International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Notes from the history of SCIVU
(Science Council of IVU)

From The British Vegetarian, July/August, 1968:


Left to right: Dr A.G.Long, Mr W.S.James, Dr Frank Wokes, Dr E.F.Schumacher and Mr J.Lucas, all members of the Editorial Team of "Plant Foods for Human Nutrition".

It was very obvious from the large number of people who attended the official launching of the new scientific journal. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, by Pergamon Press, at the Commonwealth Institute, Kensington, London, on Thursday evening. 2nd May, 1968, that there is a great deal of interest in the new publication.

About one hundred and thirty people foregathered for the Reception and these represented the Press, various aspects of Science and Economics and of the Vegetarian Movement along with the Officers and supporters of the Vegetarian Nutritional Research
Centre itself.

It seemed most appropriate to the writer that the scene for this event should have been set in the Commonwealth Institute. The purpose lying behind the work of the Vegetarian Nutritional Research Centre has always included a real concern for the underfed and starving members of the human family in its widest concept and the new journal, Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, the scope of which was very fully expounded by Dr. Frank Wokes and Mr J. W. Lucas, in a joint article in the March/April issue of The British Vegetarian (pp 156-159), has been specifically designed to meet that need in a truly practical and scientific way.

It is praiseworthy indeed that Pergamon Press, the very well known publishers of scientific books and journals, aware of the vital significance of plant foods for direct human consumption, in meeting the world's great need for new sources of essential foods has seen fit to collaborate with the Vegetarian Nutritional Research Centre and the Science Council of the International Vegetarian Union [SCIVU] in publishing this new scientific journal.

Following the official Reception, all present moved into an adjoining hall where, in the unavoidable absence of Mr. Robert Maxwell, M.C., M.P., due to Parliamentary business, we were welcomed on behalf of Pergamon Press by Mr. G. F. Richards, Director of the Learned Journals Division.

There was then a showing of an introductory film on a Television Programme Series, entitled, The Food You Eat, which illustrated basic factors relating to human nutrition. This was kindly loaned by Associated Television Ltd.

Dr. Frank Wokes, Editor-in-Chief of the new journal, then spoke of his work, and that of others, in relation to research into the use of plant foods for direct human consumption, his talk being illustrated by means of charts, tables and statistics, etc., stressing the vital importance of such a development from the standpoint of both health and world economy.

There was then a most lucid and persuasive summing up speech by Dr. E.F.Schumacher, Economic Advisor to the National Coal Board who is also a member of the Editorial Board of the new journal.

After a time of discussion, those present were able to taste samples of certain new foods now being manufactured in the U.S.A from fibres spun from soya beans and so texturised and flavoured that they simulate most realistically - far too realistically for many of the vegetarians present! - well known types of meat foods.

It should be borne in mind however that the primary purpose of these new foods is not for established vegetarians, but to present in an acceptable form for non-vegetarians, plant protein which will provide essential protein requirements and, at the same time, help to alleviate the intense pressures upon the world food economy.

Finally, an excellent buffet of lacto-vegetarian foods was available for all present. These were, apparently, greatly enjoyed by the participants. The catering staff of the Commonwealth Institute deserve the highest praise for the planning, preparation and presentation of this excellent vegetarian buffet.

This concluded a most memorable event and we would like to conclude by reproducing the message sent by Lord Boyd Orr, First Director General, F.A.O., to mark the occasion:-

"I wish all success to your journal to deal with the pressing problem of the world food shortage. All information about new sources of food, especially of vegetable origin which can be rapidly increased will be of value to all, who are dealing with the food problems of our country and the world."