History of Seventh-day Adventist Work with Soyfoods, Vegetarianism, Meat Alternatives, Wheat Gluten, Dietary Fiber and Peanut Butter (1863-2013)
William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-928914-64-8
Publication Date: 2014 Jan. 6
Number of References in Bibliography: 3638
Earliest Reference: 1838
Brief chronology of Seventh-day Adventist work with soyfoods, vegetarianism, meat alternatives, wheat gluten, dietary fiber and peanut butter.
No other organization or group of people has played a more important role than Seventh-day Adventists in introducing soyfoods, vegetarianism, meat alternatives, wheat gluten, dietary fiber or peanut butter to the Western world.
There are two basic types of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) organizations: (1) Those owned by the SDA church / denomination (officially General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists) – such as Sanitarium Foods (Australia), Loma Linda Foods (from 1905 to about 1989), Nutana (Denmark). (2) Those owned by practicing Seventh-day Adventists – such as Worthington Foods, La Sierra Industries (owned by T.A. Van Gundy), etc. For details, see the copyright page.
Soyfoods: Worldwide, Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs) first became familiar with soybeans in about…
1883 April – An article in that issue of Good Health (Battle Creek, Michigan) titled “Food of the Japanese,” states: "More than forty varieties of peas and beans are cultivated. The richly nutritive soy bean properly supplements the rice, which plays so large a part in the national diet."
1892 – Science in the Kitchen, by Ella E.E. Kellogg (wife of the famous Dr. John Harvey Kellogg), in a long chapter on “Legumes,” states (p. 217-18): "The nitrogenous matter of legumes is termed legumin, or vegetable casein, and its resemblance to the animal casein of milk is very marked. The Chinese make use of this fact, and manufacture cheese [clearly tofu] from peas and beans."
1896 May – In an editorial titled “Bean Cheese,” in his periodical Modern Medicine and Bacteriological Review (Battle Creek, Michigan), Dr. John Harvey Kellogg gives a detailed description (p. 112) of how tofu and frozen tofu are made.
1899 – The Deutsche Verein für Gesundheitspflege (German Society for Good Health) is founded in an old mill at Friedensau, near Magdeburg, Germany to make whole, healthy foods. It is later renamed DE-VAU-GE Gesundkostwerk Deutschland GmbH. A new plant was built at Hamburg in 1912 – shortly before World War I. During World War II ownership of the factory was transferred to four trustees, who continued to operate it as a private company. In 1966 a new building was constructed in North Hamburg at Brodermannsweg 17. Many soy products were developed and growth was rapid. In about 1976 the factory started operations at an enlarged site in Lüneberg (Neufeld 1976, p. 389-90). The company owned and used the brand GranoVita from at least 1958 until 1991. After that the story becomes complicated as the company was broken up and restructured (Drosihn 2010).
1900 April - The International Health Association (SDA) now has a sanitarium and a food factory in Redhill, Surrey, England. "The foods from now on are to be sold in this country under the name of 'Life and Health Foods.'" Previously the foods were imported from Battle Creek, Michigan, and sold by the London Food Co. (Vegetarian Messenger, p. 117-18). Granose Flakes was on the market by 1898, Toasted Wheat Flakes by Oct. 1901. In 1900 a fire burned the Redhill factory to the ground. By 1902 an IHA factory was making Adventist health foods on Legge Street, in Birmingham. In 1907 all SDA institutions in England, including the food factory, were centralized at Stanborough Park, Watford." In 1926 the food company was renamed Granose Foods Ltd. (Neufeld 1976, p. 527-28). In 1940 their first soy product, Granose Protose, containing soy flour, was launched.
1905 – The forerunner of Loma Linda Foods was the Loma Linda Sanitarium bakery, situated on Anderson Street in Loma Linda, California; it began operation in 1905. On 6 Feb. 1933 the name “Loma Linda Food Co.” was adopted, and on 1 July 1935 the first articles of incorporation were adopted for a nonprofit organization. A new and enlarged factory began operation on 16 July 1938 on a nine-acre site at Arlington (Riverside), California (Neufeld 1976, p. 797-98).
