Counsels on Diet and Food
Part I--Spices and Condiments

Letter 142, 1900 
555. Condiments, so frequently used by those of the world, are ruinous to the digestion.

(1905) M.H. 325 
556. Under the head of stimulants and narcotics is classed a great variety of articles that, altogether, used as food or drink irritate the stomach, poison the blood, and excite the nerves. Their use is a positive evil. Men seek the excitement of stimulants, because, for the time, the results are agreeable. But there is always a reaction. The use of unnatural stimulants always tends to excess, and it is an active agent in promoting physical degeneration and decay. 

In this fast age, the less exciting the food, the better. Condiments are injurious in their nature. Mustard, pepper, spices, pickles, and other things of a like character, irritate the stomach and make the blood feverish and impure. The inflamed condition of the drunkard's stomach is often pictured as illustrating the effect of alcoholic liquors. A similarly inflamed condition is produced by the use of irritating condiments. Soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. The system feels a want, a craving, for something more stimulating.

(1896) E. from U.T. 6 
557. Condiments and spices used in the preparation of food for the table aid in digestion in the same way that tea, coffee, and liquor are supposed to help the labouring man perform his tasks. After the immediate effects are gone, they drop as correspondingly below par as they were elevated above par by these stimulating substances. The system is weakened. The blood is contaminated, and inflammation is the sure result.

Spices Irritate the Stomach and Cause Unnatural Cravings

R. & H., Nov. 6, 1883 
558. Our tables should bear only the most wholesome food, free from every irritating substance. The appetite for 


liquor is encouraged by the preparation of food with condiments and spices. These cause a feverish state of the system, and drink is demanded to allay the irritation. On my frequent journeys across the continent, I do not patronize restaurants, dining car, or hotels, for the simple reason that I cannot eat the food there provided. The dishes are highly seasoned with salt and pepper, creating an almost intolerable thirst. . . . They would irritate and inflame the delicate coating of the stomach. . . . Such is the food that is commonly served upon fashionable tables, and given to the children. Its effect is to cause nervousness and to create thirst which water does not quench....Food should be prepared in as simple a manner as possible, free from condiments and spices, and even from an undue amount of salt. [SPICED FOODS CREATE DESIRE FOR BEVERAGES WITH MEALS--570] 

Letter 53, 1898 
559. Some have so indulged their taste, that unless they have the very article of food it calls for, they find no pleasure in eating. If condiments and spiced foods are placed before them, they make the stomach work by applying this fiery whip; for it has been so treated that it will not acknowledge unstimulating food. 

(1890) C.T.B.H. 17 
560. Luxurious dishes are placed before the children,-- spiced foods, rich gravies, cakes, and pastries. This highly seasoned food irritates the stomach, and causes a craving for still stronger stimulants. Not only is the appetite tempted with unsuitable food, of which the children are allowed to eat freely at their meals, but they are permitted to eat between meals; and by the time they are twelve or fourteen years of age, they are often confirmed dyspeptics. 

You have perhaps seen a picture of the stomach of one who is addicted to strong drink. A similar condition is produced under the irritating influence of fiery spices. With the stomach in such a state, there is a craving for something more to meet the demands of the appetite, something stronger, and still stronger. [FOR CONTEXT SEE 355]


Their Use a Cause of Faintness

(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 129 
561. There is a class who profess to believe the truth, who do not use tobacco, snuff, tea, or coffee, yet they are guilty of gratifying the appetite in a different manner. They crave highly seasoned meats, with rich gravies, and their appetite has become so perverted that they cannot be satisfied with even meat, unless prepared in a manner most injurious. The stomach is fevered, the digestive organs are taxed, and yet the stomach labours hard to dispose of the load forced upon it. After the stomach has performed its task, it becomes exhausted, which causes faintness. Here many are deceived, and think that it is the want of food which produces such feelings, and without giving the stomach time to rest, they take more food, which for the time removes the faintness. And the more the appetite is indulged, the more will be its clamours for gratification.

