Emmet Densmore

1837

1911

--

Deceased

Brooklyn, NY, USA

MEATrition author
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Densmore promoted a fruit and meat diet, which he believed was the natural food of primal man.[9][10][11][12] He stated that "bread is the staff of death".[12] Densmore opposed the consumption of bread, cereal, pulses and vegetables. He believed that all starch foods were not beneficial and urged the use of sweet fruits in their place.[13] His recommended diet consisted of fruit, meat, nuts, fish, eggs and milk.[11][14] He believed that the natural life of man should be 120 years.[11]

Densmore was a fierce opponent of the medical profession and vegetarianism.[11] He opposed the use of all drugs and believed that dietetic and natural hygienic measures could cure disease.[13][15] He advocated fasting as a treatment for illness.[15] Densmore authored the book The Natural Food of Man, and moved to Britain just before 1890.[15] His book was influential to naturopaths.[15] Medical experts criticized the book for promoting a fad diet. A review in the Edinburgh Medical Journal, noted that Densmore's belief that carbohydrate foods are injurious to health is not supported by physiology and "in demolishing a vegetarian fad, it seems to us Dr Densmore is only constructing another fad of his own."[16]

Densmore argued that cereals were "unnatural and disease-inducing foods".[15] Articles were published that contested his "anticerealism".[17] James Burn described his diet as "anti-vegetarian quackery".[18] Densmore edited the London monthly magazine, Natural Food (1890–1895) and with his wife Helen, edited the health magazine Earnest Words.[19][20] In 1890, Densmore and Helen founded the Natural Food Society in London which offered a system of dietary principles that was more enjoyable and practical than "orthodox vegetarianism or the ordinary fare".[21]

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