The unlimited capacity of the plant world to sustain man at his highest is a region yet unexplored by modern medical science which through force of habit pins its faith on the shambles or at least milk and its by-products. It is a duty which awaits discharge by Indian medical men whose tradition is vegetarian…. Mahatma Gandhi wrote in Young India on 18th of July 1929. Here are some are excerpts :
Unusual and unexpected interest has been evoked by my experiment in unfired food. It has given rise to interesting and instructive correspondence. I observe that there is quite a number of men living on unfired food and many more who have at one time lived on such food. My correspondents will excuse me for my not acknowledging all such letters individually. But they may rest assured that I have taken in whatever was new and acceptable in their suggestions. Several have asked me for further information on the progress of my experiment.
The experiment still continues. There have been moments when I have weakly doubted the wisdom of continuing it. This was when extreme weakness had overtaken me during the Andhra tour. But my faith in the correctness of the theory behind unfired food and my partiality for it are so great that I would not easily give up the experiment. For it has for me a value not merely sanitary but also economic and moral or spiritual. It is of great importance to national workers who have to work in different parts of the country often in trying circumstances. This food surmounts all the difficulty arising from the different food of the different provinces. But of this more if I can write of the experiment with fairly absolute confidence. At the time of writing all I can say is that it seems to have done me no harm. Dr. Ansari, who knows my body well, examined it carefully whilst I was in Delhi on the 5th instant and was of opinion that he had never found me to be in better health than now. My blood pressure (systolic) which after the breakdown at Kolhapur had never been found to be below 155 was now registered at 118, pulse pressure at 46. Though 118, he thought to be subnormal, it was no bad sign as I had just risen from a slight attack of malaria and I was then living on juicy fruits only.
My resolve to continue the experiment has been considerably strengthened by reading Dr. Muthu’s great work on Tuberculosis and Colonel McCarrison’s instructive and carefully written food primer. The former contains an illuminating chapter on diet and the latter which is dedicated to the children of India is popularly written and gives in a very concise manner all the information on nutrition that a layman need possess. It is a book which needs to be read with caution. It puts, naturally for the author but unduly, according to my experiences, much emphasis on the necessity of animal food such as meat or milk. The unlimited capacity of the plant world to sustain man at his highest is a region yet unexplored by modern medical science which through force of habit pins its faith on the shambles or at least milk and its by-products.