When I was reading The Shangri-La Diet I remembered a health food advocate I had read when I was in high school. Her name was Adele Davis and she was a huge influence on my lifelong interest in the perils of totalitarian agriculture. Today I looked her up on wikipedia and she was quite an interesting person.
Daisie Adelle Davis (1904-1974), popularly known as Adelle Davis, was an American pioneer in the fledgling field of nutrition during the mid-20th century. She was an outspoken advocate of the superior value of whole unprocessed foods, the dangers of food additives, and the dominant role that all nutrients play in maintaining health, preventing disease, and restoring health after the onset of disease:
"Research shows that diseases of almost every variety can be produced by an under-supply of various combinations of nutrients... [and] can be corrected when all nutrients are supplied, provided irreparable damage has not been done; and, still better, that these diseases can be prevented."
Davis is best known as the author of a series of educational books published in the United States between 1947 and 1965. One of her books, Let's Have Healthy Children (Signet 1981, revised edition) states that Davis prepared individual diets for more than 20,000 people who came to her or were referred to her by physicians during her years as a consultant. She was also well known for her scathing criticism of the food industry in the United States. In the early 1970s, she addressed the ninth annual convention of the "International Association of Cancer Victims and Friends" at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. After citing US Department of Agriculture statistics about tens of millions of people in the United States suffering from afflictions such as arthritis, allergies, heart disease, and cancer, she stated, "This is what's happening to us, to America, because there is a $125 billion food industry who cares nothing about health".
Some members of the scientific and medical communities criticized and discredited her published works during her lifetime, but ongoing medical and nutritional research has corroborated much of her nutritional guidelines of yesteryear, and brought her a measure of posthumous acclaim.
I had also heard that Davis had taken LSD, but I didn't know she had written a book about her experiences and it was published under a pen name. I wrote about LSD, mental health and nutrition on this blog before click here so I found the following from Amazon really cool:
It is Dunlap/Davis' opinion that her state of spiritual poverty and lack of meaning in life pervades the condition of people in western culture. The pathos in discovering this fact is that dangerous mind-affecting drugs are resorted to in an effort to fill the spiritual void. She provides a fascinating testimony, vividly describing her personal experience with LSD. Her statement explicitly gives the reason why many Americans have become drug users:
"People naturally want to know why I wished to take LSD. The fact that related substances were used for religions purposes interested me profoundly, and I had heard that LSD experiences were often deeply spiritual. For many years it has seemed to me that, before any of its can have truly fulfilling lives, we must develop intelleettally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Intellectual and physical development are tremendously stressed in our culture, perhaps overstressed. Emotional and spiritual development, I feel, are both neglected and underestimated. Through several years of painful but glorious psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, I have done considerable maturing emotionally arid laid the foundation for further emotional growth, Intellectually I could have done better but also worse . . . When it came to spiritual attainment, my development was so pitifully inadequate that I sometimes felt consumed with an empty yearning. "Although growth means constant change and development, my belief in God and feelings about Him stayed much the same year after year except that I discarded my concepts of heaven and hell. In short, I was in a spiritual rut; furthermore I had no idea how to get out of it. Frankly I feel that I had a great deal of company and that rut was really quite crowded. For these reasons, when filling out a questionnaire which asked, 'Why do you wish to take lysergic acid?' I wrote: 'In hope of overcoming spiritual poverty.' Another time I filled the blank with: 'To get chemical Christianity' " (Dunlap, 1961:12-14).