February 13, 2007


Fletcherize v. : to reduce (food) to tiny particles especially by prolonged chewing

Usage: Often Capitalized

Etymology: Horace Fletcher + English -ize--Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com (13 Feb. 2007).

Bloggin' John Asks:

Q: How many times did Horace Fletcher prescribe that we chew . . . I mean Fletcherize each piece of food for good digestion?
A: According to Wikipedia: 32 times.

Q: Who was Horace Fletcher, and what else did he recommend for healthful eating?
A: Once again, we turn to Wikipedia:

Horace Fletcher (1849-1919) was an American health-food faddist of the Victorian era who earned the nickname "The Great Masticator," by arguing that food should be chewed thirty two times — or, about 100 times per minute — before being swallowed: "Nature will castigate those who don't masticate." He invented elaborate justifications for his claim.

Fletcher and his followers recited and followed his instructions religiously, even claiming that liquids, too, had to be chewed in order to be properly mixed with saliva. Fletcher promised that "Fletcherizing," as it became known, would turn "a pitiable glutton into an intelligent epicurean."

Fletcher also advised against eating before being "Good and Hungry", or while angry or sad. He promoted his theories for decades on lecture circuits, and became a millionaire. Upton Sinclair, Henry James and John D.Rockefeller were among those who gave the fad a try. Henry James and Mark Twain were visitors to his palazio in Venice.

Along with "Fletcherizing", Fletcher and his supporters advocated a low-protein diet as a means to health and well-being.

But by 1919, when Fletcher, 68, died of a heart attack, his diet plan was already being replaced by the next approach to dieting championed by Irving Fisher and Eugene Lyman Fisk: counting calories.--Wikipedia (13 Feb 2007)

Don't forget, now: 32 times. Enjoy your next meal!--B'n'J'n



  1. That bowl of cereal just got bigger now that I'm going to fletcherize it! That's for the healthful tip on digestion!

  2. John,
    Just when one thinks they have their professional terminology down, an important concept bordering on "infinity chew" is labeled. Thank you for this word to label that which i see in my practice nearly everyday. Although my sick patients are doing this out of weakness rather than conscious effort.
    Valentine's Day 32 times to you!

  3. Cindy,

    May the practice of fletcherizing free you and your patients from all forms of dyspepsia.

    32 good wishes to you too.

    Bloggin' John