British medical journalist Griggs offers a satiating, if long-winded, history of the modern science of nutrition, and the uphill battle fought by pioneering ``cranks''e.g., Sylvester Graham, the American naturopath whose name is immortalized in a cracker and in the whole-wheat flour he passionately advocated; Max Bircher-Benner, a Swiss physician who suggested the curative powers of raw fruits and vegetablesto legitimate the relationship between health and diet. The enthusiastic prose is tempered by well-documented substance and fine anecdotes (for example, to dramatically prove that pellagra was caused by a dietary deficiency and was not an infectious disease, American researcher Joseph Goldberger injected himself, his wife and a colleague with blood from pellagrins' veins). But the practice of calling gblacks ``coloured'' is unfortunate, as is the author's penchant for generalizations (``Research has established that the hyperactive baby of today is highly likely to grow up into tomorrow's problem child, delinquent, drop-out, junkieor even criminal''). (February)
In the midst of a flurry of publications on food and nutrition comes a book on the history of nutrition. The bits and pieces of historical information frequently found in other books on the various components of nutrition and eating habits are drawn together in one volume that is not only packed with facts, but well written. Griggs traces advances in nutritional knowledgefrom understanding the roots of pellagra and scurvy to food faddism to organic foods. The emphasis is food's relation to diseaseboth as a cause and cure. An English writer, Griggs ( Green Pharmacy ) gives her book an international flavor, covering the worldwide efforts of study in nutrition. Highly recommended for public libraries and special science and nutrition collections. Carol Spielman Lezak, General Learning Corp., Highland Park, Ill.