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Diet Economy In
Source: 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.