Diet Economy In

Sources: Papers On Health

Dr. Hutchison, one of our greatest authorities on

the subject of Dietetics, has well said--

"The dearest foods are by no means the best. 'Cheap and nasty' is not a

phrase which can be applied to things which you eat. A pound of Stilton

cheese at 1s. 2d. contains no more nutriment than a pound of American

cheese at sixpence. A given weight of bloater will yield more building

material than the same quantity of salmon or sole.

"The upper classes in this country eat too much. The labouring classes

are insufficiently fed--much worse fed than their brethren in America.

One of the chief consequences is an undue craving for alcoholic

stimulants; another is that our poor are not properly armed against

tuberculosis and epidemic disease.

"How can this be rectified? Anyone who knows anything about the poor

man's budget knows that he already spends as much on food as he is

able. As it is, 50 per cent. of a workman's wages are absorbed in its

purchase, so that half the struggle for life is a struggle for food.

"The only remedy is to buy the things which are the most nourishing and

which yield the most energy. Quite a good diet can be obtained for

fourpence a day, yet the average working man spends sevenpence.

"I advise the buying of more vegetable foods, particularly peas, beans,

and lentils, and the cheaper varieties of fish. The working classes

should also be taught how to cook cheese, and thus make it more

digestible, as the Italians do. Cheese contains much building material,

and is therefore a valuable article of diet.

"I strongly recommend one good meal of oatmeal a day, instead of so

much bread, butter, and tea, which is the staple diet of so many poor

families, because it is easily prepared, and because of human laziness.

"Skimmed milk is better than no milk at all, for it contains all the

original proteids, and has only lost its fat. More dripping and

margarine should be eaten, instead of jam; margarine being quite as

digestible and nourishing as butter."

Vegetable oils are, however, more digestible than animal fats. Cocoanut

butter is a cheap and excellent substitute for margarine or butter. As

it contains no water it will go much further.

Another instance of bad economy is the use of cod liver oil. Butter or

even cream are quite as fattening and much more digestible.

Malt extract is much dearer than honey, which is superior to it in

value as a food.

To supply a healthy man with the amount of proteid required by him

daily in beef extracts would cost 7s., in milk (a comparatively

expensive food) would only cost about 1s.