Health Nutrition Spirituality

Oranges and Lemons

My original 7″ of “Vitamin C”.

[Obligatory moment’s silence to commemorate the life of Damo Suzuki.]

Thanks to the intervention of David Stubbs and generosity of the CAN organisation, I was able to license “Vitamin C” and “Dead Pigeon Suite” (variations on the theme) for my Vitamin C animation. I went to meet Damo in Hackney at the Total Refreshment Centre in May 2018 when he played one of his group improvisational concerts.

We chatted after the gig and later on exchanged emails. Damo wrote complimenting the film, “Good Afternoon, Matthew! It’s very educational and I liked it…” He did, however, express some frustration that, at this very early stage, he didn’t have a credit at its conclusion. I don’t believe I was completely aware of the scale of his contribution to the song, “I was as a singer of them, lyric is written my self, also melody what I sung. Strange world…….” He signed off, “Have a nice Evening! Energy!”

Thankfully I was able to immediately rectify the mistake which is reflected in the film’s existing credit sequence – and shared an updated link with Damo. May he rest in peace.

When I visited California researching my book “Retreat” in June 2018 I had wanted to visit Linus Pauling’s ranch on the Big Sur coastline which is depicted in the animation. I understand from my friend Patrick Holford that he visited his mentor Pauling there.

Lemon on a dining table at the Esalen Institute.

However, I simply didn’t have time to drop by Deer Flat Ranch in what was a massively compressed schedule. However, with Pauling on my mind, sitting at the canteen at the Esalen Institute, I found there was a lemon that had been left on my table outside. There was clearly a prosaic reason for it being there, but it still acquired gently cosmic overtones for me.

Promotional sticker for my animation of Vitamin C. Website now defunct.

Lemons were central to the history of Vitamin C. Although it was a handy and entirely appropriate motif I used throughout the film, Lemons rank quite low in the scale of fruits for their Vitamin C content.

Oranges for juicing.

The great proportion of Vitamin C in Lemons and Oranges is actually in the inedible peel. If you look strictly at the amount of Vitamin C in the juice, Lemon juice contains 38.7mg of Vitamin C per 100g. On the other hand freshly squeezed Orange Juice contains 50mg of Vitamin C per 100g serving. Oranges are therefore a better bet.

Researching my forthcoming book “The Garden” I recently came across a wonderful quote from Alan Watts in his book “The Joyous Cosmology” (1962) on the subject of Oranges, “Oranges – transformations of the sun into its own image…”

My OJ squeezer. No batteries needed.

Certainly these modest amounts of Vitamin C are nowhere near the quantities consumed by those practising Orthomolecular medicine. However, I think we shouldn’t underestimate the bioavailability of Vitamin C in plain old juice. I’m personally not a fan of liposomal Vitamin C – and I don’t care what science is wheeled out in its favour.

Ultimately, you simply can’t get enough Vitamin C. It has a significant role as an antioxidant, but its importance in regulating Histamine, and I would conjecture by extension Dopamine (which is troublesome in high quantities), is under-researched.