Food Enzyme Concept: Importance of Enzymes in Nutrition
The book Enzyme Nutrition, by Dr. Edward Howell, is a classic in the field of nutritional theory. Its message has implications for health, longevity, ecology, economics, and a myriad of other ancillary fields. It is a work whose importance can only be appreciated when current nutritional practice is understood as a great ‘dietary experiment’ of unprecedented proportions. Never in the history of humankind has there been as much processing, refining, and adulteration of the food supply as is currently happening. The book Enzyme Nutrition tells why the manipulation of the food supply may be catastrophic, as well as offering a sound rationale for seeking and implementing alternatives to the current difficult situation.
Howell’s book is as much a narrative of developments in the field of nutritional research over the last 90 years as it is an exposition of a new theoretical position. It is also a highly readable book that addresses issues of food from the perspective of function, i.e. do we live to eat or eat to live? Howell states that the human body is a product of millennia using raw foods in their most natural state. Its functional integrity demands foods that provide the ‘elan vital’ required to live. Only living foods are able to provide the life force we must have to perform our daily activities, maintain health, repair our machinery, and replace our own species. Howell demonstrates clearly that these functions are in jeopardy due to the poor quality of our current food supply.
Living enzymes are a third part of the food triad that has been systematically destroyed by a marketing/transportation system whose needs have been placed ahead of those it serves. Freezing, cooking, irradiating, addition of chemicals, and a thousand other strategies have been implemented to allow 2 percent of America’s population to feed the other 98%. The age-old problem of stabilizing foodstuffs for transport and storage has resulted in an industry that removes the living portion of food to facilitate its movement over long distances. This has been necessary to get food from field to market given the exigencies of handling, marketing and storage. And entire marketing strategy has successfully anchored this process in the minds and taste buds of the ‘civilized’ world. The price we pay for the luxury of not tilling the soil, however, may be greater than we understand.
Dr. Howell presents information that lets each reader assess the veracity of his claim, builds a convergent structure that explains how each individual can exert more control over his food supply, and suggests how such efforts may result in improved health and longer lives. As we are well aware, the current health care system is a disaster. Dependence on foreign energy to operate our agri-businesses is greater now than ten years ago, and government controls, protections, and regulations related to foodstuffs and additives are extremely questionable. Enzyme Nutrition offers extensive information about how we can approach health and nutrition from a more objective viewpoint in order to make individual decisions about health and diet.
Dr. Edward Howell spent over 50 year of his life researching food enzymes and how they affect the body. His book was originally an 800-page tome including all of his extensive research. The book Enzyme Nutrition is the abridged version of his original work.
Ann Wigmore was a contemporary of Dr. Howell and a student of his work. She researched his works among many of the works of other advocates of raw foods during her lifetime. She came to the conclusion that in the United States it is hard if not impossible to eat a raw foods diet that is not contaminated by chemical fertilizers and pesticides. She developed a diet that incorporated a small amount of organically grown fruits and vegetables (although very expensive) with easy to grow wheatgrass (as a mainstay), sunflower greens, and buckwheat greens, and other sprouted nuts and seeds such as almonds, fenugreek and others. She opened an institute in Boston and grew all her wheatgrass and sprouted greens inside. She had great success in teaching people how to grow and implement this diet and in turning around the disease process. The foods in her diet retained and provided enzymes.
In simple terms, enzymes contain the vitamin, the mineral and in Howell’s words “The enzyme complex harbors a protein carrier inhabited by a vital energy factor.” Only foods that are not cooked contain this vital energy factor—i.e. raw fruits and vegetables.
Steve Meyerowitz in his book Wheatgrass, Nature’s Finest Medicine, says that “Grass contains hundreds of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, cellular RNA and DNA all in concentrated form.”
Enzymes are an extensive subject. THE WHEATGRASS HABIT hopes in future issues to provide more information about the specific known enzymes in wheatgrass.
- Kat Jones