Chapter 1

We may define a food to be any substance which will repair the functional waste of the body, increase its growth, or maintain the heat, muscular, and nervous energy. In its most comprehensive sense, the oxygen of the air is a food; as although it is admitted by the lungs, it passes into the blood, and there re-acts upon the other food which has passed through the stomach. It is usual, however, to restrict the term food to such nutriment as enters the body by the intestinal canal. Water is often spoken of as being distinct from food, but for this there is no sufficient reason.

Many popular writers have divided foods into flesh-formers, heat-givers, and bone-formers. Although attractive from its simplicity, this classification will not bear criticism. Flesh-formers are also heat-givers. Only a portion of the mineral matter goes to form bone.

Class I.—Inorganic Compounds.

Sub-class 1. Water. 2. Mineral Matter or Salts.

Class II—Organic Compounds.

1. Non-Nitrogeneous or Ternary Compounds. a Carbohydrates.

b Oils. c Organic Acids.

2. Nitrogenous Compounds. a Proteids. b Osseids.

Class III.—Non-Nutritives, Food Adjuncts and Drugs.

Essential Oils, Alkaloids, Extractives, Alcohol, &c.

These last are not strictly foods, if we keep to the definition already given; but they are consumed with the true foods or nutrients, comprised in the other two classes, and cannot well be excluded from consideration.

Water forms an essential part of all the tissues of the body. It is the solvent and carrier of other substances.

Mineral Matter or Salts, is left as an ash when food is thoroughly burnt. The most important salts are calcium phosphate, carbonate and fluoride, sodium chloride, potassium phosphate and chloride, and compounds of magnesium, iron and silicon.

Mineral matter is quite as necessary for plant as for animal life, and is therefore present in all food, except in the case of some highly-prepared ones, such as sugar, starch and oil. Children require a good proportion of calcium phosphate for the growth of their bones, whilst adults require less. The outer part of the grain of cereals is the richest in mineral constituents, white flour and rice are deficient. Wheatmeal and oatmeal are especially recommended for the quantity of phosphates and other salts contained in them. Mineral matter is necessary not only for the bones but for every tissue of the body.

When haricots are cooked, the liquid is often thrown away, and the beans served nearly dry, or with parsley or other sauce. Not only is the food less tasty but important saline constituents are lost. The author has made the following experiments:—German whole lentils, Egyptian split red lentils and medium haricot beans were soaked all night (16 hours) in just sufficient cold water to keep them covered. The water was poured off and evaporated, the residue heated in the steam-oven to perfect dryness and weighed. After pouring off the water, the haricots were boiled in more water until thoroughly cooked, the liquid being kept as low as possible. The liquid was poured off as clear as possible, from the haricots, evaporated and dried. The ash was taken in each case, and the alkalinity of the water-soluble ash was calculated as potash (K2O). The quantity of water which could be poured off was with the German lentils, half as much more than the original weight of the pulse; not quite as much could be poured off the others.

  G. Lentils. E. Lentils. Haricots. Cooked H.
Proportion of liquid 1.5 1.25 1.20
Soluble dry matter 0.97 3.38 1.43 7.66 per cent.
Ash 0.16 0.40 0.28 1.26  "     "
Alkalinity as K2O 0.02 0.082 0.084 0.21   "     "

The loss on soaking in cold water, unless the water is preserved, is seen to be considerable. The split lentils, having had the protecting skin removed, lose most. In every case the ash contained a good deal of phosphate and lime. Potatoes are rich in important potash salts; by boiling a large quantity is lost, by steaming less and by baking in the skins, scarcely any. The flavour is also much better after baking.

The usual addition of common salt (sodium-chloride) to boiled potatoes is no proper substitute for the loss of their natural saline constituents. Natural and properly cooked foods are so rich in sodium chloride and other salts that the addition of common salt is unnecessary. An excess of the latter excites thirst and spoils the natural flavour of the food. It is the custom, especially in restaurants, to add a large quantity of salt to pulse, savoury food, potatoes and soups. Bakers' brown bread is usually very salt, and sometimes white is also. In some persons much salt causes irritation of the skin, and the writer has knowledge of the salt food of vegetarian restaurants causing or increasing dandruff. As a rule, fondness for salt is an acquired taste, and after its discontinuance for a time, food thus flavoured becomes unpalatable.

