The Use of Pepper

by Ellen White

I have not had, to my knowledge, a particle of pepper in the house for ten years. When Lucinda went up to Mr. Walling's mills, I said to her, "Get me a little pinch of pepper, and I will try to eat some beans." I thought the pepper would perhaps prevent them from causing me to have the colic. But I think so little of what I eat, it never entered my mind that there was any pepper. So much for pepper. I claim that we live very plain and economical. Lucretia, if you did not mean to tempt us in buying cheese, what did you mean? Did you buy that cheese merely because you wanted to gratify the wish of my husband? If so, you could have gratified his taste for fresh, dried black raspberries which you heard him often speaking of desiring. You had them but did not cook them. You heard him often express a wish for this, but you did not gratify it. He could not eat strawberries, but kept wishing for raspberries. If my husband had wanted cheese, he could have bought it, for he was at Black Hawk and Central as often as three times a week. What your motive was, you know and the Lord knows, but we do not. 15MR 246

If in the spring of the year we felt languor (really the result of consuming so much fat and flesh meats during the winter), we resorted to sharp pickles, horseradish, mustard, pepper, and the like, to "sharpen the appetite" and tone up the system. We naturally expected a "poor spell" in the spring before we could get newly grown vegetables.--< Medical Missionary > , December, 1899 2BIO 298

Cider drinking leads to the use of stronger drinks. The stomach loses its natural vigour, and something stronger is needed to arouse it to action. On one occasion, when my husband and myself were travelling, we were obliged to spend several hours waiting for the train. While we were in the depot, a red-faced, bloated farmer came into the restaurant connected with it, and in a loud, rough voice asked: "Have you first-class brandy?" He was answered in the affirmative, and ordered half a tumbler. "Have you pepper sauce?" "Yes," was the answer. "Well, put in two large spoonfuls." He next ordered two spoonfuls of alcohol added, and concluded by calling for "a good dose of black pepper." The man who was preparing it asked: "What will you do with such a mixture?" He replied: "I guess that will take hold," and, placing the full glass to his lips, drank the whole of this fiery compound. That man had used stimulants until he had deadened the tender coats of the stomach. 5T 357

In this fast age, the less exciting the food, the better. Condiments are injurious in their nature. Mustard, pepper, spices, pickles, and other things of a like character, irritate the stomach and make the blood feverish and impure. The inflamed condition of the drunkard's stomach is often pictured as illustrating the effect of alcoholic liquors. A similarly inflamed condition is produced by the use of irritating condiments. Soon ordinary food does not satisfy the appetite. The system feels a want, a craving, for something more stimulating. [ (1896) E. from U.T. 6 ] CD 339

Children should be educated to habits of temperance, even while in their mother's arms. Our tables should bear only the most wholesome food, free from every irritating substance. The appetite for liquor is encouraged by the preparation of food with condiments and spices. These cause a feverish state of the system, and drink is demanded to allay the irritation. On my frequent journeys across the continent, I do not patronise restaurants, dining-cars, or hotels, for the simple reason that I cannot eat the food there provided. The dishes are highly seasoned with salt and pepper, creating an almost intolerable thirst. During my last trip, the conductor of the sleeping-car kindly brought me a plate of rich vegetable soup. I tasted the apparently inviting dish, but found it so highly seasoned that I dared not eat it. The salt and pepper made my mouth smart, and I well knew that they would irritate and inflame the delicate coating of the stomach. I passed the tempting dish to another; for I dared not place such an abuse upon my digestive organs. RH NOV.06,1883

I have had five shocks of paralysis, and God, in his mercy, has raised me up, to take my place in the work he has given me to do, and to try to benefit others by my experience. Light was given me, and I saw the reason for my feeble health. I was astonished that I had so long remained in ignorance in regard to the laws of life. My habits were out of harmony with the conditions that are necessary to health. My food had not been of a proper kind to give vitality and strength to the system. It was highly seasoned, and stimulating rather than nutritious. The physicians said that I might die at any time, and I resolved that if I died, I would die in attempting to correct my injurious habits of life. I resolved to place myself on a platform of strictest temperance. I did not use tea or coffee or any kind of intoxicating wine or liquor, so I did not have these habits to overcome; but I had used flesh and spices, eating hearty meals three times a day. I had to educate myself to enjoy the simple, healthful grains and fruits that God has provided for the wants of man. But I found that all the sacrifice I had to make was doubly repaid in renewed health of body and mind. I had used pepper and mustard in my diet; but these should not be put into the human stomach. The delicate membrane becomes inflamed, the healthy tone of the stomach is lowered, and the appetite is perverted, the taste loses its discernment, and the delicious flavours of grains, vegetables, and fruits become insipid and unpalatable. ST FEB.17,1888