“Distinguished scientist and brilliant scholar, former Chairman of the Soils Department and a familiar name in the College of Agriculture, an important author visionary and humanitarian” An extraordinary ability to sort out the wheat from the chaff, and focus on the key issues including the need for adequate mineralisation of soils, not because of ideology, but because it matters to all living things that depend on the soil including humans, their crops and livestock. He commissioned very important research, and his book is full of thought provoking observations. He starkly predicted the consequences of export of minerals in crops to conurbations and other countries, on soils, plants, livestock and human health. Read More
Distinguish medical career in East Africa including the identification of Burkitt’s Lymphoma – Co-author of the highly significant edited collection of papers on the incidence of Western Disease in non westernised populations called ‘Western Diseases: their emergence and prevention‘ Read More
Naval surgeon Captain, Director of Medical Research, and author, who spent his life gathering evidence and developing arguments to support his grand hypothesis that a range of ‘modern’ diseases were caused by maladaptation to the foods and drinks containing refined carbohydrate including sugar. These diseases include obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, peptic ulcer, dental caries, constipation, appendicitis and varicose veins. Since they all had a common cause, he viewed them as a single master disease, the Saccharine Disease. His book of this name, published in 1974, sold many thousands of copies. Read More
From a farming background, with great powers of observation, strength of character and independence of thought, a trained agriculturalist with early experience in the West Indies, who observed and understood that plants, livestock, and so humans will not achieve their full potential without adequate nutrients including minerals. To that end, in addition to important breeding work, development of agricultural techniques that were applicable to the small farms of India, and development of packaging for shipping of produce, he spent many years ‘rediscovering’ optimising and recording his techniques for composting of all vegetable waste including human excrement. In common with McCarrison he was of the opinion that manure fertilised land was more productive than that fertilised by ‘artificials’. He is called the father of organic farming, but his natural farming was based on the ultimate premise that plants require nutrients, including minerals, to flourish, a fundamental facet often underplayed in the modern ‘organic’ farming campaigns, which often tend to primarily focus their activities against things artificial at the cost of losing focus on Howard’s central tenant, the centrality of nutrients, including wider organic matter, to plant so human and livestock health and fertility .
“Sir Albert Howard said F.H. King was “one of the most brilliant of the agricultural investigators of the last generation”, and that King’s book Farmers of Forty Centuries “should be prescribed as a textbook in every agricultural school and college in the world”. King’s truly thought provoking book, based on unbiased observation and a wish to learn, is a remarkable and unique record of Chinese agricultural and related practices at the turn of the 1900’s; all organic matter was recycled mainly through composting, so retaining soil quality including mineral content. They paid utmost attention to detailed crop husbandry, which with recycling of all organic material, and addition of material such as canal silt where available, allowed them to sustain large numbers of people in relative overall long term societal stability, sufficient to allow retention of technology and knowledge, over many generations on the same finite agricultural land area.
The McCarrsion Society was set up to honour the work of Sir Robert, who like the other visionaries listed here, had endless curiosity, an open mind, a desire to improve improve the human condition, and particularly in the field of health. In his early days with the Indian Medial Service, he worked for many years as the district doctor to the Hunza, which by highlighting health differences between similar population groups, sparked his curiosity. He spent much of his subsequent career looking for explanations as to these health differentials, and was drawn to dietary nutrients as likely significant factors in health differentials. He went on to set up the National Institute of Nutritional Research in India, where he did seminal original research, including into iodine and goitre. Some of the factors he identified are arguably under-appreciated even today, and deserving for further research. For example links between polyunsaturated lipids iodine and goitre, remain relatively unexplored to this day. He was passionate about trying to bring his research observations into practical use, including education of the ‘public’. As part of these aims he wrote a diet book for Indian School children, the proceeds of which were given to charity. On his return to the UK he was involved in the Peckham Experiment.