Organic Compounds are formed by living organisms (a few can also be produced by chemical means). They are entirely decomposed by combustion.

The Non-Nitrogenous Organic Compounds are commonly called carbon compounds or heat-producers, but these terms are also descriptive of the nitrogenous compounds. These contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen only, and furnish by their oxidation or combustion in the body the necessary heat, muscular and nervous energy. The final product of their combustion is water and carbon dioxide (carbonic acid gas).

The Carbohydrates comprise starch, sugar, gum, mucilage, pectose, glycogen, &c.; cellulose and woody fibre are carbohydrates, but are little capable of digestion. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the proportion to form water, the carbon alone being available to produce heat by combustion. Starch is the most widely distributed food. It is insoluble in water, but when cooked is readily digested and absorbed by the body. Starch is readily converted into sugar, whether in plants or animals, during digestion. There are many kinds of sugar, such as grape, cane and milk sugars.

The Oils and Fats consist of the same elements as the carbohydrates, but the hydrogen is in larger quantity than is necessary to form water, and this surplus is available for the production of energy. During their combustion in the body they produce nearly two-and-a-quarter times (4 : 8.9 = 2.225) as much heat as the carbohydrates; but if eaten in more than small quantities, they are not easily digested, a portion passing away by the intestines. The fat in the body is not solely dependent upon the quantity consumed as food, as an animal may become quite fat on food containing none. A moderate quantity favours digestion and the bodily health. In cold weather more should be taken. In the Arctic regions the Esquimaux consume enormous quantities. Nuts are generally rich in oil. Oatmeal contains more than any of the other cereals (27 analyses gave from 8 to 12.3 per cent.)

The most esteemed and dearest oil is Almond. What is called Peach-kernel oil (Oleum Amygdalæ Persicæ), but which in commerce includes the oil obtained from plum and apricot stones, is almost as tasteless and useful, whilst it is considerably cheaper. It is a very agreeable and useful food. It is often added to, as an adulterant, or substituted for the true Almond oil. The best qualities of Olive oil are much esteemed, though they are not as agreeable to English taste as the oil previously mentioned. The best qualities are termed Virgin, Extra Sublime and Sublime. Any that has been exposed for more than a short time to the light and heat of a shop window should be rejected, as the flavour is affected. It should be kept in a cool place. Not only does it vary much in freedom from acid and rancidity, but is frequently adulterated. Two other cheaper oils deserve mention. The "cold-drawn" Arachis oil (pea-nut or earth-nut oil) has a pleasant flavour, resembling that of kidney beans. The "cold-drawn" Sesamé oil has an agreeable taste, and is considered equal to Olive oil for edible purposes. The best qualities are rather difficult to obtain; those usually sold being much inferior to Peach-kernel and Olive oils. Cotton-seed oil is the cheapest of the edible ones. Salad oil, not sold under any descriptive name, is usually refined Cotton-seed oil, with perhaps a little Olive oil to impart a richer flavour.

The solid fats sold as butter and lard substitutes, consist of deodorised cocoanut oil, and they are excellent for cooking purposes. It is claimed that biscuits, &c., made from them may be kept for a much longer period, without showing any trace of rancidity, than if butter or lard had been used. They are also to be had agreeably flavoured by admixture with almond, walnut, &c., "cream."

The better quality oils are quite as wholesome as the best fresh butter, and better than most butter as sold. Bread can be dipped into the oil, or a little solid vegetable fat spread on it. The author prefers to pour a little Peach-kernel oil upon some ground walnut kernels (or other ground nuts in themselves rich in oil), mix with a knife to a suitable consistency and spread upon the bread. Pine-kernels are very oily, and can be used in pastry in the place of butter or lard.

Whenever oils are mentioned, without a prefix, the fixed or fatty oils are always understood. The volatile or essential oils are a distinct class. Occasionally, the fixed oils are called hydrocarbons, but hydrocarbon oils are quite different and consist of carbon and hydrogen alone. Of these, petroleum is incapable of digestion, whilst others are poisonous.

