November 6, 1948

The Healthy Hunzas

JAMA. 1948;138(10):784. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900100064027

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Popular interest in food-health relationships as influenced by the soil in which the food was grown began in this country in 1921, when the great English physician Sir Robert McCarrison delivered the Sixth Mellon Lecture at the University of Pittsburgh, on "Faulty Food in Relation to Gastrointestinal Disorders." The salient points of this lecture centered around McCarrison's observation on the marvelous health and robustness of the Hunzas, who dwell in a valley on the northwestern border of India, where Afghanistan, China and Russia converge. These observations were given wider circulation on the part played by the quality of the soil in food-health relationships by Sir Albert Howard, an orthodox agricultural scientist who became convinced from his work in India that chemical fertilizers in the main only "blew up" the plant at the expense of its health and of its nutritive values; that what we have been getting since the introduction

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