It is now five years since the first section of this crude little announcement of a great physiological discovery was published; and while the author has spent all the intervening years in unremitting study of the subject of which it treats, with the heads of many of the great physiological laboratories of the world assisting him with their best facilities and information, as to the "reasons for things," there is but small correction to make.
This does not imply that the "last word" upon the subject has been herein stated, or that corrections may not be made as the study progresses, but it means, that as an honest description of an effort to get to understand the natural requirements in our own nutrition, it is perhaps better put than the same author could now do; that is, if intended for the enlightenment of persons whose curiosity has not yet been excited, or whose interest in their nutritive welfare is still young and inexperienced.
With regard to the statement that "whatever has no taste is not nutritious," copied from a high educational authority, correction certainly must be made. Pure proteid has no perceptible taste as measured by taste-bud appreciation, any more than pure water has specific taste, and yet who may not say that "water tastes good" when one is really thirsty. Taste is a very subtle sense and is closely allied to feeling. Things are often said to taste good because they feel good in the mouth or to the throat as they descend to the stomach.
Regarding also the advice to remove from the mouth refractory substance that the teeth and saliva cannot reduce to a condition to excite the Swallowing Impulse. There is theoretical and actual nutriment in the cottony fibre of tough lobster, or poor fish, or lean pork, and there is good reason to believe that a strong digestive apparatus can take care of such tough substance after a fashion and get nutriment out of it. In the same way the hard, woody fibre of old nuts is the identical material that was rich in juicy oils and proteid when the nuts were fresh, but if swallowed in the toughened condition that age brings to nuts, it is but slowly reduced in the stomach and intestines and only at enormous expense. If putrifactive bacterial decomposition has to be resorted to to get rid of the stuff the process is then poisonous as well as difficult.
According to physiological authority which we must, for the moment, accept, proteid is a vitally-necessary material and we cannot afford to waste it. Our life depends upon proteid to replace the waste of muscular tissue which occurs with every movement, but when even good proteid is found by the mouth to be in a form that is too refractory for the teeth to handle, it is poor policy to send it on to the toothless stomach and intestines for the accomplishment of the reduction. If the mouth cannot handle what its guardian senses don't like, it can spit it out and get rid of it immediately; but if the stomach or intestines are afflicted with something that is harder than they can easily take care of, they have to call in the assistance of bacterial scavengers whose method is poisonous decomposition, and whose fee is putridity of odour penetrating the whole system and issuing at every pore, making Cologne water a large commodity even in so-called Polite Society.
To be continue in this ebook