Vegetable Acids are composed of the same three elements and undergo combustion into the same compounds as the carbohydrates. They rouse the appetite, stimulate digestion, and finally form carbonates in combination with the alkalies, thus increasing the alkalinity of the blood. The chief vegetable acids are: malic acid, in the apple, pear, cherry, &c.; citric acid, in the lemon, lime, orange, gooseberry, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, &c.; tartaric acid, in the grape, pineapple, &c.

Some place these under Class III. or food adjuncts. Oxalic acid (except when in the insoluble state of calcium oxalate), and several other acids are poisonous.

Proteids or Albuminoids are frequently termed flesh-formers. They are composed of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and a small quantity of sulphur, and are extremely complex bodies. Their chief function is to form flesh in the body; but without previously forming it, they may be transformed into fat or merely give rise to heat. They form the essential part of every living cell.

Proteids are excreted from the body as water, carbon dioxide, urea, uric acid, sulphates, &c.

The principal proteids of animal origin have their corresponding proteids in the vegetable kingdom. Some kinds, whether of animal or vegetable origin, are more easily digested than others. They have the same physiological value from whichever kingdom they are derived.

The Osseids comprise ossein, gelatin, cartilage, &c., from bone, skin, and connective issue. They approach the proteids in composition, but unlike them they cannot form flesh or fulfil the same purpose in nutrition. Some food chemists wish to call the osseids, albuminoids; what were formerly termed albuminoids to be always spoken of as proteids only.

Jellies are of little use as food; not only is this because of the low nutritive value of gelatin, but also on account of the small quantity which is mixed with a large proportion of water.

The Vegetable Kingdom is the prime source of all organic food; water, and to a slight extent salts, form the only food that animals can derive directly from the inorganic kingdom. When man consumes animal food—a sheep for example—he is only consuming a portion of the food which that sheep obtained from grass, clover, turnips, &c. All the proteids of the flesh once existed as proteids in the vegetables; some in exactly the same chemical form.

Flesh contains no starch or sugar, but a small quantity of glycogen. The fat in an animal is derived from the carbohydrates, the fats and the proteids of the vegetables consumed. The soil that produced the herbage, grain and roots consumed by cattle, in most cases could have produced food capable of direct utilisation by man. By passing the product of the soil through animals there is an enormous economic loss, as the greater part of that food is dissipated in maintaining the life and growth; little remains as flesh when the animal is delivered into the hands of the butcher. Some imagine that flesh food is more easily converted into flesh and blood in our bodies and is consequently more valuable than similar constituents in vegetables, but such is not the case. Fat, whether from flesh or from vegetables is digested in the same manner. The proteids of flesh, like those of vegetables, are converted into peptone by the digestive juices—taking the form of a perfectly diffusible liquid—otherwise they could not be absorbed and utilised by the body. Thus the products of digestion of both animal and vegetable proteids and fats are the same. Formerly, proteid matter was looked upon as the most valuable part of the food, and a large proportion was thought necessary for hard work. It was thought to be required, not only for the construction of the muscle substance, but to be utilised in proportion to muscular exertion. These views are now known to be wrong. A comparatively small quantity of proteid matter, such as is easily obtained from vegetable food, is ample for the general needs of the body. Increased muscular exertion requires but a slight increase of this food constituent. It is the carbohydrates, or carbohydrates and fats that should be eaten in larger quantity, as these are the main source of muscular energy. The fact that animals, capable of the most prolonged and powerful exertion, thrive on vegetables of comparatively low proteid value, and that millions of the strongest races have subsisted on what most Englishmen would consider a meagre vegetarian diet, should have been sufficient evidence against the earlier view.

A comparison of flesh and vegetable food, shows in flesh an excessive quantity of proteid matter, a very small quantity of glycogen (the animal equivalent of starch and sugar) and a variable quantity of fat. Vegetable food differs much, but as a rule it contains a much smaller quantity of proteid matter, a large proportion of starch and sugar and a small quantity of fat. Some vegetable foods, particularly nuts, contain much fat.

