Over the past year, I’ve been delving into books on healthy lifestyle, mainly those concerning whole foods. A few months ago, I became acquainted with the writings of Alfred Watterson McCann (1879-1931). His books are now in public domain, available for free download in various formats at one of my favorite sites, Archive.org. (Although read with no problem on computer, many Archive.org pdfs don’t render well in the Nook. Converting files as optimized in Acrobat Writer solves this image problem.)
After prolonged illness in his late teens defied medicine, McCann recovered through a changed diet. This began his interest in whole foods. Shortly after, he was mentored two years by a university chemistry professor. Later, as amateur, McCann studied biochemistry and chemistry of foods but found hardly anything on this subject. While employed in food industry advertising, he gained much insight and connections with authoritative sources, which supplied information he was seeking. He would discover that the road to people’s well-being and nutrition was barricaded by the greed of food industry and political leaders. Sound familiar??
Earlier this month, I began reading his WWI-era book, The Science of Eating: How to Insure Stamina, Endurance, Vigor, Strength and Health in Infancy, Youth and Age. Now I’ve just started his 1912 book Starving America. It’s amazing how, despite being written 100 years ago, hardly much has changed.
With exception of his disdain of raw milk, I agree with his other points. Of course, 100 years ago milk was subject to unsanitary containers and storage. Also, the majority of raw milk distributors (as well as pasteurized milk distributors) housed their cows in cramped conditions with poor feed. Diseased milk cows were common, especially in big cities, causing sickness or even death to those who drank milk. The only solution was pasteurization by boiling. Today, (pasteurized) organic and raw milk are closely monitored from unsanitary conditions. I drink both organic and raw, which, in my opinion, are more sanitary than cheaper non-organic pasteurized milk. That is, if properly stored once it’s brought home.
It’s not just the Chinese with yin-yang belief. McCann, writing from a Christian prospective, gives Scripture that undermines how health relies on Nature’s balance. And when that balance is disrupted by denatured foods, illness—even death—may result.