EDITOR’S NOTE: The following column will be a regular Fifth Estate feature. It is published regularly in our sister Underground Press Syndicate paper, The Berkeley Barb. Dr. Schoenfeld is a legitimate medical doctor and all of the questions he answers are authentic ones sent to him by readers of the UPS papers that syndicate his column. Your questions are welcome and may be sent to Dr. Schoenfeld at the Fifth Estate, 1107 W. Warren, Detroit, Michigan.
QUESTION: Would you comment on the efficacy of the Macrobiotic Diet? Are there studies of the diet by people other than macrobiotic disciples?
ANSWER: Georges Ohsawa in “The Philosophy of Oriental Medicine” states, “and we shall demonstrate the macrobiotic preparation of delicious and esthetic meals that cure all illnesses (present or future) giving at the same time longevity and youthfulness to everybody, at no expense and with no special training.”
An article in the March 13, 1967 Journal of the American Medical Association reported the case of a 36 year old woman who was found near death from the effects of diet number 7, the strictest and “purest” diet in the macrobiotic system. She became interested in macrobiotics in the spring of 1964 and gradually eliminated milk and meat from her diet. In October, her menstrual periods ceased.
By November, 1964, her diet was limited to brown rice, pressure cooked or boiled, salted and sprinkled with sesame seeds. She also ate some ground oatmeal, cornmeal, buckwheat and bread made from cooked rice. Her maximum liquid intake was 12 ounces per day in the form of soup or tea, never water. She remained on this diet until her admission to the hospital eight months later.
Some of the symptoms which developed were weakness, fatigue, weight loss of 35 pounds, purple and brown spots on her body and face, swellings on the joints, painful bleeding gums and a greenish vaginal discharge.
Her symptoms were due solely to malnutrition, especially scurvy, a disease of ascorbic acid or Vitamin C deficiency, the prevention and cure of which was known in the 16th century.
Many fad diets are of no apparent physiological harm and may even contribute to good health but the most rigid of the Zen macrobiotic diets appear to be dangerous. Several deaths have been reported resulting from their use.
QUESTION: Can you recommend a legal way to expand one’s consciousness?
ANSWER: Find a mate you can groove with. You’ll then have an additional brain and set of sensory organs. The quantity of your experience will be at least doubled and the quality will differ because no two people perceive in exactly the same manner. With a warm, sensitive, perceptive mate you’ll be able to freely give and receive love. If you’re lucky you’ll fine one like mine and if you saw her you’d know why she’s called Kissyface.
Dr. Schoenfeld welcomes your questions. Write to ‘ him c/o Fifth Estate, 1107 W. Warren, Detroit, Michigan 48201.