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11th IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1947

Stonehouse, England

The following article is from a 1947 issue of the Vegetarian Messenger, (the monthly magazine of the Vegetarian Society of Great Britain, based in Manchester, England) :

Chairman: Mrs. Mary WYATT (London)

Dr. CYRIL V. PINK (London) of the Stonefield Maternity Home, gave his experiences of the twenty-five years during which a vegetarian diet, consisting largely of raw food, had been advised to their patients. The three thousand cases which they had observed had provided the most convincing evidence of the value of such a dietary in maintaining normality in pregnancy, childbirth and lactation.

They had advised all patients to be vegetarian, and to regard fruit and salad as the most important ingredients in their diet, giving special attention to the vitamins B and D, both of which might otherwise not be taken in sufficient quantity.

Dr. Pink gave a rough outline of the average daily meals as consisting of a fruit, cereal and milk breakfast; soup and salad with wholemeal bread, butter and cheese for lunch; at tea time a drink only ; for supper a cooked vegetarian dish containing nuts, cheese or some other protein food, with vegetables and a second course of fruit, or a sweet.

The doctor said that vitamin B was best obtained from whole-meal bread (particularly the bread which was made from wheat grown on composted soil without the addition of artificial manures) and from the wheat germ as obtainable in the form of Froment or Bemax, and from the yeast products such as Yeastrel and Marmite. Vitamin D was easily obtained from Radiostol, which was prepared by the irradiation of ergosterol with ultraviolet rays. This preparation supplied the vitamin D just as effectively as the fish oils in common use and had the advantage of being free from animal matter.

They had observed that those who had previously been following the more orthodox diet had improved enormously in health when they had adopted the diet recommended at the Home. In particular they had seen that a food reform diet conferred a very high degree of immunity from two serious complications of childbirth-toxemia of pregnancy and sepsis (puerperal fever) which in England and Wales had been responsible for two-thirds of the deaths in childbirth. Dr. Pink condemned the use of drugs for these complaints.

In the 1920's the Medical Officer in charge of the Deptford Borough Maternity Home advised a vegetarian diet in pregnancy, and 3,000 women who followed her advice had their babies without a single death. At Dr. Pink's Home a similar number of patients had been treated without a single death from either toxemia or sepsis.

In conclusion Dr. Pink said that in years to come their successors would probably regard their present day efforts as somewhat crude because they did not adapt their advice to temperament, types, climate, seasons, and the occupation of their patients. The influence of diet upon character, especially in early life was most important, because character may be influenced in a marked degree by giving certain types of food.