Your Probing Mind

By Dr. Virginia Vetrano

I heard that sunflower seeds must be regarded as a cereal product and that, although they contain good protein, etc., they really are not good Hygienic fare and should not be used very much. What is your opinion?

Although sunflower seeds are plant seeds, they are not grass seed. The chemical composition of cereal and sunflower seeds is quite different. Most cereals contain from 60-70% carbohydrate, 7-16% protein, approximately 7% fat and 1-3% mineral matter. The composition of sunflower seeds is 19.9% carbohydrates, 47.3% fats and 24% proteins. There is a higher percentage of protein in sunflower seeds than in cereals and a much lower percentage of carbohydrates. Sunflower seeds also contain more fat than ordinary cereals, thus making their composition more like nuts than cereal. They are very easily digested and should definitely be used in the Hygienic diet.

I have just read of the unhealthful effects of food packaged in plastic. Is plastic next to food truly detrimental to our health?

Yes. Foods, being composed of semi-solid materials and most of them containing acids, will have a tendency to absorb some of the poisonous chemicals from the plastic. Food that has been adjacent to plastic should not be eaten.

Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, chlorine, and sulphur are some of the common elements used in making plastics. The plastic chemist gets his elements from such substances as coal, petroleum, and cellulose from cotton fiber. Salt, air and water are also used. Fillers are added to the plastic resin before the finished product is made. Some fillers which are added are wood flour, cotton, asbestos, mica, and cold plasticizers are often added to make what would normally be a hard plastic into a soft pliable plastic. Coloring agents are also added. Transparent sheets of plastic are usually basically composed of formaldehyde and urea. If used with acid foods, the plastic tends to dissolve into the food and render it toxic. No fumes seem to exude from cold plastics. However, allergic dermatitis and other ailments are often developed in those working with the chemicals used in the manufacture of plastics.

The observation indicated by the question is quite true. Carnivorous animals can be fed vegetarian diets and thrive in excellent health as a result of the diet. The reason for this is that vegetable fare produces less wear and tear on the organs of purification and elimination than does animal fare. The kidneys, liver and digestive glands are worked less and the animal is better nourished by vegetables than when he is fed flesh and animal products, cooked and lacking in alkaline minerals.

When you place man on a diet for which he is not adapted, this places a stress on his organs of purification and elimination. As he has never adapted to the carnivorous diet, his liver is smaller than that of a carnivore and he cannot detoxify and purify the poisonous products inherent in flesh food as well as a carnivorous animal. His kidneys are also smaller and become diseased from the overwork caused by a diet too high in protein and toxic material incident to the consumption of flesh, eggs and other animal products.

Please comment on the current craze for high roughage foods, like eating bran every day.

Many years ago Graham and other health-minded pioneers emphasized the importance of whole foods, containing all of their natural bulk. It was their idea to teach people to eat unprocessed foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole wheat containing all its bran. Constipation, they said, stems from eating foods which have been robbed of their bulk by processing.

Commercial-minded citizens soon found a means of exploiting this idea. “Put some bran in your diet and ban constipation forever.” From then until now people have been prodding their bowels to action by using bran. This was not the idea behind Graham’s education. He was urging that the entire diet be changed and that it include the bulk of all natural unprocessed foods. He was not advocating fragmentation of foods.

Actually, using a lot of bran overworks the bowels, and it is totally unnecessary if one is on a natural diet containing all unprocessed and uncooked foods. Bowels will function as they should when foods natural to man’s digestive tract are eaten. The whole wheat berry contains the bran natural to it. The bran is the skin of the wheat. It should be taken in proportion to the wheat if wheat is eaten, not as a fragment of a part of the wheat.

Is the transparent skin covering each section of grapefruit and orange of any nutritional value? Should it be eaten?

The skin covering sections of an orange may be and should be eaten with the orange, but the skin of the grapefruit has a bitter quality, and the general Hygienic rule is that if a substance is bitter to the normal unperverted palate, then it usually has a toxic quality to it and should be shunned as food, even though it may contain minerals and vitamins. The blossom of the poppy plant, containing opium, also contains minerals and vitamins. Just as the animals in the wild rely on their taste buds to guide them to their natural food, so man must rely on his sense of taste. Instinctively we do not like bitter things and would shun them if we were not wrongly educated.


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