Glyn Davys, a campaigner against malnutrition, died on 4th January 2011, aged 85
1. Glyn Davys, a campaigner against malnutrition, died on 4th January 2011, aged 85. He was born on the 1st March 1925. After a career in the theatre, Glynn spent most of his life combating malnutrition in Third World countries by demonstrating the effectiveness of leaf concentrate (LC), “which he described as the greatest untapped food resource on Earth,” to quote from the short obituary The Times (14/02/2011) devoted to him. LC is an extract from leaves rich in protein (for that is where plants synthesize it, in a variety of tastes and forms) and vitamin A, iron and other micronutrients. Davys was dogged in promoting it as a sustainable means of tackling malnutrition and as a way of helping to meet the increasing global demand for food.
2. The post-WW2 years covered an age of altruistic research prompted by Bill Pirie’s biochemical reasoning and experience of persistent epidemics of protein-calorie malnutrition, particularly in tropical countries, where the climates and spread of disease and conservation of water have latterly entered the discussions and applications of stock-free farming and the consequences in many human communities of lactose-intolerance. Pirie worked at Rothamsted Experimental Station. He was a biochemist whose researches there earned him an FRS.
3. Davys and his collaborators in the Find Your Feet project, who included the scientists in the Vegetarian Nutritional Research Council, from whom VEGA Research Trust has derived in various forms and extensions that embrace the potential in both terrestrial and maritime crops (mariculture) and from trees and food yeasts (mycology). Glyn developed a variety of machines of different sizes and potential for producing milks and cheeses fit for low-input systems of subsistence, with due regard for components, toxic or beneficial, that leaves can offer. Unfortunately the greenness in such products in “civilized” countries was associated with contamination of dairy-products (eg from bacterial pathogens) and removal of the undesirable chlorophyll failed to attract populations of rich countries who overlooked the wastage of yields from overworked female animals.
4. If only people of the calibre of Gandhi, Bernard Shaw, Bill Pirie, and Glyn Davys could have survived to vitalize today’s Big Society with the enterprise and altruism they displayed in their time!