Disclaimer: A sentence which attempts to prove that people can utilize "colloidal" minerals from the ground as body-building substances apparently has been inserted in popular versions of this document.  Thought to be planted by hucksters of "liquid minerals," it is not included here. 

 

MODERN MIRACLE MEN
An Article by Rex Beach Entitled “Modern Miracle Men”, relating to proper food mineral balances by Dr. Charles Northen, reprinted from Cosmopolitan, June 1936 74th Congress, 2d session, Senate Document no. 264

Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the depleted soils from which our foods come are brought into proper mineral balance.

The alarming fact is that foods - fruits and vegetables and grains - now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed minerals, are starving us - no matter how much of them we eat !

This talk about minerals is novel and quite startling. In fact, a realization of the importance of minerals in food is so new that the textbooks on nutritional dietetics contain very little about it. Nevertheless, it is something that concerns all of us, and the further we delve into it the more startling it becomes.

You’d think, wouldn’t you, that a carrot is a carrot - that one is about as good as another as far as nourishment is concerned ? But it isn’t; one carrot may look and taste like another and yet be lacking in the particular mineral element which our system requires and which carrots are supposed to contain. Laboratory tests prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs, and even the milk and the meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago.

No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health, because his stomach isn’t big enough to hold them! And we are running to big stomachs.

No longer does a balanced and fully nourishing diet consist merely of so many calories or certain vitamins or a fixed proportion of starches, proteins, and carbohydrates. We now know that it must contain, in addition, something like a score of mineral salts.

It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99 percent of the American people are deficient in these minerals, and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease. Any upset of the balance, any considerable lack of one or another element, however microscopic the body requirements may be, and we sicken, suffer, shorten our lives.

This discovery is one of the latest and most important contributions of science to the problem of human health.

So far as the records go, the first man in this field of research, the first to demonstrate that most human foods of our day are poor in minerals and that their proportions are not balanced, was Dr. Charles Northen, an Alabama physician. His discoveries and achievements are of enormous importance to mankind.

Following a wide experience in general practice, Dr. Northen specialized in stomach diseases and nutritional disorders. Later, he moved to New York and made extensive studies along this line, in conjunction with a famous French scientist from the Sorbonne. In the course of that work he convinced himself that there was little authentic, definite information on the chemistry of foods, and that no dependence could be placed on existing data.

He asked himself how foods could be used intelligently in the treatment of disease, when they differed so widely in content. The answer seemed to be that they could not be used intelligently. In establishing the fact that serious deficiencies existed and in searching out the reasons therefor, he made an extensive study of the soil. It was he who first voiced the surprising assertion that we must make soil building the basis of food building in order to accomplish human building. 

“Bear in mind,” says Dr. Northen, “that minerals are vital to human metabolism and health - and that no plant or animal can appropriate to itself any mineral which is not present in the soil upon which it feeds.”