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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 9. June 7, 1939

How Diseases Arise

How Diseases Arise.

Naturopaths are loud in their advocacy of natural foods, because they contain "life forces," which the science of nutrition is now defining in terms of minerals and vitamins. Call them what you like, the fact remains that only the freshest of foods, whether they be fruits, vegetables, milk, flesh or grain foods have their maximum quota of these life-giving elements. Naturopaths are quite right in their insistence on natural, unrefined foods, because when nutrition experts calculate the amount of certain foods necessary to supply adequate amounts of vitamins, they are appalled to find that. unless all food is extremely fresh and unrefined, the dietary will certainly be deficient in one or other of the food necessities. Small deficiency over many years lead as inevitably to disease or break-down of the body, as the leaving out of an essential building material leads to the crumbling of a building in time. No builder would construct a building without nails, yet so many New Zealanders try to build bodies without minerals and vitamins.

Returning now to the food consumption of New Zealand, it can be asked whether the major foods of New Zealand are the ones which contain the minerals and vitamins?

According to the official figures already quoted (which are the most reliable information available at the moment) New Zealanders live on red meat, butter, cane sugar, white bread, cakes, biscuits and potatoes. Yet among the protein foods, red meat is perhaps the most deficient and among the cereal foods, white flour products are the most devitalized. Cane sugar, whether it be white or brown, is practically nothing; but sugar and is useless except as an energy producer. Potatoes which have been peeled, boiled and mashed, are also robbed of their vital elements, so is it any wonder that New Zealand is unhealthy? is it any wonder that Crawford Somerset found 45 per cent, malnutrition among the school-children of Oxford (Canterbury), when their mothers food them on little but meat, potatoes, rakes and strong tea?