Author's Preface

When a man's science exceedeth his sense,
He perishes by his ignorance.

Oriental proverb


   Viewed from space today, Planet Earth looks little differentfrom how it would have looked a thousand years ago. Oceans and continents clearlyvisible in technicolor, veiled in swirling wisps of white clouds--it makes a prettypicture.

   Closer inspection, however, reveals big changes: less forestland, more deserts, more smoke haze, more scars. Damage, man-made.

   But that's only the visible damage. There is far more damagethat you cannot see: the Earth's remaining soil is depleted of life-sustaining minerals,the oceans are polluted and depleted of marine life, and many species of animalsand trees have vanished.

   Humans have been gradually destroying our planet for thousandsof years, but with the discovery of oil and the internal combustion engine, accompaniedwith the human population explosion, destruction over the last hundred years hasbrought about a situation nearing total disaster. Still the numbers increase, stillthe "national economies" expand, still we exhort greater efforts for "productivity".It's as if we are passengers on a speeding Titanic, equipped with modern radar thatthe captain doesn't understand. The warning is there, loud and clear, but the crewis pre-occupied with attending to the comfort of passengers.

   "Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad"--Euripides(485-406 BC) has been quoted many times since uttering those words. Bertrand Russell(1872-1970) put it a different way, predicting that "man's half-cleverness wouldbe the means of his own destruction . . ." Are we mad? Or just "half-clever"?It doesn't matter: the final result will be the same, and already the future of thenext few generations is a most uncertain one, even for those in the most favoredcircumstances.

   The 21st Century will undoubtedly witness the resolution ofthe world's overpopulation problem, and because the problem is, despite our bestefforts to solve it, getting worse instead of better, it is inevitable that the matterwill be resolved in the same manner by which other kinds of plagues have been terminatedin the past.

   Food is the main limiting factor, not only the quantity of itbut also the quality--a fact that is making itself felt today where more people inthe world die of semi-starvation on a full stomach than those that die of completestarvation on an empty stomach. (By semi-starvation I mean malnutrition-related diseasedue to poor quality food, a topic which forms the main theme of this book.)

   In the distant past, when major upheavals upset the equilibriumof the Earth's various inhabitants, some species became extinct while others, purgedof their weak, improved. Out of this rigorous process emerged the human race, whichhas survived and flourished by virtue not of physical strength but of mental strength.It is the fittest that survive, and in human affairs fitness for survival is measuredin terms of mental capacity.

   It is a mistake to measure mental capacity simply on a person'sdegree of success in financial or academic circles; a more reliable indicator isthe state of their physical health and their general philosophy on life. It doesnot display great intelligence to make a fortune only to be worried about your healthand maybe die of a heart attack or some other avoidable disease.

   Most "diseases of civilization" are avoidable, andthe Western world's vast and increasing health problems today are a reflection ofthe ignorance and "half-cleverness" of our supposedly well-informed leadersand medical technocrats, together with the money-making aspirations of the food manufacturersand the pharmaceutical industry.

   Thus, while it is all very well to feel compassion for diseasedand starving populations elsewhere in the world, and to condescendingly send themfood supplies so they can continue to live and breed, we should not assume that weare a great deal better off ourselves. Food is the major factory in health and survival;the widespread health problems we have are direct reflections of the biochemicalquality of our food. As our soil becomes more and more depleted, as our food becomesmore and more manufactured, so our bodies display the evidence. Death by heart attack,cancer, asthma or diabetes is as final as that from starvation.

   We must deal with our immediate problems at home stemming frompoor nutrition in the midst of plenty if we are to survive as a healthy nation. Ourmedical experts are failing to deal with these problems because they don't understandthem, so we must understand and deal with them ourselves. Whatever the adversitywe are faced with now or in the future, we can best survive if we know what to expectand how to deal with it.

   Due to the success of my latest book, Cancerproof Your Body,its publishers, HarperCollins, conducted a market survey and found that althoughmy earlier books have been out of print for some time now, there was still a strongdemand for them. Hence this new edition of Health & Survival in the 21st Century,the content of which remains unchanged except for the extra chapter (Chapter 7) whichfurther emphasises the lamentable ignorance and short-sightedness that prevails withinthe so-called science of modern medicine, a drug-orientated institution this writerregards as misguided and in most cases counterproductive to human health and wellbeing.

   Chapter 7 provides not only an illustration of the confusedmedical obsession with germs and viruses, but also an insight into the devious methodsof pharmaceutical companies and the harm occasioned by many of their products.

   Some of the information that follows may surprise you--in fact,I bet it will--but it will help you survive.

   Happy landings,
   Ross Horne