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Twenty pounds solid, four pounds liquid, twelve pounds water, equals thirty-six pounds, put into the oven at halfpast nine A.M. ; removed from oven at two P.M. Weight of cooked food thirty-two pounds; loss by evaporation of water four pounds.
I have not computed the Calories or nutrients in this quantity. It is intended to show what can be done in one oven at one time. It took somewhat less than one hour to prepare the eight combinations, namely, one dish each. They are as follows: beef and hominy hash ; veal, hominy and tomato ; mutton stew; liver and bacon with corn meal; halibut nape and potato, baked; oatmeal, plain; poor man's pudding ; baked Indian pudding.
You may presently test the quality of these combinations. We have put in forty pounds this time and may take out thirty-five to thirty-six.
With such a lot of food, strong in fat and nitrogen, there should be at least twelve pounds of bread and twelve pounds of vegetables, say twenty-four pounds at two and one-half cents, sixty cents; thirty-six pounds cooked as recited, one dollar and twenty-five cents; add for dried apple sauce or some cheap kind of fruit, fifteen cents; total, sixty pounds at a cost of two dollars.
You don't half believe it. Nor did I until I had proved it more than once. Presently you shall have an object lesson.
Now, if my method of combining nutrition and arithmetic by the standard of Calories and nutrients combined has no other result, it may lead to as much attention being given to the nutrition of the human beings in city institutions as is given to feeding the horses in the city stables. From some communications that have been made to me I am inclined to think that right at this point is a place for scientific charity.
I gave a seven-course dinner party at my house a few days since to my whist club and friends, including oranges and coffee, which cost thirteen cents each for food material. Each cigar consumed after dinner cost more than the dinner.
I lately gave a dinner of four courses, soup, fish, meat and vegetables, and mush with molasses for dessert, to nine of the poorer students at Harvard who want to economize ; there were three others; each had a pound and a half of strong food. The cost for the twelve was sixty-one cents.
The quantity of oil of one hundred and fifty degrees flash test that will be consumed on this forty pounds is one and one-half pints, at one and one-half cents per pint; two and one-fourth cents. There
be some variations to be made on the American standard.
In the judgment of Sir Henry Thompson, with whom I consulted personally, we concentrate our food a great deal too much in this country; we fine down our flour and lose in nutrition as well as in bulk; we also eat too much meat and fat. Moreover, the ration of meat and fat which may serve us well in winter may serve us ill in summer.
In order to meet these variations we may change the thirty-day dietary. When we substitute more grain and
vegetable food we reduce the Calories per pound and we therefore require more pounds a day.
We may also change the nutrients from starch 3, proteine 1, and fat 1, to starch 4, proteine 1.1, and fat 1.
On this basis I submit Table 2, one thousand Calories to a pound, in the ratio of starch 4, proteine 1.1, fat 1.
This table is also of a somewhat rough-and-ready sort, and must be carefully revised before it can be established. You will observe that it requires four pounds of this combination at one thousand Calories per pound to give the unit of nutrition at four thousand per day, but as the price per pound is less, the variation in the cost of a day's ration comes to very little.
In this ration again milk may be substituted for some of the meat and fat.
It will be observed that in these low-priced dietaries I have not included eggs. In our factory boarding-houses in Massachusetts the consumption of eggs per adult is one every other day. One egg every other day at sixteen and one-half cents a dozen comes to three dollars a year per adult; fifty million adults, one hundred and fifty million dollars ($150,000,000) a year for eggs! the measure of the hen industry.
If eggs are added at four per week, at three cents each (city prices for fresh eggs), twelve cents; with fruit at eight cents per week ; tea and coffee, seven cents; total for extras twenty-seven cents, the unit of nutrition at the low-priced standard would be as follows:
Class 1. Food, $0 20 + eggs, fruit and beverage, $0 04,
213 173 164
This is a sketch of the elements of the science or art of nutrition, which may perhaps be perfected and may possibly be taught in the common school arithmetics.
I have thus presented a theory of nutrition at a minimum cost. But it could only be attained in practice by people of more than common intelligence under our existing conditions ; it would be almost impossible to attain with the use of the cooking apparatus now in common use; yet at this standard, witness to what incomprehensible figures we are led when dealing with the whole mass of our population.
Whoever is right as to the enumeration of the census year, we now number sixty-five millions. If we make the utmost reduction for children of ten or under, keeping in consideration the larger need of growing children from ten to seventeen, also bearing in mind the great proportion of all who get their living by “ the sweat of their brow,” and who must have ample nutrition, we cannot estimate the present consumption of food at less than what would be required by fifty million adult men at active or moderate work or women at active work. We may compute our total consumption on a basis corresponding in requirements to a standard of nutrition somewhat under class two and a little over class three, costing fourteen and one-fourth cents a day, or one dollar a week for food; to which we may add a quarter of a dollar a week for eggs, tea, coffee and fruit.
At $52 per year the food necessary to sustain 50,000,000 adults comes to $2,600,000,000; at $13 per year, the eggs, tea, coffee and fruit come to $650,000,000; total for food and wholesome drink, $3,250,000,000; the most conservative estimate of the cost of beer, wine and spirits to the consumers is $750,000,000; total, $4,000,000,000.
The problem with which we are dealing is the mere alphabet. We are at the beginning of an attempt to apply the same science to the nutrition of man that we have so long been attempting to apply to the nutrition of the soil, the plant and the beast of the field ; our problem is how to cook not less than three billion dollars' worth of meat, fish, grain and vegetables a year.
I think you will admit, gentlemen, that it is quite time to apply science in the kitchen, and to develop a true and simple art of cooking.
At what price will you measure the waste of labor, the