Excerpt from “Uncooked Foods and How To Use Them” by Eugene Christian
The true function of food is to supply material for growth, and for new tissue, to replace that worn out by effort. Things which do not serve these two purposes cannot be consistently classed as foods. On the contrary, they are exactly the opposite; for when they are taken into the body, they must be excreted at the expense of energy. These facts should be observed in the preparation of all materials used as food.
What we call life is but the ever-changing expression of organic matter. Just how it is created, how from the protoplasm or the tiniest molecule there comes the well- organized being—what strange change takes place when two atoms called germs are blended, to create a living thing, what ‘ gives it form, color and intelligence—all these things are as deeply buried in the realm of the unknown as they were a million years ago.
All we know is that all life must comply with certain natural laws in order to be free—for a man in the throes of disease is not free. He is a vassal, a slave. He is in bondage. He has himself fastened fetters on his flesh by his own foolishness—by disobeying nature’s laws.
Obedience to these laws will keep life in the line of evolution to higher and higher degrees of perfection till it reaches that zenith to which nature is ever striving to bring all she creates.
But if these laws are violated the process of evolution is interfered with, and the penalty is expressed by disease and death.
In the support and maintenance of life the first and most important thing is the substance upon which it feeds. Animals in their native state seem to put the proper appreciation upon foods. They instinctively reject that which is harmful—that which would interfere with nature’s process of evolution— and accept as food that which is good for them. Man does not act with such wisdom. Civilization has created for him artificial environments in the chaos of which his instincts have been lost.
The most important thing that can possibly engage the thoughts of mankind is how to build the human body, how to bring to their highest development all its faculties. This must depend upon something, must be made of something. That something is food.
It looks incredible indeed that the wisest, wealthiest and most philanthropic men the world has ever produced would spend great fortunes and many of the best years of their lives in erecting and perfecting such things as astronomical observatories, in creating instruments and delicate scales upon which the worlds are weighed and distances measured to the remotest planets, knowing full well that when all this magnificent array of knowledge was gained that it would be of no possible benefit to mankind except the mere satisfaction of knowing that it was known. It seems incredible that they would do all this, yet give absolutely no thought or attention to the selection of the material out of which the body and brain are made, upon which, therefore, men must depend for their health, their contentment and happiness; yes, even their ability to think out these intricate problems.
Man seems to have appropriated for food everything he could lay his hands on. His chief study and delight seems to have been the mixing and stirring together of all sorts of things, the combinations of which go on to infinity. No chemist in the world would dare risk his reputation upon an attempt to analyze an ordinary Thanksgiving dinner.
The only true function of food is the growth and support of life. The needs of the human body are very limited. All the nutritive elements it requires can be found in their purest form in less than half a dozen different articles, which in a natural and healthy being should be selected by the demands of the system expressed by hunger. There is therefore no reason for feeding upon the innumerable variety and endless and senseless mix-ups that are served upon the average table.
By long persistence in incorrect and unnatural habits of eating and drinking the body will seemingly adjust itself to false conditions. The argument is nearly always brought forth that “my foods taste good,” “they seem to agree with me,” “I am never sick,” etc., etc.
This appears convincing, but it is not even entitled to serious consideration, unless the other (natural) method has been also tried. Unnatural livers have no standard to measure from except their own. They know not what the result would have been had they lived naturally and correctly.
Mr. Gilman Low, of New York, who is in many respects, perhaps, the most perfect specimen of manhood in the world, thought the same thing, and argued the same way for many years. But he tried the new method of living. He decided to subsist entirely upon foods in their elementary condition, and to limit his bill of fare to a very few articles. As a result he lifted, in the presence of a party of friends, a few weeks ago, one million pounds in thirty-four minutes, lifting 1,000 pounds at a time. He possesses a kind of strength and endurance that is the marvel of the athletic world to-day.
He has the new standard to measure from. It takes experience to constitute an authority. It takes experience to convert theory into knowledge. Of all those who will oppose these methods, not one probably will speak from experience. Not one will possess an opinion that would be taken in a court of justice on any case involving a dollar bill.
Prof. Low is not a professional strong man. He is better known professionally as an Artist and Health Director and had sense enough and nerve enough to cease plodding on in the dusty pathway of others—but decided to try something new, because it appealed to his common sense.
Every faculty in our being conspires together to aid the body in conforming to the requirements of natural law. Foods in their natural or elementary state (that the taste will at first revolt against because it has never come in contact with them) will soon become extremely delicious and satisfying; so much so, that the appetite will demand no other. When this condition is attained foods begin to perform their natural functions. They delegate to the body all their latent powers and energies. They bring it to the highest degree of development of which it is capable. Language fails to describe the difference between the emaciated dyspeptic, who is fed on the so-called “fat of the land,” and the rugged, robust, red-blooded individual who subsists entirely upon nature’s unchanged, elementary foods.