An Alphabet of Good Health in a Sick World
Martha M. Grout, MD, MD(H) & Mary Budinger
New Medicine Press (2010)
Reviewed by Vicki Landes for Reader Views (1/11)
One wouldn’t imagine that simply existing in today’s world would be fraught with dangers around every corner, yet Dr. Martha M. Grout and Mary Budinger say otherwise. In their book, “An Alphabet of Good Health in a Sick World,” they tackle all kinds of seemingly innocent – and everyday – items which can bring our health to the very brink. Further, they challenge the traditional medical world’s stand on a number of issues from allergies, cholesterol, and cancer to vaccinations, antibacterial products, and even sun exposure.
“An Alphabet of Good Health in a Sick World” is an impressive and comprehensive look at the dangerous world we live in. Extremely well-organized and written with a voice of authority and experience, the book discusses a myriad of subjects that can have an extreme impact on our wellbeing. I’m normally a skeptic, especially when it comes to alternative medicine, but by the end, I found myself rethinking my opinions on a number of things. While it did read like a typical health ‘hype’ book (i.e., a good amount of excitability in the language), I found it to be grounded in more published literature and sources than other books of its kind, making it – in my opinion – to be on a higher professional level than a ‘soapbox’ book. Sources, however, don’t always make the grade. For example, Grout quotes Louis Pasteur’s supposed deathbed confession that his theory on germ warfare was all wrong; the entire ‘quote’ cites his competitor, Claude Bernard, as being correct. Interestingly, if you research this supposed deathbed confession you’ll find that it was noted not in Pasteur’s biography but in Bernard’s. At the time of Pasteur’s passing, Bernard had been dead for twenty years and his biographer, a Leon Delhoume, was only eight-years-old. Delhoume could not have received this quote from Bernard as it would have come twenty years early and it is highly unlikely that this eight-year-old, unrelated boy would have been bedside to a dying Pasteur. Conversely, Pasteur’s biographer – a relative – was more than likely at his side or with his family at the time of his death and shows no mention of this supposed confession. Therefore, it is impractical for Grout and Budinger to have such a quote, especially one of questionable validity as this, in their book unless it serves only to further drive their personal agenda. It also makes me wonder how many other points presented in the book are based on unreliable quotes and sources.
Regardless of the exact science behind their theories, Grout and Budinger write a realistic – and even downright scary – description in what we subject ourselves to every single day. The language in “An Alphabet of Good Health in a Sick World” is easy to understand and the editing is almost spot on. You’ll be rethinking that burger and soda for lunch after only the first chapter!