below the amounts called for by the acquired taste of the generality of mankind. Body weight, health, strength, mental and physical vigour and endurance can be maintained with at least one-half of the proteid food ordinarily consumed."

From these and other considerations, we see that it is not only unnecessary, but inadvisable to diet ourselves according to any of the old standards, such as that of Voit, or even to any other standard, until they have been very thoroughly revised. We shall probably find that as the body becomes accustomed to simpler food, a smaller quantity of the food is necessary. The proportion of proteids to other constituents in all the ordinary, not over manfactured vegetable foods, such as are generally eaten, may be taken as sufficient. Several cookery books have been compiled in conformity with certain proteid standards and also with some more or less fanciful requirements; these give the quantities and kinds of food which it is imagined should be eaten each day. Theoretically, this should be calculated to accord with the weight, temperament, age and sex of the eater and the work he or she has to perform. The dietaries that we have seen have their proteid ratio placed unnecessarily high. This high proteid ratio can be got by the use of the pulses, but except in small quantities they are not generally admissible, and in some of the dietaries they are ruled out. The difficulty is got over by the liberal use of eggs, cheese and milk. To admit a necessity for these animal products is to show a weakness and want of confidence in the sufficiency of vegetable foods. Some of these cookery books are of use in sickness, especially as replacing those of the beef-tea, chicken-broth, jelly and arrowroot order. They provide a half-way stage between flesh and vegetable food, such as is palatable to those who have not quite overcome a yearning for flesh and stimulating foods. The liberal use of animal products is less likely to excite the prejudice of the ordinary medical practitioner or nurse. Possibly, also, a higher quantity of proteid may be required on first giving up flesh foods.

