Quack diets are nothing new. Nor have they always been easily dismissed. In eighteenth-century Italy, a virulent controversy arose over a meatless wonder diet. This controversy would eventually play itself out in the field of nutritional theory, as dietary writers crambled to incorporate the latest scientific findings into their recommendations.
Insensible Perspiration and Oily Vegetable Humor: An Eighteenth Century Controversy Over Vegetarianism.
Gastronomica, 2(3), 29–36.