diet and Diet Reform


Table of Contents



About This Book

Written by : M. K. Gandhi
Edited by : Bharatan Kumarappa
First Edition : 5,000 copies, July 1949
ISBN : 81-7229-062-4
Printed and Published by : Jitendra T. Desai
Navajivan Mudranalaya,
© Navajivan Trust, 1949


Chapter 9: Unfired Food

Instead of hopeful progress I have to report a tragedy this week. In spite of great carefulness in experimentation along an unbeaten track, I have been laid low. A mild but persistent attack of dysentery has sent me to bed and not only to cooked food but also to goat's milk. Dr. Harilal Desai used all his skill and patience to save me from having to go back to milk, which I had left last November in the hope of not having to go back to it, but he saw that he could not reduce the mucus and the traces of blood that persistently appeared in the bowels without making me take curds. At the time of writing this therefore I have had two portions of curds, with what effect I shall note at the foot of this article which is being written on Sunday night.
It appears that I was not digesting the raw foods I was taking, and what I had mistaken for good motions were precursors of dysentery. The other conditions including vitality being good, I had no cause to suspect any evil.
My companions too have one after another fallen off, except four, of whom one has been on raw food for nearly a year with great success as he thinks.
The companions have left off because they were feeling weak and were losing weight week by week.
Thus Sjt. Gopalrao's claim that unfired food is suitable for any stomach and can be taken with impunity by young and old, sick and healthy is to say the least of it ;un- proven'. This apparent failure should serve as a warning to the zealots that they should move most cautiously and be scrupulously exact in their statements and careful in their deductions.
I call the failure apparent, because I have the same faith in unfired food that I first had nearly forty years ago. The failure is due to my gross ignorance of the practice of unfired food and of right combinations. Some of its good results are really striking. No one has suffered seriously. My dysentery has been painless. Every doctor who has examined me has found me otherwise in better health than before. For my companions I have been a blind guide leading the blind. I have sadly missed the guidance of someone who has known the virtue of unfired food and who would have the patience of a scientist.
But if I regain my health and have a little leisure, I hope to revert to the experiment with better hope in that I shall know what mistakes to avoid. As a searcher for Truth I deem it necessary to find the perfect food for a man to keep body, mind and soul in a sound condition. I believe that the search can only succeed with unfired food, and that in the limitless vegetable kingdom there is an effective substitute for milk, which, every medical man admits, has its drawbacks and which is designed by nature not for man but for babies and young ones for lower animals. I should count no cost too dear for making a search which in my opinion is so necessary from more points of view than one. I therefore still seek information and guidance from kindred spirits. To those, who are not in sympathy with this phase of my life and who out of their love for me are anxious about me, I give my assur­ance that I shall not embark upon any experiment that would endanger my other activities. I am of opinion that though I have been making such experiments since the age of 18, I have not often suffered from serious illness and have been able to preserve tolerably good health. But I would also like them to feel with me that so long as God wants me for any work on this earth, He will pre­serve me from harm and prevent me from going too far.
Those who are making the experiment must not give it up because of the temporary check I have received. Let them learn from the causes of my failure.

  1. If there is the slightest danger of insufficient masti­cation, let the ingredients be finely pulverised and dis­solved in the mouth instead of being swallowed.
  2. If there is an undissolved residue in the mouth, it must be put out.
  3. Grains and pulses should be used sparingly.
  4. Green vegetables should be well washed and scrapped before being used and should also be used sparingly.
  5. Fresh and dried fruits (soaked) and nuts should be the staples at least in the beginning stages.
  6. Milk should not be given up till the unfired foods have been taken without any harm for a sufficiently long period. All the literature I have read points to fruits and nuts with only a small quantity of green vegetables as a perfect food.

[I am able to report on Tuesday morning that diluted curds are working well.]

Young India,