Yes, it is quirky...
The SERIAL has been playing for quite some time!
Installment Thirty Seven
During my afternoon off this "Freedom of Association" led me to discover that Graham crackers were invented to promote chastity.
While buying some pitted dates, I ran into Sylvester Graham, a health lecturer and inventor who lived on Earth from 1794 to 1851. Graham argues that intense sexual desire has dire physiological consequences. In his time on Earth, Graham preached that "venereal excesses" or "aching sensibility." would cause indigestion, headache, feebleness of circulation, pulmonary consumption, spinal diseases, epilepsy, insanity, and early death of offspring, among other things. He preached that men should remain virgins until age 30 and then should have sex once a month---and not at all if they were sickly.
I have always thought that it is no accident that "nut" is part of "nutritionist".
As he explained his theories, I started to look around for the Angels on rollerskates.
To cool the dread fever of lust, he prescribed a special vegetarian diet, the centerpiece of which was "Graham bread", made from whole wheat flour. Graham crackers, which he invented in 1829, were another manifestation of the same idea and were intended to promote chastity in young girls.
Graham attracted a fair number of followers, who opened Graham boardinghouses in New York and Boston where his dietary regimen was observed.
Most people regarded him as a crackpot. He was assaulted by mobs on at least three occasions, once by butchers and bakers who thought that he was going to drive them out of business. He was cranky and aloof and alienated even those who admired him, so much so that he gave up the lecture business in 1839 and lived out the rest of his life in relative obscurity.
His saving grace was that in many respects he was right. Although he was a little goofy on the question of sex, many of his ideas about health were sound. He advocated daily tooth brushing, once considered a revolutionary idea, as well as fresh air, regular bathing, exercise, and seven hours of sleep. During an era of recurring cholera epidemics, he urged people to drink pure water. Most important, we now know the diet he recommended to be vastly more healthy than the one Americans were eating at the time, or for that matter, today.
He railed against commercial bakers who used refined flour devoid of dietary fiber. He urged the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds. Strictly verboten were fat, salt, sugar, tobacco, alcohol, and stimulants. By and large, "the prophet of bran bread and pumpkins" was right on the money.
And that's why he's here. God sure does move in strange ways.I have to get back to the Club now. I'll get back to you.
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