Investigation of the digestive processes has shown that the carbohydrates and fats entail little strain on the system; their ultimate products are water and carbon dioxide, which are easily disposed of. The changes which the proteids undergo in the body are very complicated. There is ample provision in the body for their digestion, metabolism, and final rejection, when taken in moderate quantity, as is the case in a dietary of vegetables. The proteids in the human body, after fulfilling their purpose, are in part expelled in the same way as the carbohydrates; but the principal part, including all the nitrogen, is expelled by the kidneys in the form of urea (a very soluble substance), and a small quantity of uric acid in the form of quadurates.

There is reciprocity between the teeth and digestive organs of animals and their natural food. The grasses, leaves, &c., which are consumed by the herbivora, contain a large proportion of cellulose and woody tissue. Consequently, the food is bulky; it is but slowly disintegrated and the nutritious matter liberated and digested. The cellulose appears but slightly acted upon by the digestive juices. The herbivora possess capacious stomachs and the intestines are very long. The carnivora have simpler digestive organs and short intestines. Even they consume substances which leave much indigestible residue, such as skin, ligaments and bones, but civilised man, when living on a flesh dietary removes as much of such things as possible. The monkeys, apes, and man (comprised in the order Primates have a digestive canal intermediate in complexity and in length to the herbivora and carnivora. A certain quantity of indigestible matter is necessary for exciting peristaltic action of the bowels. The carnivora with their short intestinal canal need the least, the frugivora more, and the herbivora a much larger quantity. The consumption by man of what is commonly called concentrated food is the cause of the constipation to which flesh-eating nations are subject. Most of the pills and other nostrums which are used in enormous quantities contain aloes or other drugs which stimulate the action of the intestines.

Highly manufactured foods, from which as much as possible of the non-nutritious matter has been removed is often advocated, generally by those interested in its sale. Such food would be advantageous only if it were possible to remove or modify a great part of our digestive canal (we are omitting from consideration certain diseased conditions, when such foods may be useful). The eminent physiologist and bacteriologist, Elie Metchnikoff, has given it as his opinion that much of man's digestive organs is not only useless but often productive of derangement and disease. In several cases where it has been necessary, in consequence of serious disease, to remove the entire stomach or a large part of the intestines, the digestive functions have been perfectly performed. It is not that our organs are at fault, but our habits of life differ from that of our progenitors. In past times, when a simple dietary in which flesh food formed little or no part, and to-day, in those countries where one wholly or nearly all derived from vegetable sources and simply prepared is the rule, diseases of the digestive organs are rare. The Englishman going to a tropical country and partaking largely of flesh and alcohol, suffers from disease of the liver and other organs, to which the natives and the few of his own countrymen, living in accordance with natural laws are strangers.

Indigestible Matter—Food is never entirely digested. As a reason against confining ourselves solely to vegetable food, it has been stated that such is less perfectly digested than animal food and that it therefore throws more work on the digestive organs. It is also urged that on this account a greater quantity of vegetable food is required. We have shown elsewhere that, on the contrary, vegetarians are satisfied with a smaller amount of food. Man requires a small quantity of woody fibre or cellulose in his food to stimulate intestinal action and prevent constipation.

It is difficult to determine how much of a food is unassimilated in the body. This is for the reason of the intestinal refuse consisting not only of undigested food, but also of residues of the digestive juices, mucus and epithelial debris. These latter have been shown to amount to from one-third to one-half of the whole of the fæces, which is much more than had previously been supposed.

