I am one of those people who personally believes that nature got it right the first time…in other words a spoonful of home-made rose-hip syrup provides Vitamin C in a natural form that is easily absorbed and digested by humans–synthetic Vitamin C will never be the same thing. (Despite this I do confess to taking a Vitamin B complex tablet daily at the moment – not something I usually do but a naturopath recommended it so I thought I’d try it out).
Chapter Eighteen of Rudolf Hauschka’s book Nutrition: A Holistic Approach (1967) gave me a completely different perspective of vitamins than I have come across before. His section on the history of food and nutrition also looks at the interaction of humans and food in an entirely different light but I will have to do a separate post for that.
Anyway let me sum up this chapter on Vitamins for you with a few of my favorite passages:
“Today we list vitamins E, F, G, H, I, K, P and others, though the more perceptive students say that they are all simply aspects of the original A, B, C and D.” -p124
“The synthetic products now on the market may perhaps be carriers of vitamin action, but they cannot always be counted on for effectiveness.
“A picture may serve to clarify this statement. A gramophone record can be made of various materials. The important thing about records is not their composition, but the music recorded on them, which they reproduce. It would seem that the chemical structure of a vitamin is of far less account than the energy that forms and uses the substance.” -p124
“Vitamin A occurs in those parts of plants where warmth is the predominant dynamic, i.e., where seeds and fruit ripen in hot summer sunshine. Vitamin B and C, on the other hand, occur where light and chemism, the starch-forming forces of assimilation, predominate and bring forth an abundance of green foliage. And in the root, where densification processes are localized, we find Vitamin D.” -p125
“It has been shown that Vitamin A occurs in oils, fats, fruits and blossoms. Butter is especially rich with it. All these substances are closely related to the warmth element. Blossoms, fruits and seeds-borne oils are products of the hottest months. Oils burn, revealing the fire-force latent in them. One is really justified in calling them a condensation of universal fire.”
“What, then, is warmth’s real nature?”
“Whatever is subjected to warmth expands. Warmth is the expanding growth element. Stunting is one of the outstanding symptoms of the deficiency disease caused by lack of Vitamin A.” -p126
“Green plants are Vitamin C producers. It is in their green foliage that photosynthesis takes place. The form and substance of each single leaf is of light’s shaping and organizing. In an earlier chapter we called the virginal starch created in leaves an enchanted rainbow, which shines forth again when the plant develops colored blossoms in its upward growth. Here we see before our very eyes the metamorphoses light undergoes, from its descent into matter through assimilation, to its radient re-emerence in the stars of the blossoms….Green leaves, then, are latent light.” -p127
“This vitamin is a living light that has become latent in green foliage. A lack of it in the human diet means insufficient stimulation of man’s power to develop inner light. And just as warmth is the medium for the human spirit that has formed man’s body, light is the element in which the soul works and has its being. The soul lacks a firm foothold in persons whose light organism is out of focus.” -p128
“Vitamin B has been found to occur in the skins and husks of fruit and seeds, particularly the cereal grains, with rice at the very top of the list. Removing the husk gave rise to beri-beri.” -p128
“Obviously, husks must contain a force of some kind. To help visualize it, imagine formless space extending in every direction, and then a circling gesture shaping this chaos into a sphere and thus ordering it.” -p128
“If we explore the effect of universal harmonies on matter in its subtlest aspects, we will see that they are an ordering energy, which we have termed chemism. Sheath-giving forces are ordering forces. There have to be enclosing bounds from which to reflect and radiate back into an interior. This means giving space order from outside. A deficiency of Vitamin B means that the organism lacks the proper physical foundation for these chemical life-processes.”
“Vitamin D is present in fish liver oils, and phosphorus and sea-salt are both carriers. It would be hard to understand why liver oil carries this vitamin if it were not for the fact that cholesterines formed in the liver are found in it as liquids. These substances are known to be structural material for the whole organism. Supportive tissue and cell membranes are both made of it” -p129
“It is characteristic of phosphorus to enhance densifying, mineralizing tendencies. We see just how skeletons are made when we watch salt crystallize out of a solution. Man’s bony structure literally ‘crystallizes out’ of the fluid embryo.”
“Summing up, we may term vitamins ‘currents of energy’ not yet fixed and substantial, which co-operate in the making of complete, healthy protein. In spiritual science these energies are known as etheric formative forces. They are not to be confused with the hypothetical ether of the physicists, however, but rather looked upon as the lowest level of non-physical reality.” -p130
Well I have to confess that some of this sounds a little wacky, even to me, but I find these concepts very useful in understanding the forces that are a part of cooking and growing food. It helps me to develop a relationship with what I am cooking, this is something I have been working on for years and is really something that requires a different way of looking at things and learning new habits, which isn’t as easy as it sounds.
The italics are my doing.