Here is a story which proves that a little of what you fancy does not do you good. The story is told of the German battleship Kronprinz Wilhelm which was forced to seek a neutral port after raiding the seas for eight months. She had successfully eluded the British and French fleets, but she was finally brought to shore by an unseen enemy.
Before dropping anchor at Newport U.S.A. she lost 110 of her crew. Each day two or more of her crew would fall prostrate on the deck, hit by this unseen enemy. When the ship dropped anchor she was boarded by eminent health officers and physicians to hold consultation over what had happened. All these experts were at a loss to explain what happened, as was the ship’s doctor. All the provision rooms, cabins and saloons were packed with food and stores she had taken from French and British merchantmen before sinking them. She had also sighted a Norwegian ship carrying a cargo of whole wheat, but as she was loaded with food she sent this to the bottom of the sea.
Not a bushel of whole wheat was transferred to the German ship. Eighteen days later a new supply of red meat, ham, butter, white flour and canned vegetables were seized from a French passenger ship. The ship’s doctor noticed that some of the crew were complaining of swollen ankles and pains in the nerves below the knees, but even after they seized all the butter, lard and white flour, each fifty of the crew were reported to be acting queerly. A few days later she seized another British ship, took the coca, white flour, butter, canned vegetables and sent the whole wheat to the bottom of the sea.
Now alarming conditions began to develop: paralysis, dilated heart, atrophy of muscles, and pain on pressure of nerves with anemia. Fifty of the men could not stand on their feet. They then knew they would have 500 dead bodies, so they made for the nearest port. Medicine appeared to be of no avail. However, one man, Alfred W. McCann of the New York Globe, a former deputy health commissioner, who for years had waged war on food adulteration, and on all kinds of bleached, coloured, sifted, denatured, degerminated and chemically treated food.
This man had given study to the cause of malnutrition in the States. As soon as he heard of this battleship he knew what was wrong and what would cure it. He had to resort to strategy and presented the card of a celebrated New York physician to the officer in charge. The effect was, magical, for as soon as he was on board, the whole situation changed. The first thing was recourse to the very food stuff which the Germans had discarded. He ordered 100 pounds of wheat bran, leached for twelve hours at 120degrees F in 200 lbs. of water.
Of the liquor from this, each man was given eight ounces each morning and evening. They were fed generous quantities of soup made from cabbage, carrots, parsnips, spinach, onion and turnips boiled together for two hours, and eaten with unbuttered whole wheat bread. Potatoes underwent a similar but still more rigorous procedure. After washing and peeling the skins were retained and pulp thrown away. Again only, the liquor part was used and given as drink. Each man was— given yolk of an egg every three hours in fresh unskimmed, milk.
One hour before the eggs were given, juice of ripe oranges and lemons diluted with water without sugar, was taken. Apples raw or stewed, were kept within reach of each man at all times. He excluded rigorously all cheese, white of egg, lard, fat, white bread, crackers, pastry, gravy, polished rice, pearl barley and degerminated corn meal. This was one of the greatest achievements of World War 1. Note that the doctors and experts at the time did not know what to do about the situation. They wanted to keep the layman out of the picture.
All that the layman did was to alter the diet to wholesome fresh foods, which not only solved the problem, but saved the lives of these men. These same foods are within the reach of all of us.
Within ten days, forty-seven men were advanced towards full recovery.
Here’s another by Mrs. MacDormand titled, “Denmark on Verge of Disaster”
1917 found Denmark on the verge of a national disaster. In order to stop every possible hole through which food could be brought into Germany, the allied powers included Denmark in the German food blockade. She was deprived of her 1500 million kg of rye, wheat maize and oil cake she depended upon for her maintenance. On top of this a severe drought deprived Denmark of 300 million kg of her normal crop, leaving only 800 kg. for her population. It was less than one third of the amount required to feed her people. In this desperate situation, Dr. Hindhed, who was superintendent of the state Institute for Food Research in Copenhagen, was appointed food dictator.
To Dr. Hindhed was left the solution of this grave problem. The Doctor was aware of two valuable facts: (1) that man could subsist with great advantage on about one third of the proteins he generally consumed: (2) that in bran, nearly nine-tenths of the food value of cereal, or grain stuff was denied human beings and given to cattle and pigs. Instead of reducing two-thirds of the population of Denmark to starvation, he ordered four-fifth of the pigs to be slaughtered and reserved their food of bran, potato peels and grain stuff for the people.
In addition, he reduced the number of cattle by 34% and withheld the wheat bran from the cows. The only bread allowed was coarse rye bread, in which was incorporated not only all the rye bran, but in addition 12 to 15% of wheat bran. It was the coarsest bread ever seen, but it worked. The results to the health of the community on this extreme spartan diet was striking indeed. The first year, October 1917, to October 1918, the mortality rate fell 17% which was the lowest death rate ever seen in any country. (Courtesy “The Way of Life”)