Mellanby, as assisted by his very able wife, is best known for his important work, in helping identify vitamin D, and quantifying its roles in the body. He with his wife conducted crucial work in the relevance of dietary vitamin D to rickets and tooth formation including in utero, as well as the interactions and effects of phytates on the mineralisation of bones and teeth. Mrs Mellanby conducted huge amounts of research into the state of the nations dental health, and impact of diet upon it, including the effects of vitamin D in improving tooth formation and significantly reducing decay. His research was extensive, including looking at the effects of whole versus refined wheat flours on wider health. He was an important member of the team, along with Sinclair, McCarrison and others, in formulating government nutritional advice and policy before and during WWII. Read More
Pottenger, who lost his mother to tuberculosis, appears to be another individual driven to do the very best by his patients, and to better understand the role of multiple factors including particularly diet in health. His work over 10 years on cats is unique, and emphasises that dietary deficiency leads to physical and behavioural degeneration, which worsens over generations; similar findings to those by Price and McCarrison. Pottenger showed that by feeding a good diets to cats over 4 or more generations, the effect of poor diet over several generations can in some cats be reversed, but not all cats responded, and still some health issues remained, which is highly thought provoking. He also sought to determine what effects diet had on long term human structure. Price and McCarrison were also intrigued by structural changes and their relationship with diet. Read More
‘Hugh Sinclair is probably the most original, possibly the greatest, living dietetic scientist. He taught me that we should never take anything for granted, and to be open to every alternative explanation for a given set of facts’. “Hugh appreciated two simple facts which many scientists, including many nutritionists, have forgotten. The first is that the deficiency of any nutrient which is essential for every tissue will eventually lead to abnormal function in every tissue. That is so incontrovertibly obvious that I am continually astonished by the eminence of the medical scientists to whom it must be forcefully restated. The second is that when deprivation of an essential nutrient occurs, not all tissues will be simultaneously and equally affected, and not all individuals will react in the same way. Which tissue shows symptoms first will depend on the genetic inheritance of the individual and on his or her exposure to environmental factors and lifestyle events. He was one of the first to recognise the internet importance of polyunsaturated fats. He advised the government in the second world war and afterwards was involved in trying to understand the effect of wartime famine in Europe.
“The most universal disease in the world is the decay of the teeth and unfortunately we have not known the cause until we have gone to the ‘primitive’ peoples to find how they prevent tooth decay. Our difficulty is that we are adding too much white flour and sugar and do not get enough of the foods that carry the minerals and vitamins. When the ‘primitive’ people adopt the food of modern civilisation their teeth decay just as as ours do . . . I have spent several years studying the ‘primitive’ people in parts of the world and I have come as a missionary from them to the people of modern civilization and I beg of you to learn of their accumulated wisdom, and if you do you too can have strong healthy bodies without so much disease as we suffer from these days“ Weston’s Price’s records and observations consequent on comparing dental health equivalents groups worldwide on western as compared to non-western foods is unique invaluable and informative. His wider insights on loss of health due to degradation of foods including loss of minerals due to soil mining by crops mirror those of other members of this visionary group. Read More
“It was Dr Hugh Trowell who first used the term ‘Western Disease’ to refer to a pattern of illnesses which he saw essentially as man-made, and caused above all by modem technology, creating a food supply in Britain and other Western countries heavy in fats and sugars, poor in fibre and many nutrients that are a natural part of whole food.” “Dr Trowell worked in East Africa for over thirty years, and his experience taught him that many of the most common causes of death and disability in Western countries are rare or even non-existent among country people in Africa, many of whom live to a ripe, healthy old age.” He co-edited the important book “Western Disease their emergence and prevention” Read More
“Dr Yellowlees argues passionately for a return to sanity from the lunacy of fragmentation in agriculture, food manufacture and medical treatment of the ills these fragmentations produce, pleading for a return to the wholeness which leads to true health in soil, plant, animal and man.” A GP who applied the principles of McCarrison, Cleave and Sinclair in his advice to patients, including getting the local baker to produce a wholemeal loaf that became affectionately known as the ‘Doctors Loaf’. He also was a leading light in the McCarrison Society, wrote 3 books and spoke with incisive courage as to the issues as he saw them. Read More