The Use of Salt.—One of the most remarkable habits of these times is the extensive use of common salt or sodium chloride. It is in all ordinary shop bread, in large quantity in a special and much advertised cereal food, even in a largely sold wheat flour, and often in pastry. It is added to nearly all savoury vegetable food, and many persons, not content, add still more at the time of eating. No dinner table is considered complete without one or more salt-cellars. Some take even threequarters of an ounce, or an ounce per day. The question is not, of course, whether salt is necessary or not, but whether there is a sufficient quantity already existing in our foods. Some allege that there is an essential difference between added salt and that natural to raw foods. That the former is inorganic, non-assimilable and even poisonous; whilst the latter is organised or in organic combination and nutritive. The writer is far from being convinced that there is a difference in food value. Some herbivorous animals are attracted by salt, but not the carnivora. This has been explained by the fact that potassium salts are characteristic of plants, whilst sodium chloride is the principal saline constituents of blood and of flesh. In their food, the herbivora take three or four times as much potash salts as the carnivora. Of course, the sodium chloride in the flesh of the herbivora and frugivora is obtained from the vegetable matter forming their food, and very few of them have the opportunity of obtaining it from salt-licks and mineral sources. They must have the power of storing up the sodium chloride from plants in sufficient quantity, whilst the potash salts pass away. There is no justification for saying that they are worse off by being deprived of salt. If the ape tribe can thrive without added salt why should not man? Bunge considers that a restriction to vegetable food causes a great desire for salt. Opposed to this, is the fact that certain tribes of negroes who cannot obtain salt, add to their vegetable food wood ashes or a preparation of wood ashes; this is chiefly potash. One preparation used in British Central Africa was found to contain about 21 per cent. of potassium chloride to only 0.5 per cent. of sodium chloride. It has been said that vegetarians consume more salt than those who take flesh food. We doubt this; we know of many vegetarians who have a strong objection to added salt, and have abstained from it for years. Some find that it predisposes to colds, causes skin irritation and other symptoms. At many vegetarian restaurants the food is exceedingly salty; the writer on this account cannot partake of their savoury dishes, except with displeasure. Nearly all who patronise these restaurants are accustomed to flesh foods, and it is their taste which has to be catered for. Flesh, and particularly blood, which of course, is in flesh, contains a considerable quantity of sodium chloride; and most flesh eaters are also in the habit of using the salt cellar. These people are accustomed to a stimulating diet, and have not a proper appreciation of the mildly flavoured unseasoned vegetable foods. Only those who have, for a time, discontinued the use of added salt, and lost any craving for it, can know how pleasant vegetables can be; even those vegetables which before were thought to be nearly tasteless, unless seasoned, are found to have very distinct flavours. It is then perceived, that there is a much greater variety in such foods than was previously imagined. It is commonly urged that salt and other condiments are necessary to make food palatable and to stimulate the digestive functions. We, on the contrary, say that condiments are the cause of much over-eating; and that if food cannot be eaten without them, it is a sign of disorganisation of the digestive system, and it is better to abstain from food until the appearance of a natural and healthy appetite. An excess of salt creates thirst and means more work for the kidneys in separating it from the blood prior to its expulsion. Even should it be admitted, that certain vegetables contain too little sodium salts, a very little salt added to such food would be sufficient; there is no excuse for the general use of it, and in such a great variety of foods. It is thought that some cases of inflammation of the kidneys originate in excessive salt eating; certain it is that patients suffering from the disease very soon improve, on being placed on a dietary free from added salt and also poor in naturally contained sodium and potassium salts. It is also possible to cause the swelling of the legs (oedema), to which such invalids are subject, to disappear and reappear at will, by withdrawing and afterwards resuming salt-containing foods. The quantity of one-third of an ounce, added to the usual diet, has after a continuation of several days, produced oedema. In one patient, on a diet of nearly two pounds of potatoes, with flesh, but without added salt, the oedemia disappeared and the albumin in the urine diminished. As potatoes are particularly rich in potash salts, this case is significant, as showing contrary to expectations, that such quantity as they contained had not the irritating effect of added common salt. Salt and other chlorides have been shown by several observers, to be injurious, not only in diseases of the kidneys, but also of the liver and heart. In these diseases the excess of salt is retained in the tissues, it causes a flow of fluid into them, and so produces oedema and favours the increase of dropsy. The good effect of milk in such diseases has long been known; it is probably due to its relative poverty in sodium and potassium chlorides. Even in the case of three healthy men, by an abrupt change from a diet extremely rich in chlorides to one deficient, they were able to reduce the body-weight by as much as two kilos. (4 lbs. 6 oz.); this was by the loss of an excess of water from their connective tissues. Sodium chloride diminishes the solvent action of water on uric acid and the urates; but potassium salts, on the contrary, do not, they may even increase the action. Although nearly all the medical experience recorded has to do with diseased persons, such cases are instructive; it is only reasonable to suppose, that more than a very small quantity of salt in excess of that natural to the food, is a source of irritation in the body, even of the ordinarily healthy individual.

Summary.—Enjoyment of food is dependent upon appetite quite as much as upon the nature of the food. Better a simple repast with good appetite than sumptuous fare with bad digestion. There is indeed a causal relationship between simplicity and health. The savage likes the noise of the tom-tom or the clatter of wooden instruments: what a contrast this is to the trained ear of the musician. Uncivilised man has little enjoyment of scenery or of animal life, except as in respect to their power of providing him with food, clothing or other physical gratification. What an enormous advance has taken place. In the case of the painter, his eye and mind can appreciate a wide range and delicacy of colour. Man has improved on the crab-apple and the wild strawberry. From a wild grass he has produced the large-grained nutritious wheat. Vegetables of all kinds have been greatly improved by long continued cultivation. In tropical and sub-tropical climates, where wild fruits are more plentiful, high cultivation is of less importance than in temperate regions. In sparsely inhabited or wild, temperate and cold regions, in times past, when deer and other animals were plentiful, and edible fruits few, flesh could be obtained at less labour; or such intelligence and industry as is required for the cultivation of fruits, cereals, and other foods scarcely existed. Flesh almost requires to be cooked to be palatable, certainly this much improves its flavour. The eating of flesh tends to produce a distaste for mild vegetable foods, especially if uncooked. In process of time, not only flesh but vegetable foods, were more and more subjected to cooking and seasoning, or mixed with the flesh, blood or viscera of the animals killed. Next, food was manufactured to produce a still greater variety, to increase the flavour, or less frequently to produce an imagined greater digestibility or nutritiveness. Man has taken that which seemed most agreeable, rarely has he been intentionally guided by scientific principles, by that which is really best. Only of late years can it be said that there is such a thing as a science of dietetics; although cookery books innumerable have abounded. Of recent years many diseases have enormously increased, some even seem to be new. Digestive disturbances, dental caries, appendicitis, gout, rheumatism, diabetes, nervous complaints, heart disease, baldness and a host of other diseases are due, in a great measure, to abuse of food. One of the most learned and original of scientific men, Professor Elie Metchnikoff, in his remarkable book on "The Nature of Man," referring to the variety of food and its complexity of preparation says that it "militates against physiological old age and that the simpler food of the uncivilised races is better.... Most of the complicated dishes provided in the homes, hotels and restaurants of the rich, stimulate the organs of digestion and secretion in a harmful way. It would be true progress to abandon modern cuisine and to go back to the simpler dishes of our ancestors." A few have lived to a hundred years, and physiologists, including Metchnikoff, see no inherent reason why all men, apart from accident, should not do so. Most men are old at 70, some even at 60; if we could add 20 or 30 years to our lives, what an immense gain it would be. Instead of a man being in his prime, a useful member of the community, from about 25 to 60 or perhaps to 70; he would have the same physical and mental vigour to 80 or 90 or even longer. This later period would be the most valuable part of his life, as he would be using and adding to the accumulated experience and knowledge of the earlier period.

