Our Experiences During the War Years Our own experiences during those fateful years were also illuminating. Most of us still remember the long queues in front of meat shops, and the disappointments of many of our people when they were unable to obtain a sufficient supply of meat for their table. Owing to its high cost, many persons were forced to go without meat altogether, while those who could afford the high prices were able to purchase only small quantities of it. Yet, none were any the worse off.
It was during those years that our government as well as many of our scientists pointed out that the protein we need for complete nourishment could be obtained from foods other than meat, and that we could be well nourished even if meat were completely omitted from our diet. The Journal of the American Medical Association declared: Dietary protein derived in proportions of one half to two thirds from plant origin is entirely adequate in quality to meet all protein needs for normal growth, development, reproduction, and lactation.4
Howard B. Lewis of the Department of Biological Chemistry, Medical School, University of Michigan, in the September 18, 1948 issue of the Journal stated that both animal and vegetable foodstuffs are good sources of protein, provided that they supply adequate amounts of the essential amino acids.
This is in line with a statement by Dr. Theodore R. Van Dellen, who at an earlier date wrote that since the substances in meat are not superior to those of milk, eggs, and cheese, we do not need to worry as long as dairy products are available.5
It was during those years that the so-called Oxford experiments were released proving that a diet containing fifty grams of protein provides ample protein, and that of this amount only 10 to 15 per cent of the so-called complete protein, obtainable in meat, eggs, cheese, on. milk, was necessary.
A fact often overlooked is that the green leafy vegetables such as spinach, green peas, string beans, kale, broccoli, supply the finest type of complete protein, although not in concentrated form. Our lowly potato also offers a fine type of easily digestible protein, although in small quantities.
While the protein foods are the tissue-building materials and, therefore, essential to life, an excess can easily cause a great deal of harm. Protein is essential for growth and for replenishment of the worn-out tissues. Adults need it primarily to replace wear and tear. White starches and sugars can be stored up in the body in the form of fat, our body is not equipped to store up protein. It can use only what it needs and the excess must be eliminated. Most of it is eliminated through the colon where, when the intake is excessive, it undergoes putrefactive changes and is capable of creating a host of harmful waste products.
Bogomoletz was right when he stated that, if meat is used, it should be used sparingly. He wrote: Although meat is predominantly protein foodstuff, it is also responsible for the formation of waste products that are not only unwholesome but even harmful, when functions of the liver and kidneys are impaired.6 Lautman, too, pointed out that meat gives rise to harmful waste products. In his discussion of meat soups and beef broths, he stated: Soup is actually a concentrated essence of meat, low in protein substance, but rich in extractives. Since it contains only those elements of the meat which are supposed to be harmful, without retaining any of the qualities of the protein, soup as a regular article of diet would not be especially helpful.7 That a nonmeat regimen can do much to protect us against heart and blood vessel diseases has been confirmed only recently. A cross-country study conducted by Dr. Richard Walden, Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at the College of Medical Evangelists, in cooperation with Dr. Louis Shaefer of Mt. Sinai Hospital of New York, Dr. Frank R. Lemon of the College of Medical Evangelists, Dr. Abraham Sunshine of New York University, and Dr. Ernest L. Wynder of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, among Seventh-Day Adventists, many of whom follow a vegetarian diet and abstain from the use of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, and coffee, disclosed that the blood cholesterol levels could be lowered drastically within two weeks by taking a special diet.
Seventh-Day Adventists as a group show 40 per cent less heart and blood vessel diseases than the general public, and the research workers participating in this study are convinced that the meatless regimen followed by these people has much to do with it.
Nevertheless, we applaud Dr. Walden for stating that other factors‚ tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and possibly stress‚ obviously must also be investigated to complete this jj The Prolongation of Life. part of the picture.8 The Journal of the American Medical Association, June 3, 1961, also called attention to the fact that a vegetarian or nonmeat regimen can do much to protect us against the diseases of the heart and blood vessels. In an editorial entitled Diet and Stress in Vascular Disease, it quotes Dr. W. A. Thomas et al., who in a report published in the January i960 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology pointed out that after comparing thromboembolic disease in Negroes in St. Louis and in Uganda, they came to the conclusion that a vegetarian diet can prevent 90 per cent of our thromboembolic disease and 97 per cent of our coronary occlusions.