John Goodfellow has shown that of very coarse wholemeal bread quite 14 per cent. was undigested, whilst bread made from ordinary grade wholemeal showed 12.5 per cent. Such a method of analysis was adopted as it was believed would exclude other than the food waste. The experiments were made on a person who was eating nothing but the bread. It seems probable that a smaller proportion would have remained unassimilated had the bread not formed the sole food. It is advisable that wheatmeal he ground as finely as possible, the coarse is not only to a less extent assimilated but apt to irritate the bowels. Notwithstanding that fine white bread gave only 4.2 per cent. and a coarse white bread 4.9 per cent. of waste, a fine wheatmeal bread is more economical as the same quantity of wheat produces a greater weight of flour richer in proteid and mineral matter. From a large number of experiments with man, it has been calculated that of proteids there is digested when animal food is eaten 98 per cent., from cereals and sugars 8 per cent., from vegetables and fruits 80 per cent. The difference between the proportions digested of the other food constituents was much less. Although there is here a theoretical advantage in favour of animal food, there are other considerations of far more importance than a little undigestible waste. The main question is one of health. In some dietary experiments of a girl aged 7, living upon a fruit diet, of whom we have given some particulars elsewhere, Professor Jaffa gives the following particulars. During the ten days trial the percentages absorbed were proteids 82.5, fat 86.9, nitrogen free extract 96, crude fibre 80, ash 5.7, heat of combustion in calories 86.7. He says, "generally speaking, the food was quite thoroughly assimilated, the coefficients of digestibility being about the same as are found in an ordinary mixed diet. It is interesting to note that 80 per cent. of the crude fibre appeared to be digested. The results of a number of foreign experiments on the digestibility of crude fibre by man are from 30 to 91.4 per cent., the former value being from mixed wheat and rye, and the latter in a diet made of rice, vegetables and meat."

NOTES ON THE TABLE OF ANALYSIS.—Under calories are shown kilo-calories per pound of food. In the analysis marked U the crude fibre or cellulose is included with the carbo-hydrate, the figures being those given in Atwater's table. He has found that from 30 to 91 per cent. of the crude fibre was digested, according to the kind of food. The term fibre or cellulose in analytical tables is not a very definite one. It depends upon the details of the method of analysis. In the analyses other than U, the cellulose is excluded in calculating the calories. Nutrient ratio is the proportion of the sum of the carbo-hydrate and fat, compared with the proteid as 1. The fat has first been multiplied by 2.225 to bring it to the same nutrient value as the carbo-hydrate.

U indicates that the analyses are taken from the United States Department of Agriculture Experimental Station, Bulletin 28, the tests being chiefly made by Dr. W.O. Atwater, or under his direction. They are average analyses of several samples. The refuse consists of such parts as are rejected in preparing the food; the outer leaves, skin, stalk, seeds, &c., of vegetables; the shell of eggs; the bone, &c., of meat. E, indicates that the edible portion only of the food has been analysed, and under refuse, in brackets, is shown the quantity rejected before the analysis was made.

There is considerable variation in the same kind of food, according to the variety of seed and conditions of growth &c., especially is this the case with wheat and flour; whenever it has been possible the average of the analyses of many samples have been given. The method of analysis has not always been uniform, frequently the cellulose is included with the carbo-hydrates, and the proteid sometimes includes a very appreciable quantity of non-proteid nitrogenous matter. This is the case in the analysis of the mushrooms. G.—Analyses are by John Goodfellow; it will be noticed that the wheatmeal bread is not made from the same flour as the whole-meal. D.—B. Dyer, average of 19 fine and coarse oatmeals. S, from U.S. Cons. Reports, 1899. C.—A.H. Church. The walnut kernels are in the dried condition as purchased; originally of the same composition as shewn in the fresh kernels. C.D.—Cavendish or Figi variety of banana, analysis by D.W.M. Doherty, N.S. Wales. P.—A. Petermann, U.S. Cons. Banana flour, musca paradisiaca variety. This is widely used in Central America. The flour is from the unripe fruit, and contains starch 45.7 per cent.; on ripening the starch is converted into sugar. K.—Konig, mean of 90 analysis. Milk:—Average of many thousand analyses of the pure. Butter.—Made without salt. L, from the "Lancet," 1903, I, p. 72. Oysters at 2/6 per dozen. The 8.09 per cent. includes 0.91 glycogen (animal starch). The shell was of course excluded, also the liquid in the shell. Apples.—The refuse includes seeds, skin, &c., and such edible portion as is wasted in cutting them away; the analysis was made on the rest.