1915 Nov. – Kellogg Toasted Corn Flake Co. (owned by Will Keith Kellogg) applies for a patent for soynut butter (regular and powdered); it is issued in June 1916.
1919 Feb. 26 – The Madison Survey, printed by the Madison College Printing Dept., begins weekly publication. It contains many articles about Madison’s work with vegetarianism and soyfoods.
1921 – La Sierra Industries (Arlington, California), founded by Theodore A. Van Gundy, launches La Sierra Smoein – A bacon-flavored smoked soy powder seasoning. This is America’s first commercial soy-based meat alternative.
1922 March – Soy Bean Meat, America’s 2nd soy-based meat alternative, is introduced by Madison Foods in Madison, Tennessee. This is also the earliest known commercial soy product made in Tennessee. Also in 1922 Madison Foods launched Soy Beans (Plain, Canned) and Savory Meat (Meatless).
1929 – Theodore A. Van Gundy, founder of La Sierra Industries in southern California, becomes the first Caucasian in the Western world to manufacture commercial tofu, filtered soymilk, soynuts (named B-Nuts), soynut butter (named B-Nut Butter), or a commercial okara-based food product (named Soy Spread).
1936 – Dr. Harry W. Miller, an Adventist medical missionary in China, introduces Vetose Soya Milk (natural or chocolate), Soy Ice Cream, and Vetose Acidophilus (cultured soymilk) made by his Vetose Nutritional Laboratories in Shanghai.
1938 spring – Madison Health Messenger, which focuses on the work of Madison Foods (at Madison College, Tenessee) begins irregular publication, with Edwin M. Bisalski as editor. Most issues contained 4-6 pages, each 8½ by 11 inches, and were filled with information about and photos of canned vegetarian foods, including many soyfoods. It continues until 1949.
1939 fall – Dr. Harry Miller starts making and canning Miller's Soya Lac (soymilk fortified with vitamins and minerals, renamed Soyalac by Sept. 1941) and Soy-A-Malt (malted soymilk) at his International Nutrition Laboratory in Mt. Vernon Ohio. Soyalac was America's first widely successful soymilk. For decades it remained on the market as an infant formula.
1939 – Worthington Foods begins operations in Worthington, Ohio, under the name Special Foods. In Dec. 1945 the company is incorporated under the name Worthington Foods, Inc.
1950 June – Dr. Harry Miller of International Nutrition Laboratories (Mt. Vernon, Ohio), sells the meat alternatives part of his business (gluten meats, nut loaves, frankfurters) to Worthington Foods (Worthington, Ohio). They bought the patents, recipes and formulas, equipment, technology, and good will that went with Miller's meat alternatives business. Most of these products contained no soy. Worthington kept the brand name "Miller's" for several years thereafter as they sold Miller's Cutlets, Miller's Burger, Miller's Stew, Vege-Links, and the like.
1951 Jan. 1 – Dr. Harry Miller sold the rest of his business at a very low price (book value) to Loma Linda Food Co. of Riverside, California. This sale included the Mt. Vernon land, buildings, equipment, technology, and recipes and formulas for soymilk, canned fresh green soybeans, Vege-Cheese (a canned tofu cottage cheese) and related products. Dr. Miller had always believed that the process for making soymilk was not his to sell; it had been a gift to him from a higher power. So he gave the process to the SDA church.
1960 – Worthington Foods of Ohio introduces Fry-Chik, a meatless drumstick that is the world's first meatlike product (meat alternative) based on spun soy protein fibers – developed and patented by Robert Boyer, initially of the Ford Motor Co.
1960 – Africa Basic Foods, black Africa's first soyfoods company, is started in Uganda by Dr. D.W. Harrison, a black American Seventh-day Adventist medical missionary.
1960 – Worthington Foods acquires the rights to manufacture and market Battle Creek Food Company products.