[C.T.B.H. 47] (1890) C.H. 114 
562. Spices at first irritate the tender coating of the stomach, but finally destroy the natural sensitiveness of this delicate membrane. The blood becomes fevered, the animal propensities are aroused, while the moral and intellectual powers are weakened, and become servants to the baser passions. The mother should study to set a simple yet nutritious diet before her family. 

(1864) Sp. Gifts IV, 130 
563. Persons who have indulged their appetite to eat freely of meat, highly seasoned gravies, and various kinds of rich cakes and preserves, cannot immediately relish a plain, wholesome, nutritious diet. Their taste is so perverted they have not appetite for a wholesome diet of fruits, plain bread, and vegetables. They need not expect to relish at first food so different from that in which they have been indulging. 

MS 33, 1909 
564. With all the precious light that has continually been given to us in the health publications, we cannot afford to live careless, heedless lives, eating and drinking as we please, 


and indulging in the use of stimulants, narcotics, and condiments. Let us take into consideration the fact that we have souls to save or to lose, and that it is of vital consequence how we relate ourselves to the question of temperance. It is of great importance that individually we act well our part, and have an intelligent understanding of what we should eat and drink, and how we should live to preserve health. All are being proved to see whether we will accept the principles of health reform or follow a course of self-indulgence. [TEMPERANCE REFORMERS SHOULD AWAKEN TO EVILS FROM USE OF CONDIMENTS--747] [THOUGH MINCE PIES, SPICES, ETC., ARE DISCARDED, THE FOOD SHOULD BE PREPARED WITH CARE--389] [TIME WASTED PREPARING FOODS SEASONED WITH SPICES, WHICH RUIN HEALTH, SOUR THE TEMPER, AND BECLOUD THE REASON--234] [SPICES AND CONDIMENTS ALLOWED TO CHILDREN--348, 351, 354, 360] [HIGHLY SEASONED FOOD ENCOURAGES OVEREATING AND PRODUCES FEVERISH CONDITIONS--351] [FREE USE OF PICKLES AND CONDIMENTS BY A NERVOUS, IRRITABLE CHILD--574] [CANNOT BE CONVERTED INTO GOOD BLOOD--576] [REFUSAL OF DAINTY DISHES AND RICH CONDIMENTS, ETC., PROVES WORKERS TO BE PRACTICAL HEALTH REFORMERS--227] [ANIMAL PASSIONS EXCITED BY SPICED FOODS--348] [FOODS TAKEN TO CAMP MEETING SHOULD BE FREE FROM ALL SPICES AND GREASE--124] [SPICES NOT USED IN THE WHITE HOME-APPENDIX 1:4] [SPICED FOODS AND CONDIMENTS EXCITE NERVES AND ENFEEBLE INTELLECT--356] [THE BLESSING OF A DIET FREE FROM SPICES--119] [SIMPLE FOODS, WITHOUT SPICES, ARE BEST--487] [THOSE CRAVING CONDIMENTS TO BE ENLIGHTENED--779]

Part II-Soda and Baking Powder

(1905) M.H. 300, 301 
565. The use of soda or baking powder in breadmaking is harmful and unnecessary. Soda causes inflammation of the stomach, and often poisons the entire system. Many housewives think that they cannot make good bread without soda, but this is an error. If they would take the trouble to learn better methods, their bread would be more wholesome, and, to a natural taste, it would be more palatable. 


R. & H., May 8, 1883 
566. Hot biscuit raised with soda or baking powder should never appear upon our tables. Such compounds are unfit to enter the stomach. Hot raised bread of any kind is difficult of digestion. 

Graham gems which are both wholesome and palatable may be made from the unbolted flour, mixed with pure cold water and milk. But it is difficult to teach our people simplicity. When we recommend graham gems, our friends say, "Oh, yes, we know how to make them." We are much disappointed when they appear, raised with baking powder or with sour milk and soda. These give no evidence of reform. The unbolted flour, mixed with pure soft water and milk, makes the best gems we ever tasted. If the water is hard, use more sweet milk, or add an egg to the batter. Gems should be thoroughly baked in a well-heated oven, with a steady fire.

