We eat mill-ground flour, and even the poor villager walks with a head-load of half a maund grain to have it ground in the nearest flour mill. Do you know that in spite of the plenty of foodstuffs we produce we import wheat from outside and we eat the 'superfine' flour from Australia? We will not use our hand-ground flour, and the poor villager also foolishly copies us. We thus turn wealth into waste, nectar into poison. For whole meal is the proper meal. Mill-ground flour is vitaminless flour, mill-ground flour kept for days is not only vitaminless, but poison. But we will not exert ourselves to produce flour which we must eat fresh every day, and will pay for less nutritious things and purchase ill-health in the bargain. This is not any abstruse economic truth, it is a fact, which is daily happening before our eyes. The same is the case with rice and gur and oil. We will eat rice, polished of its substance, and eat less nutritious sugar and pay more for it than more nutritious gur. We have suffered the village oilman to be driven to extinction and we eat adulterated oils. We idolize the cow, but kill her by slow degrees. We eat honey and kill the honey-bee, with the result that honey is such a rare commodity today that it is only available to a 'Mahatma' like me or to those who must have it from the physician as a vehicle for the drugs he prescribes. If we took the trouble of learning scientific and harmless bee-keeping, we should get it cheaper and our children would get out of it all the carbohydrates they need. In all our dietetics, we mistake the shadow for the substance, preferring bone-white sugar to rich brown gur and pale white bread to rich brown bran-bread.
We are said to be a nation of daily bathers. That we are, to be sure, but we
are none the better for it. For we bathe with unclean water, we foul our
tanks and rivers with filth and use that water for drinking and bath. We
lawyers and degree-holders and doctors will not learn the elementary
principles of sanitation and hygiene. We have not yet devised the most
economic method of disposal of our evacuations and we turn our open healthy
spaces into breeding grounds of disease.
I implore you to throw off your inertia, to bestir yourselves to study these
elementary facts and live more rational lives and learn how to turn waste
into wealth. I have told you simple truths which we would soon realize and
act up to if we threw off the inertia of ages. But we have shunned body-labour
to the, detriment of our brains, and thus rest content with the irrational
ways of diet and living. Let us pull ourselves together and resolve to make
our bodies and brains more active.