1964 – Worthington Foods acquires the rights to manufacture and market Madison Foods’ products.
1970 – Worthington Foods merges with Miles Laboratories.
1974 – Miles Laboratories/Worthington Foods introduces the Morningstar Farms line of meatlike products based on spun soy protein fibers. The first of a new generation of meatlike entrees, they are soon sold nationally in U.S. supermarkets – and are still thriving today. Since the mid-1970s, Worthington has been the world's largest manufacturer of meatlike vegetarian products – most based on soy proteins and gluten.
1987 late – Loma Linda Foods shuts down its plant in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and moves its production to Riverside, California.
1988 – Granose Foods Ltd. moves from Stanborough Park into new facilities at Newport Park, England.
1989 – Loma Linda Foods (Riverside, California) is sold to Nutricia, a Dutch maker of infant formulas. But two disastrous infant formula recalls hurt the parent company.
1990 Jan. – La Loma Foods’ (formerly Loma Linda Foods) meat alternatives and Soyagen business (11503 Pierce St., Riverside, California) is sold to Worthington Foods (Ohio) (Fehlberg 1991).
1991 Jan. 1 – Granose Foods Ltd. (Newport Pagnell, England) is sold to the Haldane Foods Group and British Arkady Ltd. (Adventist Review, 1991; Fehlberg 1991).
1991 Oct. 1 – Kellogg Co. (famous maker of breakfast cereals, Battle Creek, Michigan) buys Worthington Foods (Worthington, Ohio) for $342 million. With this sale, no more SDA companies making soyfoods or meat alternatives are left in the United States.
1991 – A major breakup and restructuring takes place at DE-VAU-GE in Germany. They no longer sell under their GranoVita brand (Drosihn 2010).
2014 Jan. – The DE-VAU-GE website states that since June 1976 the company headquarters has been in Lüneburg. There they focus on the production of “crispy breakfast cereals, different kinds of muesli, and fruit bars. In 1998 another plant opened in Tangermünde near Stendal housing the very latest production facilities for breakfast cereals and muesli-bars.” Today DE-VAU-GE has more than 500 employees at the two locations. The products are made for the “private label sector.” Neither soyfoods nor meat alternatives are mentioned.
Vegetarianism: The organized vegetarian movement in America traces its origins to two Christian groups in the mid-1800s. The Bible-Christian Church in Philadelphia, under the leadership of Rev. William Metcalfe, started the American Vegetarian Society – America's first such society – in May 1850. The following November, The American Vegetarian and Health Journal began publication, with Metcalfe as editor. Famous early vegetarians such as Sylvester Graham and Dr. William A. Alcott were deeply influenced by Metcalfe and this society. But this society's influence was short-lived, especially after Metcalfe's death.
The second group, the Seventh-day Adventist church, became actively involved in vegetarianism in 1863, following a vision received by Ellen G. White in Otsego, Michigan. Over the years the Adventist influence on vegetarianism grew steadily, initially through the influence of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, the writings and teachings of Ellen G. White and other Adventists on the benefits of a meatless diet, vegetarian cookbooks and other publications, and commercial vegetarian products – especially meatlike products based on nuts, soya, and/or gluten.
But the greatest impact began in the 1960s when Adventist health professionals began the first real scientific research on the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. The centerpiece of this research was the first two Adventist health studies, initiated at Loma Linda University. These were the first large-scale, long-term epidemiological studies on vegetarians, and they showed convincingly and dramatically that Adventists (roughly half of whom were vegetarians) have much lower rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and several other major degenerative diseases. Based on these studies, researchers have published some 200 articles in scientific journals. We believe that this vast body of original research constitutes the single most important development in the field of vegetarianism since World War II.
Moreover, in 1987 the Loma Linda University Medical Center and affiliated groups organized the First International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition. Subsequent meetings took place every five years, with the sixth taking place in 2013.
This pioneering scientific health research and these congresses have played a leading role in changing the attitudes of health care professionals (physicians, nutritionists, dietitians etc.) toward a vegetarian diet.
