In 1932, Dr. Francis Marion Pottenger Jr. began an experiment in nutrition, supervised by Dr. Pottenger and Dr. Alvin Foord who was the professor of Pathology at the University of Southern Carolina and also worked in pathology at Huntingdon Memorial Hospital, Passadena.
This experiment lasted 10yrs using 4 generations of cats. This experiment met the most rigorous scientific standards that existed at that time, and there exists no other experiment which is similar in any medical literature to this day.
The study was carried out to determine the effects to health of cats when they were fed a diet where the food was processed using heat [as commercial petfood is today when it is rendered].
Dr. Pottenger was concerned that the cats kept in his lab had very poor survival rates, and another lab donated some of their cats which appeared to be thriving and this caused him a problem in meeting the demand for food, as they were still rapidly reproducing, [one of the areas where his own cats were in decline and only producing kittens with malformed organs and deformed skeletons] so the new cats ended up being fed a raw diet, unlike his own which were fed what was believed to be an optimum diet and consisted of raw milk, cod liver oil and cooked meat [liver, tripe, brains, heart,sweetbreads, musclemeat].
To begin with Dr. Pottenger fed raw scraps from a local meat packing plant [including internal organs, muscle and bone] to a separate proportion of the new cats so he could watch and observe any changes and differences. What he observed was that within just a few months, these cats, fed the raw scraps,were healthier than their counterparts, with higher post-op survival rates and healthy’ vigorous kittens.
This was an amazing contrast, which prompted the following controlled experiment to scientifically verify and show how the diet was affecting them and how nutrition affected their health.
The Experiment :
*900 cats spread over 4 generations were in the experiment, and these cats were split into 5 groups.
*All groups were given the same basic diet which supplied the minimal basic requirements, but the major portions of the diets were different.
Two of the groups were fed whole foods of raw milk and meat.
The other three groups were given processed foods: pasteurized, evaporated and condensed milk.
*All 4 generations of the raw meat and raw milk groups remained healthy throughout their normal lifespans.
*The 1st generation of all three processed food groups developed diseases and illnesses near the end of their lives.
*The 2nd generation of all three processed food groups developed diseases and illnesses in the middle of their lives.
*The 3rd generation of all three processed food groups developed diseases and illnesses in the beginning of their lives and many died before six months of age.
*There was no fourth generation in any of the three processed food groups. Either the third generation parents were sterile or the fourth generation cats died before birth.
Remember, all four generations of the raw food groups were healthy throughout their normal lifespans.
That only diets containing raw milk and raw meat produced optimal health: good bone structure and density, wide palates with plenty of space for teeth, shiny fur, no parasites or disease, reproductive ease and gentleness.
Cooking the meat or substituting heat-processed milk for raw resulted in heterogeneous reproduction and physical degeneration, increasing with each generation. Vermin and parasites abounded. Skin diseases and allergies increased from 5% to over 90%. Bones became soft and pliable. Cats suffered from adverse personality changes, hypothyroidism and most of the degenerative diseases encountered in human medicine. They died out completely by the fourth generation.
The changes Pottenger observed in cats on the deficient diets paralleled the human degeneration that Dr. Price found in tribes that had abandoned traditional diets.”