Food and Longevity
( Originally Published 1930's )
Frequently, all the world marvels at the report of some individual reaching the age of one hundred years or more. Newspapers write columns about anyone who attains a few years above that mark. In all such reports the centenarian is asked the formula for long life.
Never have the aged presented an actual formula. One individual will claim total abstinence as the reason for long life. Another will state that a little nip every day has helped to reach the coveted mark. Chewing tobacco is the reason given by some; not chewing by others. Plenty of plain food and hard work and regular rest gets a great share of attention from some of the aged. The latter group of reports is more nearly correct. Yet, never do these reporting present a formula, because they can not make a statistical record of what and how they have eaten.
The actual formula for longevity is correct eating. The tragedy of the situation is that all cases are accidental. Here and there, a man or woman has, what we may call a natural born appetite; a selective taste which conforms to the needs of the chemical laboratory, the digestive system. These people do not stop to note their manner of eating; they could not tell you what menus to follow because they never considered their long life due to the food they eat. Even as Methuselah, they ate, lived, and died; unconscious of the blessing of a perfect appetite, a selective tongue, if you will.
Even medical science states that longevity is apparently heriditary, for people of the same family are mostly long lived people. Heretofore, the environment faction has had little to say. The heredity faction always had a little the better of the argument of long life. Yet they are wrong.
The reason the people of the same family live a long number of years is entirely due to environment. But it is food environment; the selection rather than the preparation of food. One of these naturally endowed tastes is a priceless possession to a person who prepares a variety of meals. Let us say it is Mrs. John Jones, a good variety cook; a conscientious Mother. She lives to be ninety years old. She is the one who cooks, and feeds her children the same variety of food that she, herself, eats. One boy lives to be ninety-three, another eighty-nine, and a girl eighty-three ; not because their Mother lived to be ninety, but because they acquired their appetite at their Mother's table.
There was another girl in the Jones family, but she died at sixty-four. She married a man named Charley Brown. Charley liked his bread, meat, and potatoes; cared little for vegetables, salads and fruits. The Jones girl loved her Charley and tried to please him. She always cooked what he liked. Naturally, she ate the same type food he did; did not feel like cooking special dishes for herself. That is why she died at sixty-four, and had put Charley away two years before. Moral; if you are one of the Jones girls, cook to suit yourself and make Charley like it. You will both live longer.
Insurance Companies' report that human life has an average expectancy greater today than fifty years ago. But, they are careful to keep premiums up to a standard but a little lower than a hundred years ago. The reason for premiums not being one-half what they were fifty years ago is that life expectancy is based upon the average years of all individuals, including babies. In this age, medical prevention 'preserves the life of the infant to increase the average age of all. It is not a fact, therefore, that men and women live to a greater age, per se, than their ancestors. The fact is; many men and women of affairs, today, are dropping off at forty-seven to sixty-three, while their grandparents did not lose their teeth until they were seventy and lived into their eighties.
Why should people fold up their tent and prepare to take a journey over the river Styx before their allotted time of three score and ten? Too many people consider the Biblical, "if by reason of good living", just a moral question. Few, if any, stop to consider that it could mean the proper eating to conform to the needs of the body, and not to the tongue's taste.
If intelligent medical prevention can prevent the death of babies and thus increase the average of human life, why not intelligent instruction in chemical eating to preserve adult life?
The variety eater, who accidently eats his food in such manner as to maintain the alkali balance of the body, lives longer than the selective starch and albumen eater. Why? Because foods which always leave an acid ash at the end product of digestion, can not help but create an acid condition. This results in a gaseous distention of the colon and a final reckoning with the nerves of digestion and body maintenance.
The intelligent individual who eats a variety of food, corresponding to the chemical needs of the body, can increase life by one half to a full score of years, and will escape many belly aches in so doing.