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chase and in the consumption of food ; not day by day, but by the adoption of standards corresponding in every way to the chemical elements and to the units of heat, say for thirty days. I think we may even put the whole art of nutrition by and by into the common school arithmetics, in the form of examples of addition, multiplication and the like; it seems to me that they would be very much better lessons for children than many of the logical puzzles in figures which I have found in the school arithmetics, that are wholly unfit to be there, perplexing children instead of teaching them.
I have made some progress in this matter, and I will now submit some of the results in the form of tables. They have not yet been revised by competent authorities to the full extent, but are in a broad and general way consistent with the true standards of nutrition.
The exact standard of nutrition for a man at active but not excessive work is seven hundred grams of actual nutritive material free of water, four hundred and fifty grams of carbohydrates or starch, one hundred and fifty grams of fats, one hundred and fifty grams of proteine, with such mineral ingredients as will be found in any miscellaneous dietary in sufficient measure. These elements will yield three thousand, five hundred and twenty Calories or mechanical units of heat; the Calorie being the amount of heat necessary to raise one kilo, or one thousand grams, of water, one degree centigrade.
In order to make allowance for unavoidable waste we may safely adopt four thousand Calories as the average unit of nutrition for a man at active but not excessive work for one day.
On this unit we may make variations by percentage in ratio to the kind of work done, the sex and the weight of the consumer.
In about the ordinary proportions of gram, meat and vegetables in which food is purchased, I find that one pound containing the proportions of starch, fat and nitrogen required by the American standard yields one thousand two hundred Calories.
A day's ration of four thousand Calories, therefore, calls for three and one-third pounds of food material of the ordinary kinds, tea, coffee and the sugar and cream used therein, water or other liquids consumed as beverages not being included in this computation. Beverages possess but little food value.
Now while it might be unreasonable to expect an exact measure or unit of nutrition to be adopted and put in practice day by day, it becomes a very simple matter to establish a rule for the purchase of one hundred pounds of food per month, or thirty days' rations at three and one-third pounds each.
As a tentative measure yet to be more accurately computed, I have made the following table consistently with those general rules.
It is not a fancy table. In order to get a true basis for the retail prices of the cheaper kinds of food in Boston, some of which, notably the prices of potatoes and of coarse hominy or samp, are very high, I employed a lady who is much interested in this matter to get prices in Boston at the South End, the superintendent of a branch of the New England Kitchen at the North End, the colored cook who is employed in my office kitchen at the West End, and my office boy, a bright lad, to get prices in the neighborhood of our largest market, Quincy Market. I averaged these four returns in making this table, and I have printed them all in one of my circulars.
My first table is made on the basis of the cheaper kinds of meat and fish and the best kinds of flour, grain and vegetables, all bought at retail. There is a considerable margin for reduction if these articles are bought in large quantities. If bread is bought rather than baked at home on my methods, , the price of bread taken at two and a half cents a pound must be doubled in Boston. In New York you have better bread at three cents a pound cash at Mr. Samuel Howe's National Bakeries than we can get in Boston at six cents.
In reducing the pounds of food to nutrients and Calories
have assumed that the meat and vegetables will be purchased in variety, and I have therefore taken the average of each class of foods in my computation.
Thirty days' rations, yielding substantially twelve hundred Calories per pound in the proportion of three elements of starch to one of proteine and one of fat. Milk may be substituted for some of the meat fat or pork, but of course in much larger measure by weight.
Ration at Low Prices for the Cheaper Cuts or Portions of Meat and • Fish; 1,200 Calories to 1 pound. Nutrients: Starch 3, Pro
': tiene 1, Fat 1.
18 pounds neck and ship beef, mutton, flank, scrag, etc.,
$0 06 $1 08 2 pounds suet or beef fat, .
05 10 2 pounds salt pork,
10 3 pounds butter, .
30 90 6 pounds fish,
06 36 26 pounds bread, .
022 65 12 pounds oat meal and hominy,.
04 40 4 pounds beans or split peas,
07 28 22 pounds vegetables or roots,
03 72 5 pounds sugar, .
06 30 100 pounds, 1,200 Calories per pound, . $0 05 $5 00
The exact standards of American nutrition are much higher than those of Europe, as they may well be in order that the much higher rates of wages which our people earn may be fully justified and sustained by the greater amount of potential energy which our abundant product of food enables us to supply at low cost. They are as follows:
On this basis, on the cost of the foregoing standard,
Class 1 would require daily : 3}, say 4 pounds food, 1,200 Calories per pound, at 5 cents per pound,
$0 20 Class 2. 38, say 3} pounds, 1,200 Calories per pound,
171 Class 3. 25, say 24 pounds, 1,200 Calories per pound, Class 4. 2}, say 21 pounds, 1,200 Calories per pound,
On a minimum basis, therefore, yet one which may be readily adopted, the nutritive material which is necessary for a man at hard work in Boston can be purchased in small quantities at retail prices at twenty cents a day, or one dollar and forty cents per week; for a man at moderate work at seventeen and one-half cents a day, or one dollar and twenty-two and one-half cents per week; for a man at light exercise or a woman at moderate work at thirteen and three-fourths cents a day, or ninety-six and one-fourth cents per week; for a woman at light exercise at twelve and onehalf cents a day, or eighty-seven and one-half cents per week. .
As these purchases would be made in pounds, and as in every element a suitable addition has been made for what may be called reasonable waste, the common measure would be substantially as follows:
That does not sound like a very meagre diet.
I am not yet prepared to say how much this ration would weigh with the water added in the processes of cooking.
The bread is computed with the water in it, which the flour takes up at forty per cent. on the weight of flour.
Meats and fish may be combined with water in different portions; as the coarse or tough parts are better in soups, stews and hashes, the water added would be in large proportion.
Hominy and meal take up several times their weight in water, while vegetables shrink both in the preparation and in cooking. I should think this unit of nutrition at three and one-third pounds would weigh about five pounds after cooking. I am too much of a sedentary man, and I find that my average ration of cooked food aside from beverages is about three and one-half pounds, and on the basis of the dietary submitted I could live well at one dollar per week.
In anticipation of this meeting I devoted Fast Day, April 2, to some experiments. I caused one of my ovens to be substantially filled with food, in eight combinations.* This experiment is repeated in one of these ovens to-night, which we will presently open.
The food purchased was as follows:
* The latter part of this treatise is taken from a lecture given in Columbia Col. lege, New York, at the instance of Prof. Thomas Egleston.