In Sacramento, there are numerous cat rescue groups, and most of them are feeding cats dry food. Yet while doing nutritional research with the adoptable cats in some of these groups, a special book came by mail titled, Pottenger's Cats, A study in Nutrition. How many cat rescue groups locally feed cats raw foods? How expensive is it? And if you have cats, do they share your own raw diet--you with vegetables and fruits, and the cats with what foods help cats to thrive best? See the uTube video, Feeding Raw Food To Your Cat.
In the case of cats, Pottenger found it was raw meat. He fed his cats raw milk, even though milk that's not raw is said to give some cats diarrhea and cataracts. Why does raw milk work? And what kind of raw meat did Pottenger feed his cats to be so healthy? What role did the cod liver oil play--supplying the Omega 3 fatty acids? Was it the cod liver oil that made the difference?
The book is a classic in the science of nutrition that applies to humans as well as cats. Dr. Pottenger by chance found that his cats degenerated unless they were fed raw food. In his 10-year study of 900 cats, he found the optimal diet for his cats was 2/3 raw meat and 1/3 raw milk plus a specific amount, small, but precise amount, of cod liver oil. If either the meat or the milk was cooked, the cats degenerated. And if both were cooked, the degeneration was much worse. His cats, that is the cats he studied, could no longer reproduce by the third generation.
Does this type of nutrition apply in any way to humans? Pottenger thought so, at least to some extent of what humans can digest. Several nutrition-related problems Pottenger found in the cats fed cooked food were: heart problems, nearsightedness and farsightedness, underactivity and inflammation of the thyroid, infections of the kidney, liver, testes, ovaries and bladder, arthritis and inflammation of the joints, inflammation of the nervous system with paralysis and meningitis. Does this sound exactly like what humans eventually get when they eat nothing but cooked foods all the time? And processed foods are similar to cooked foods, in many cases.
Separating the digestive system of humans and cats, certain types of raw food are good for humans, for example vegetables, fruits, some dehydrated meats or fish, and anything not harmful when eaten raw. What is it about cooked food that ages humans rapidly and pushes them into degenerative diseases long before their time?
And why does six percent of the human population thrive regardless what diet they eat? Could it be adaptive genes to modern foods for some but not for most?
Many of Pottenger's third generation of cats had bones that became as soft as rubber, according to the book. Lung problems, bronchitis, and pneumonia sprang up constantly. Sound like what happens to humans on a cooked food diet and aging too rapidly?
The female cats soon developed irritable personalities, and some became dangerous. At the same time also on the cooked food diet, the male cats became passive and lacked an interest in sex. Sound anything like behavior attributable to humans who all the time eat cooked foods?
Pottenger knew his cat studies didn't apply totally to humans. The digestive systems are different. He believed that what made the cats healthy could also make humans healthier. When Pottenger did his research, he didn't know exactly what applied to humans.
What he did do was visit his sanitarium where he fed his very sick human patients much raw food, with enough success to write about it in his book on nutrition. Another researcher,, a dentist by training, in the 1930s, focused on what healthy nutrition is supposed to do.
Price believed more or less that food is medicine. There's also a newer book on nutrition published in 1999, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon (Paperback - 1999). Nourishing Traditions, reports that humans are healthier when they include a lot of raw food in their traditional diets. Also see any of these excellent books, The Metabolic Typing Diet and Life Without Bread. The book, Life Without Bread presents a unified theory of how moderate levels of dietary carbohydrate cause or exacerbate various health problems.
Weston A. Price, DDS, back in the 1930s actually focused on looking at people's teeth as a gateway to the health of the rest of the body. The people he studied that ate lots of raw foods were found to be almost entirely free of the degenerative diseases and dental problems that are rampant in eaters of lots of fast foods and processed foods today.
The human raw-food eaters didn't have tooth decay, heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, digestive disturbances, and thyroid problems, according to Price's book which also noted numerous studies. Price traveled worldwide looking for the healthiest people around the globe as he researched their daily diets and lifestyles.
Weston A. Price's book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, contains photographs of humans on raw food diets and other healthy diets, also including cooked soups and stews. He emphasized how what people eat is related to the condition of their bones and teeth.
One section in Dr. Price's book on Nutrition and Physical Degeneration described "the active X factor." It actually referred to the use of what we now know today as the role that vitamin K plays in helping to prevent certain types of hardening of the arteries such as calcification and bone loss.
As far as cats, Pottenger, another researcher, opened the door to exploring the link between what makes cats healthy and what helps humans. Both in many instances point to a lot of raw, unprocessed foods, as long as you can digest them and they are free of harmful microbes and other parasites.