In the 1960s, vegetarian diets were generally considered risky. But by the 1990s they were (if balanced) widely considered healthier than the standard American diet.
Meat Alternatives: Formerly called “meat substitutes.” By definition, these are meatless, meatlike products. The category of commercial meat alternatives was invented by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the world-famous head of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. His first two meat alternatives were Nuttose (1896) and Protose (1899) – both based on ground peanuts.
In the USA, this category was both pioneered (starting in the early 1940s) and developed by Worthington Foods and Loma Linda Foods.
Most of the meat alternatives made by Seventh-day Adventist companies have been vegan – they contain no animal products (such as eggs or dairy products).
Wheat Gluten: Seventh-day Adventists – and especially Dr. John Harvey Kellogg – were among the pioneers in introducing wheat gluten and foods based on wheat gluten to America. As early as 1882 the Food Department of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, supervised by Dr. Kellogg, was selling Gluten Wafers, Gluten Food, and Diabetic Food. All were probably used in diabetic diets. In 1907 Dr. Kellogg was issued U.S. Patent 869,371 for a meat substitute whose two main ingredients were gluten and casein (milk protein). And by 1912 the Kellogg Food Co. in Battle Creek, Michigan, was selling at least 7 food products based on wheat gluten, including 3 types of biscuits and a breakfast toast. Protose, launched in 1899, was Dr. Kellogg's second earliest commercial meatlike product – after Nuttose. Originally made from nuts, at some early unknown date Protose came to include gluten.
Following Dr. Kellogg's lead, other Adventist companies soon began to launch commercial meatlike products based on gluten. In 1929 La Sierra Soy Gluten was introduced by La Sierra Industries in Arlington, California. In 1932 Vigorost was launched by Madison Foods in Madison, Tennessee.
But the company that has been most successful in introducing gluten-based meatlike products to America is Worthington Foods in Worthington, Ohio. Their first such product was Proast, launched in 1939, followed by Choplets (Oct. 1941). In 1968-70 with Prosage (a meatless sausage) Worthington invented a unique and proprietary process for combining gluten and textured soy proteins to give improved texture, flavor, and nutritional value – leading to a host of new meatlike products by the early 1980s.
By 1992 Seventh-day Adventist food companies had introduced at least 166 commercial food products containing gluten as a major ingredient; of these at least 55 were made by Worthington Foods. Moreover, of Worthington's 180 products, approximately 90% contained at least some wheat gluten.
Dietary Fiber: Here, too, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was the pioneer. He was so credited in at least four publications by Denis P. Burkitt and Hugh Trowell – who established the “fiber hypothesis” of disease causation. For example, in 1978 in “The Development of the Concept of Dietary Fiber in Human Nutrition” published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (October, Supplement, p. S3-S11) Trowell wrote: “When Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, an American cereal manufacturer, advocated the use of bran in 1923 in The New Dietetics, he stimulated much research."
Note: As early as 1909, Dr. Kellogg's company, Battle Creek Foods in Battle Creek, Michigan, was selling and advertising "Sterilized bran (a gentle laxative)."
Peanut Butter: The forerunner of peanut butter (called “Peanut paste”) was invented and patented in the USA in Oct. 1884 by Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The patent (U.S. Patent No. 306,727) was titled “Manufacture of peanut-candy.” The term "peanut butter" does not appear in the patent. We call this peanut paste a "forerunner" because it was not sold as peanut butter (or as a nut butter or as peanut paste), but rather was used an ingredient – in peanut-candy. We have been unable to find any evidence that the peanut-candy described in this patent was ever manufactured or sold commercially, or that Edson was a Seventh-day Adventist.
1895 Oct. 10 – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, in a letter to Ellen G. White in Australia, writes: “We make very little use of cream or milk in our family, and use no butter whatever for seasoning, but use nuts instead. I have recently succeeded in making some very excellent preparations from nuts which take the place of butter entirely and are sweeter, more palatable, and more digestible. I find this plan is working very successfully both with the patients and with the helpers at the Dormitory." He is probably referring to peanut butter as we shall soon see.
