18th Century Locavore

“It is highly probable that the infinitely wise Author of our nature has provided proper remedies and reliefs in every climate for all the distempers and diseases incident to their respective inhabitants, if in his Providence he has necessarily placed them there: and certainly the food and physic proper and peculiar to the middling sort of each country and climate is the best of any possible for the support of the creatures he has unavoidably placed there, provided only that they follow the simplicity of nature, the dictates of reason and experience, do not lust after foreign delicacies: as we see by the health and cheerfulness of the middling sort of almost all nations….”

George Cheyne, from The English Malady (1733)

Dr. George Cheyne was something of a celebrity in his day. A physician, he had ruined his health with overeating and heavy drinking. But with dietary discipline he was able to restore it. John Wesley became an admirer of Cheyne’s books on¬†health and diet. I tell the story of Cheyne’s influence on Wesley in Organic Wesley.¬†