Read more from the Being Truly Human September 2006 Newsletter
Phiroz Mehta wrote four chapters of The Health Cookery Book, probably in the early years after the Second World War. He seemed to have intended it for publication, but it does not appear ever to have been printed
Continued from part 1
Whilst scientific facts must be well borne in mind, all fads and fancies, speaking generally, are best avoided. But sometimes, they must be indulged. For if you are not happy when you eat, you cannot extract the full value out of even the most scientifically prepared food. All rules must be generally followed, and occasionally broken — with discretion — in order to get the best out of life.
All foods are good foods, and you can eat whatever you like, provided you will observe certain principles first, and take your liberties — in moderation — afterwards.
First, remember the two main purposes of food:
The first is a question of assimilation; the second, of elimination. It is the problem of elimination which is sadly neglected, whereas you will find everyone over-anxious about nourishment. Most of us are over-nourished; we eat too much food and that of the nourishing kind rather than the cleansing kind. When we take too much food, it is the food which eats us up rather than we who eat the food! That is why so many people have quite the wrong appearance, instead of being strong and full of vitality.
Nature has made ample provision to nourish us. It is our duty to attend to the cleaning job by choosing the right foods.
We have to balance the nourishing and elimination foods. Here is a list of each kind for general purposes:
You will notice that foods like wheat and oats perform both functions fairly equally, because of the “roughage” they contain. This roughage acts like a broom sweeping the intestines clean.
Here is an important classification which you should always follow carefully:
Under normal circumstances, children should not be given any artificial preparations, patent bodybuilding foods, and certainly no tea, coffee, chocolate, sugar, sweets and candies, or any preserves, - in short any foods which are deprived of their natural vitamins and mineral salts, or tampered with and spoilt by man. For infants, no food equals mother’s milk. Not only physically, but also psychologically, it is essential for the infant to have its own mother’s milk till weaned. If it does not, it always suffers from some disability or defect in body and character when grown up to adult age. The mother of course must take good care that she is quite healthy and eats correctly, from well before pregnancy, onwards through all her remaining years. Only when she is unhealthy does it become necessary, unfortunately, to substitute foods other than mother’s milk for the infant.
It is wise to observe the following points when choosing foodstuffs, and when preparing them:
In connection with point (e) above, you should use:
As far as possible, do not eat the products entirely deficient in vitamins — “polished” rice, soda crackers, tapioca, starch, refined sugar, hydrogenated oils.
Also avoid milk heated twice, green vegetables cooked with soda, fruit or vegetables cooked for a long time, white flour, and egg substitutes.
The flesh formers, and repairers of tissue lost through muscular activity are the protein containing foods — principally eggs, cheese, meat, fish, beans, peas, and lentils. Man’s tendency through the centuries has been to overeat the proteins. The excess amount decomposes in the intestines, and gives rise to various ailments and diseases of a serious nature. The actual amount of protein necessary for the average adult is only about two or three ounces of the dry weight of the daily food — say roughly one-eighth of his total daily food. Instead of this, the usual amount, even today, in spite of great improvement in this direction, is nearly three times in excess — before the Great War it used to be seven times in excess of what it should be. Consequently there is an excess of uric acid in the system, and we have the high degree of prevalence of rheumatism and kindred complaints.
Meat or fish once a day, taken in moderate amounts is quite sufficient. Lean meat, cod and herring, and plain white fish are best. Of the meats, mutton, lamb, rabbit, veal, and reliable beef are best; of poultry, chicken is best. If you want to enjoy good health always, definitely avoid all high game, fish of the oyster and lobster variety, and all the meat dishes of the paté de fois gras and jugged hare type, and also the whole host of manufactured meat drinks. Take them if you like them — but remember you have to pay the price in terms of money and health. It is preferable also to avoid all forms of pig food, and all the insides of an animal: liver, kidneys, etc. Naturally, you may ask why? Well, the liver, like the kidneys, is a “filth filter” of the animal system. One of the functions of the liver is to extract out of the circulating blood, and store up, all the unwanted matter present. Some of this matter is poisonous, and if allowed to circulate in the blood would kill the creature. Organs like the liver save life by acting like a filter, and holding these poisonous substances within them. If the liver continously does this and never gets a chance of being cleaned out itself, we get the various liver diseases — and they are rather terrible — and finally death. So why eat these filth filters which are sources of disease to ourselves? But on the other hand, in strict moderation, you can enjoy liver and kidneys and be lucky enough to suffer no consequences.
Continued in part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6
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