1895 Nov. 4 – Thee months later, Dr. Kellogg applies for a U.S. patent (No. 567,901) for a "nut-butter" made from peanuts or almonds.
1896 Nov. – Dr. Kellogg’s peanut butter is now sold commercially – but is not yet named “peanut butter.” Sanitas Nut Food Co., in an ad titled “New Nut Products” in the Chicago Vegetarian (p. 8) advertises the following: 3. Nut Butter. "A substitute for ordinary butter, presenting fat in the form of a perfect emulsion; combined with water, forms a delicious cream. Used for shortening of all kinds. A pure product of nuts; can be eaten by those who cannot eat ordinary butter." Note: This may well be peanut butter.
4. Nut Cream. "A delicate, delicious nut preparation, which, properly diluted, furnishes a delicately-flavored cream or milk. It resembles milk in appearance." Note: It is probably made from peanuts and/or almonds.
1897 July 2 – The term “peanut butter” first appears in an English-language document. In an article titled “For a Trust in Peanuts,” the Chicago Daily Tribune writes (p. 10): "Economic uses for peanuts: The active brains of American inventors have found new economic uses for the peanut. A peanut butter, first designed for invalids, but now sold with other food products, is made simply by crushing the nuts into a paste and adding water."
1897 – Large-scale production of peanut butter begins in the United States in Kokomo, Indiana – but unrelated to Seventh-day Adventists. It is made by Lane Bros. Health Food Co. at 11 McCann St. See: Kokomo Daily Tribune. 1897. “The Latest in Butter: Kokomo has a New Industry Making Butter from Peanuts.” Nov. 16. p. 4, col. 3.
1898 – In Australia, Edward Halsey, a baker at Sanitarium Health Food Co. (Seventh-day Adventist) introduces Sanitarium Peanut Butter – Australia’s first.
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History of Africa Basic Foods (Ghana and Uganda)
History of Battle Creek Food Co. (Battle Creek, MI)
History of Butler Food Products (Cedar Lake, MI)
History of Cedar Lake Foods (Cedar Lake, MI)
History of DE-VAU-GE Gesundkostwerk GmbH
History of Fuller Life Inc (Maryville, Tennessee)
History of Granose Foods Ltd. (Newport Pagnell, Bucks,
History of International Health Association Ltd.
History of International Nutrition Laboratory (Mt. Vernon,
History of Lange Foods (Portland, OR)
History of La Sierra Industries (La Sierra, CA)
History of Loma Linda Foods (Riverside, CA)*
History of Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, CA)*
History of Madison Foods (Madison, TN)
History of Millstone Foods (Penryn, CA)
History of Sanitarium Health Food Company (Wahroonga,
History of Sanitas Nut Food Co. (Battle Creek, MI)
History of Sovex Natural Foods (Collegedale, TN)
History of Worthington Foods, Inc. (Worthington, OH)
* = Owned by the SDA General Conference/Church
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with soyfoods
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with vegetarianism
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with meat alternatives
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with meat substitutes
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with wheat gluten
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with dietary fiber
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with peanut butter
Bibliography of Seventh-day Adventists work with soyfoods
Bibliography of Seventh-day Adventist work with vegetarianism
Bibliography of Seventh-day Adventist work with wheat gluten
Bibliography of Seventh-day Adventist work with dietary fiber
Bibliography of Seventh-day Adventist work with peanut butter
History of vegetarianism
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with soyfood products
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with soybean foods
History of Seventh-day Adventist work with soybeans
Biography of D.W. Harrison, M.D. (1921-2011)
Biography of John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. (1852-1943)
Biography of Will Keith Kellogg (1860-1951)
Biography of Jethro Kloss (1863-1946)
Biography of Harry W. Miller, M.D. (1879-1977)
Biography of Theodore A. Van Gundy (1874-1935)
Biography of Ellen G. White’s work with food & health
Biography of Sam Yoshimura