Some, perceiving the mischief wrought by luxurious habits, urge us to go back to nature, to eat natural food. This is ambiguous. To speak of animals as being in a state of nature, conveys the distinct idea of their living according to their own instinct and reason, uninterfered with, in any way, by man. The phrase, applied to man, is either meaningless, or has a meaning varying with the views of each speaker. If it has any definite meaning, it must surely be the giving way to the animal impulses and instincts; to cast off all the artifices of civilisation, to give up all that the arts and sciences have done for man, all that he has acquired with enormous labour, through countless failures and successes, during hundreds of thousands of years, and to fall back to the lowest savagery—even the savages known to us use art in fashioning their arms, clothing and shelter, to the time when man was a mere animal. Civilised man is not only an animal, but an intellectual and spiritual being, and it is as natural for him to clothe himself as for a cow to eat grass. Our intellect has been made to wait on our animal nature, whilst our spiritual has lagged far behind. Animal food and all else of a stimulating character, stimulates the lower nature of man, his selfish propensities; whilst mild food makes it easier to lead a pure life. In the treatment of habitual drunkards in retreats, it has been found that a permanent cure is rare upon the usual abundant flesh dietary. Only by the use of vegetable food, particularly farinaceous, can a permanent cure be assured. The editor of the Clarion, Mr. R. Blatchford, or "Nunquam," has lately adopted a vegetarian diet. He remarks with surprise, that although he has been a heavy smoker for more than 30 years, using not less than eight ounces of tobacco a week, often two ounces in a day, he has found his passion for tobacco nearly gone. He has had to get milder tobacco, and is now not smoking half-an-ounce a day. He says "it does not taste the same; I am not nearly so fond of it." He finds, with regard to wine, that he now cannot drink it, "it tastes like physic." He writes: "These things have come upon me as a revelation. I begin to see that the great cure for the evil of national intemperance is not teetotal propaganda, but vegetarianism."

We have given reasons of a scientific character, for abstaining from flesh as food, but higher than these are those relating to ethics. Everything relating to the slaughter-house is revolting to a refined and humane person. In the great slaughter-houses of Chicago; in those huge hideous box-shaped buildings, five or six storeys high, about ten millions of animals are killed every year. They are treated as if they were bales of merchandise and as destitute of feeling. Bullocks are struck on the head with a mallet and let fall into the basement of the building. They are whilst stunned or half-stunned, at once strung up by their hind legs to some machinery, which moves them along, their heads hanging downwards. Regardless of their agony, men run after them to cut their throats, followed by others with great pails to catch the blood. Much of the warm blood is spilt over the men or on the floors; but this is of no consequence, if but a small fraction of a minute is economised. In a short time, whether the animal has bled long enough or not, it reaches the lowest and darkest and worst ventilated portion of the gloomy building, where it is disembowelled. The walls and floors are caked with blood, the place is filthy, there is no proper lavatory accommodation, everything both to eyes and nose is detestable. Even if the windows were kept clean, light could not penetrate into the centre of the buildings. Consequently a large part of the work is done by artificial light. Tuberculosis is prevalent amongst the workpeople living under such unsanitary conditions. Serious crime is much more common amongst them than amongst any other class.

