Sylvester Graham

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His name lives on in a nursery cookie, but Sylvester Graham (1794–1851), one of America's earliest and most vocal advocates of dietary reform, left a far larger legacy: the concept that a vegetarian diet of natural and largely raw foods—whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts—can restore and maintain health. Graham campaigned for pure, unadulterated food at a time when baker's bread might contain copper sulfate, plaster, or alum. And in an era predating scientific knowledge of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber, he insisted that processing, milling, sifting, and overcooking stripped food of its most important components. Although mocked in his day, Graham's theories foreshadowed much modern nutritional knowledge.


From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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