50 YEARS AGO
For the week ending
Nov. 2, 1963
Synthetic food tested on cons
Nutrition experts working toward the day when man can thrive on chemicals alone have revealed the results of experiments conducted with the assistance of 18 convicted criminals,
For 48 days, 18 convicts at the California prison system medical facility here have been subsisting on synthetic diets consisting solely of foods from a test tube, mainly amino acids which act as the body’s protein builders.
Not only have the men subsisted. For many, the general physical condition has showed improvement. Fat men have slimmed down and the thin gained weight. Also, researchers say, there have been few gripes and none of the prisoners said he regretted taking part in the experiment.
One aim of the synthetic diet project is to develop suitable food for man-in-space programs. The project is financed by a NASA grant of $400,000.
Dr. Milton Winitz, director of the project being conducted by the Medical Sciences Research Foundation, said the synthetic food would be wholly adequate for feeding men on round trips to the moon.
“But," he said, “the diet’s chief virtues are not in space flight but in medicine.