Food Faiths: Gut Science and Spiritual Eating

  • Catherine L. Newell
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


Sylvester Graham might be the prototypical diet guru of today, save that he was born in 1794. Famous for preaching a regimen of abstention, he championed a vegetarian diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains well before the rise of modern biomedical science suggested the same. And although he was a Presbyterian minister, Graham brought Jacksonian temperance movements together with contemporary medicine to create a perspective on food and wellness that is still with us today. The chapter considers how Graham’s spiritual belief in his dietary philosophy is best illustrated in the first-person testimonials to the efficacy of his diet in battling the cholera epidemic of 1832, included in his self-published tract, The Aesculapian Tablets of the Nineteenth Century.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine L. Newell
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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