IN DEFENSE OF FOOD | Dr. Kellogg and the crusade against protein | PBS

IN DEFENSE OF FOOD | Dr. Kellogg and the crusade against protein | PBS

♪♪ You go back to the turn
of the last century, around 1900,
there was an ideology then that the great evil nutrient,
was protein. Now we think protein’s great, but then some people thought
protein was really bad. The best-known critic
of protein was Doctor John Harvey Kellogg — a member of a Christian
denomination called the Seventh-day Adventists
that promoted vegetarianism. People flocked to his sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan,
to be cured of the gastrointestinal curse
of the day. -America’s diet
in the 1800s and early 1900s, it was a lot
of meat and potatoes. And constipation was, like,
an obsession. Everyone was obsessed
with constipation. -Which Kellogg claimed was
caused by bacteria in our colon that thrive on the protein
in a meat-heavy diet. They thought that it released
toxins in your gut as it fermented
and — and that would lead to cancer
and all sorts of things. Celebrities including
Henry Ford, Amelia Earhart, and future president
Warren Harding eagerly submitted
to Kellogg’s vegetarian diet and anti-bacterial treatments. And people did
the most insane things under the direction
of this pseudo-science. I mean, go on all-grape diets
for a day and eat 14 pounds of grapes
and nothing else, take yogurt enemas. And you were supposed to chew
every bite a hundred times. That can interfere
with the pleasure of a meal. ♪♪ Kellogg asked his brother Will to perform experiments
to design healthier foods. They really wanted
to dethrone protein, which was the morning meal —
eggs and bacon and sausage. And they thought
that carbohydrates were the clean,
blessed nutrient. One day in 1894, the brothers stumbled
on a discovery they hoped would transform
the American breakfast — the flaked cereal, made mostly
of carbohydrates. First came wheat flakes. And then Will
invented the corn flake — so wildly successful
it would make him wealthy. But John Kellogg’s theories
about the perils of protein, not to mention his ideas
about yogurt enemas, were eventually disproven
by science. You know, we look back on that and we think
this is complete quackery. Well, I hate to say it,
but someone will look back on us in a hundred years,
and say much the same thing for a lot of our own
nutritional practices.


  1. Kellogg and the Seventh Day Adventists had nothing against "protein", they just didn't eat animal flesh (vegetarians)

    Micheal Pollan needs to go back to school and figure out plants have protein, vegetarian protein galore!!!

  2. This guy is a plant, he invented "Orthorexia" which is the "unhealthy obsession with healthy eating".. It's not hard, eat more organic fruit and vegetables. Looking for another way is foolish and stinks of denial. The philosophy and psychology of this "middle man of nutrition" is not helpful or knowledgable. Probably paid for by the pork or beef industry. Has converted me on Kellogg, I'm sure now the bizarre stories I've heard about Kellogg was probably propaganda.

  3. Dr Kellogg was right about bacteria in our gut producing toxins from meat. Disclosure: I'm not a 7th Day Adventist or a vegan.

  4. was health officer n wrote book on Diphtheria n how he treated children without one death,while his colleagues used aggressive treatment and children died 75% shame on main medical censorship of self health solutions

  5. Wow, this video is really off base. Did this guy get money from the meat industry?

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