Health Reformer, August, 1873 
567. In my travels, I see entire families suffering with sickness in consequence of poor cooking. Sweet, nice, healthful bread is seldom seen upon their tables. Yellow, saleratus biscuits and heavy, clammy bread are breaking down the digestive organs of tens of thousands.

[C.T.B.H. 49] (1890) C.H. 117 
568. Some do not feel that it is a religious duty to prepare food properly; hence they do not try to learn how. They let the bread sour before baking, and the saleratus added to remedy the cook's carelessness, makes it totally unfit for the human stomach.

(1870) 2T 537 
569. We see sallow complexions, and groaning dyspeptics wherever we go. When we sit at the tables, and eat the food cooked in the same manner as it has been for months, and perhaps years, I wonder that these persons are alive. Bread and biscuit are yellow with saleratus. This resort to saleratus was to save a little care; in consequence of forgetfulness, the bread is often allowed to sour before baking, and to remedy the evil a large portion of saleratus is added, 344 which only makes it totally unfit for the human stomach. Saleratus in any form should not be introduced into the stomach; for the effect is fearful. It eats the coatings of the stomach, causes inflammation, and frequently poisons the entire system. Some plead, "I cannot make good bread or gems unless I use soda or saleratus." You surely can if you become a scholar and will learn. Is not the health of your family of sufficient value to inspire you with ambition to learn how to cook and how to eat? 

Part III-Salt

(1905) M.H. 305 
570. Do not eat largely of salt, avoid the use of pickles and spiced foods, eat an abundance of fruit, and the irritation that calls for so much drink at mealtime will largely disappear. 

(1909) 9T 162 
571. Food should be prepared in such a way that it will be appetizing as well as nourishing. It should not be robbed of that which the system needs. I use some salt, and always have, because salt, instead of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood. 

Letter 37, 1901 
572. At one time Doctor ----- tried to teach our family to cook according to health reform, as he viewed it, without salt or anything else to season the food. Well, I determined to try it, but I became so reduced in strength that I had to make a change; and a different policy was entered upon with great success. I tell you this because I know that you are in positive danger. Food should be prepared in such a way that it will be nourishing. It should not be robbed of that which the system needs. . . .

I use some salt, and always have, because from the light given me by God, this article, in the place of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood. The whys and wherefores of this I know not, but I give you the instruction as it is given me. [SOME SALT SHOULD BE USED--548] [AVOID AN UNDUE AMOUNT OF SALT--558] [SOME SALT USED BY E. G. WHITE-APPENDIX 1:4]


Part IV-Pickles and Vinegar

(1905) M.H. 325 
573. In this fast age, the less exciting the food, the better. Condiments are injurious in their nature. Mustard, pepper, spices, pickles, and other things of a like character irritate the stomach and make the blood feverish and impure.

[C.T.B.H. 61, 62] (1890) F.E. 150, 151 
. I was seated once at the table with several children under twelve years of age. Meat was plentifully served, and then a delicate, nervous girl called for pickles. A bottle of chow-chow, fiery with mustard and pungent with spices, was handed her, from which she helped herself freely. The child was proverbial for her nervousness and irritability of temper, and these fiery condiments were well calculated to produce such a condition. 

(1870) 2T 368 
575. The mince pies and the pickles, which should never find a place in any human stomach, will give a miserable quality of blood.

(1870) 2T 383 576. The blood-making organs cannot convert spices, mince pies, pickles, and diseased flesh meats into good blood. [FOR CONTEXT SEE 336] 

(1905) M.H. 305 
577. Do not eat largely of salt, avoid the use of pickles and spiced foods, eat an abundance of fruit, and the irritation that calls for so much drink at mealtime will largely disappear. [PICKLES IRRITATE THE STOMACH AND MAKE BLOOD IMPURE--556]  


Letter 9, 1887 
578. The salads are prepared with oil and vinegar, fermentation takes place in the stomach, and the food does not digest, but decays or putrefies; as a consequence, the blood is not nourished, but becomes filled with impurities, and liver and kidney difficulties appear. [PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN CONQUERING THE VINEGAR HABIT-- APPENDIX 1:6]