We English-speaking people, who pride ourselves on our civilisation and religion; who call ourselves the followers of the gentle Jesus, the Prince of Peace; yet hunt, shoot, trap and torture animals for food sport and science. Our main reason for eating flesh is that of personal gratification. We are loath to admit that the lower animals have any rights. Those Eastern peoples who are adherents to the teachings of the gentle Buddha hold life sacred. Mr. H. Fielding, who lived many years amongst the simple-minded Burmese, says that though there is now no law against the sale of beef, yet no respectable Burman will even now, kill cattle or sell beef. No life at all may be taken by him who keeps to Buddhistic teaching, and this is a commandment wonderfully well kept. "He believes that all that is beautiful in life is founded on compassion and kindness and sympathy—that nothing of great value can exist without them. Do you think that a Burmese boy would be allowed to birds'-nest or worry rats with a terrier, or go ferreting? Not so. These would be crimes. That this kindess and compassion for animals has very far-reaching results, no one can doubt. If you are kind to animals, you will be kind, too, to your fellow-men."

By participating in any form of cruelty or injustice, not only to our fellow-men, but also to the lower animals, we retard our progress towards the higher life, the subtler forces in man cannot find their full expression and we are less responsive to spiritual influences.

Printed by Hurst Bros., Shaw Heath, Stockport.

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'IT IS NATURE'S SOAP' Dr. Kirk (Edinburgh) M'Clinton's Colleen and Tyr-Owen Toilet Soaps are made from the natural salts of plants and vegetable oils only. They have therefore a mildness that no other soap possesses. The use of this soap prevents heat irritation insummer, and keeps the hands from chapping in cold weather. M'Clinton's Shaving Soap is also made from vegetable oils and the ash of plants, and is the only shaving soap so made. M'Clinton's Tooth Soap is free from the nauseous taste of caustic soda. It contains no animal or mineral matter. An ideal dentifrice. We guarantee these statements, and will return the money to anyone dissatisfied with the result of a trial. For 1/6 we will send, post paid, a large assorted box, say with Shaving soap (cake or stick), or Tooth soap as required. Also a pretty Enamelled Matchholder, representing a cottage fireside in this Irish village. (Dept. S.) D. BROWN & SON, Donaghmore, Tyrone, Ireland.

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EMPIRE LINEN MESH UNDERWEAR. A CONTRAST. EMPIRE LINEN MESH UNDERWEAR WOOLLEN UNDERWEAR Is a clean vegetable product Is an animal product and cannot be properly cleansed Preserves the Natural heat of the Creates unnatural heat body Is porous and open, allowing the Becomes felted and chokes the skin to breathe pores Absorbs moisture very rapidly Absorbs moisture very slowly Dries very rapidly Dries very slowly Radiates away all moisture from Retains the moisture of the body the pores Can be easily cleansed Cannot be boiled without destroying the fabric Hardens and strengthens the Enervates and enfeebles the system system Does not shrink in washing or wear Always shrinks Prevents chills and colds Encourages chills and colds Prevents and relieves Rheumatism Promotes Rheumatism and similar diseases Does not irritate the most Causes Rash and other skin sensitive skin troubles Cures and prevents prickly heat Irritates all skin diseases "They shall be clothed with Linen "And no wool shall come upon garments." Ezekiel 44.17 them." Ezekiel 44.17 "But Flax, that cleanest and best "For wool the excretion of a production of the field, is used sluggish body taken from not only for the inner and outer sheep." &c. Apuleius clothing," Apuleius "I go woolward for penance." "They'll find linen enough." Shakespeare Shakespeare Booklets telling all about this underwear, together with patterns of materials can be had free. The IRISH LINEN MESH CO., Cathedral Buildings, Belfast.


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