Horace Fletcher

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Horace Fletcher (1849–1919) was an American health-food faddist of the Victorian era who earned the nickname "The Great Masticator," by arguing that food should be chewed thirty two times – or, about 100 times per minute – before being swallowed: "Nature will castigate those who don't masticate." He invented elaborate justifications for his claim.

Fletcher and his followers recited and followed his instructions religiously, even claiming that liquids, too, had to be chewed in order to be properly mixed with saliva. Fletcher argued that his mastication method will increase the amount of strength a person could have while actually decreasing the amount of food that they consumed (Fletcher, 1913, 20). Fletcher promised that "Fletcherizing", as it became known, would turn "a pitiable glutton into an intelligent epicurean."

Fletcher also advised against eating before being "Good and Hungry", or while angry or sad. Fletcher would claim that knowing exactly what was in the food one consumed was important. He stated that different foods have different waste materials, so knowing what type of waste one was going to have in one’s body was valuable knowledge, thus critical to one’s overall well being (The New Glutton, 1906, 132-133). He promoted his theories for decades on lecture circuits, and became a millionaire. Upton Sinclair, Henry James and John D. Rockefeller were among those who gave the fad a try. Henry James and Mark......
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