Cute Kitties Prove, We Need To Change
Today, social media is filled with pictures of cute little kitties that receive thousands of thumbs up everyday. They are cats you will never see or hear of again. But once upon a time, there existed some cats that you should care about, and that should affect your everyday choices here and now. A big heart and thumbs up to cats that should have turned the tide of food in America; but instead, went ignored to our own detriment.
In the 1930’s, tuberculosis (an infectious lung disease) was the healthcare crisis of the day. Dr. Francis Pottenger, Jr, continuing the work of his father, was studying the effects of adrenal cortex for the treatment of tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases at the Pottenger Sanatorium in California. Here, he found that by giving patients adrenal glandular substances, they recovered more quickly.
Using donated cats, Dr. Pottenger would perform adrenalectomies to apply the adrenal cortex he used as supplements for his patients to explore the amounts needed for recovery. Unfortunately, he experienced a high mortality rate in the cats, although they were being fed a seemingly nutritious diet of cod liver oil, raw milk, and cooked meat scraps (including organs) from the hospital kitchen. As the number of donated cats became abundant, Dr. Pottenger sourced his food supply from a local butcher and was able to obtain raw meat scraps along with bones and organs.
Prompting his curious mind, Dr. Pottenger began to study the effects of a raw food diet versus a cooked food diet on the cats. On one extreme the cats were given raw meat and raw milk, and on the other they were given cooked meat and sweetened condensed milk (highly processed milk with sugar added). The results were astounding. The cats given raw meat and raw milk thrived, while the cats given the processed milk and cooked meat struggled with agility, procreation, bone development, arthritis, cognitive function, dental deterioration and generally a poor quality of life. Another control group rested between the two extremes in which the cats were given pasteurized and another given evaporated milk (highly processed without the addition of sugar). These two groups fared better than the cats given the sweetened condensed milk, but still lacked the physiological health of the cats given a raw food diet.
Dr. Pottenger studied around 900 cats from 1932 to 1942. His research observed 3 generations of the cats and there was marked degeneration of the processed food cats in each consequent generation. Along with the conditions of the previous generations, new kittens had flattened heads and their facial bones were undeveloped, confirming the work of Dr. Weston A Price on his research how “foods of commerce” affect people all over the world. The kittens born to the cats given raw milk and meat were larger and fully developed, escaping the ailments of the new generation of processed food cats. Dr. Pottenger observed that it took 4 generations of a raw food diet before the cats could regain the health and well being of the original generation.
So why should we care about Pottenger’s Cats? Dr. Pottenger spent 10 years of scientific nutritional research that is a wealth of information and example to anyone willing to listen. True, we are not cats, but a quick glimpse of history shows the decline of human health since the refining of grains and the industrial revolution. We process and heat all the nutrients out of our food in the name of convenience and shelf life, just like Dr. Pottenger did for the cats who were in physiological decline. Deaths from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and infertility have risen starkly since the early 1900’s, but even more alarming is the increase of the number of cases of these same degenerative diseases in our children. Decades ago, our children escaped the ravages of such illnesses, today, they bear the brunt of it. You don’t have to be a scientist or a Nutritional Consultant to see we are progressively suffering more as each generation passes, just like Pottenger’s Cats.
Regina Tyndall, Nutritional Therapy Consultant
Education and consulting on the benefits of natural and traditional foods for optimal wellness in an age of declining health.