Cookery.—Flesh is easier to digest raw. A few, on the advice of their doctors, eat minced raw flesh, raw beef juice and even fresh warm blood. Such practice is abhorrent to every person of refinement. Cooking lessens the offensive appearance and qualities of flesh and changes the flavour; thorough cooking also destroys any parasites that may be present. Raw flesh is more stimulating to the animal passions, and excites ferocity in both man and animals. If the old argument was valid, that as flesh is much nearer in composition and quality to our own flesh and tissues, it is therefore our best food, we do wrong in coagulating the albuminoids, hardening the muscle substance and scorching it by cooking.

Fruits when ripe and in good condition are best eaten raw; cooking spoils the flavour. Food requiring mastication and encouraging insalivation is the best. Food is frequently made too sloppy or liquid, and is eaten too hot, thus favouring indigestion and decay of the teeth. The cereals and pulses can only with difficulty be eaten raw. When cooked in water the starch granules swell and break up, the plant cells are ruptured, the fibres are separated and the nutritious matter rendered easy of digestion. The flavour is greatly improved. Cooking increases our range and variety of food. The civilised races use it to excess and over-season their dishes, favouring over-eating.

If baking powders are used they should only be of the best makes. They should be composed of sodium bicarbonate and tartaric acid, in such correct proportions that upon the addition of water only sodium tartrate and carbon dioxide (carbonic acid) should result. Some powders contain an excess of sodium bicarbonate. Self-raising flours should be avoided. They are commonly composed of—in addition to sodium bicarbonate—acid calcium phosphate, calcium superphosphate and calcium sulphate. Common baking powders often consist of the same ingredients, and sometimes also of magnesia and alum. These are often made and sold by ignorant men, whose sole object is to make money. Calcium superphosphate and acid calcium phosphate very frequently contain arsenic, and as the cheap commercial qualities are often used there is danger in this direction. A good formula for baking powder is, tartaric acid 8 ozs., sodium bicarbonate 9 ozs., rice flour 10 to 20 ozs. The last is added to baking powders to improve the keeping quality and to add bulk. The ingredients must be first carefully dried, the sodium bicarbonate at not too high a temperature or it decomposes, and then thoroughly mixed; this must be preserved in well closed and dry bottles. Another formula, which is slow rising and well adapted for pastry, is sodium bicarbonate 4 ozs., cream of tartar 9 ozs., rice flour about 14 ozs. Custard powders consist of starch, colouring and flavouring. Egg powders are similar to baking powders but contain yellow colouring. Little objection can be taken to them if they are coloured with saffron; turmeric would do if it were not that it gives a slightly unpleasant taste. Artificial colouring matters or coal tar derivatives are much used, several of these are distinctly poisonous.

Drinks.—It is better not to drink during eating, or insalivation may be interfered with; a drink is better taken at the end of a meal. The practice of washing down food with hot tea is bad. The refreshing nature of a cup of hot tea, coffee, or cocoa is to a very great extent due to the warmth of the water. The benefit is felt at once, before the alkaloid can enter the blood stream and stimulate the nerve centres. Hot water, not too hot to cause congestion of the mucous membrane, is one of the best drinks. When the purity of the water supply is doubtful, there is advantage in first bringing it to the boil, as pathogenic bacteria are destroyed. Some find it beneficial to drink a cup of hot water the first thing in the morning; this cleanses the stomach from any accumulation of mucus.

If fruit, succulent vegetables, or cooked food, containing much water be freely used, and there be little perspiration, it is possible to do without drinking; but there is danger of taking insufficient water to hold freely in solution the waste products excreted by the body.

Aerated drinks, except a very few of the best, and non-alcoholic beers and wines, are generally unwholesome, from their containing preservatives, foaming powders, artificial flavourings, &c.

Stimulants.—Tea and coffee contain an alkaloid theine, besides volatile oils, tannin, &c. Cocoa contains the milder alkaloid, theobromine. They stimulate the heart and nervous systems; tea and coffee have also a diuretic effect. Formerly they were erroneously thought to lessen tissue waste. These alkaloids, being purins, are open to the general objections named elsewhere. Stimulants do not impart energy or force of any kind, but only call forth reserve strength by exciting the heart, nervous system, &c., to increased activity. This is followed by a depression which is as great, generally greater, than the previous stimulation. Except, perhaps, as an occasional medicine, stimulants, should be avoided. Analysis of cocoa shows a good proportion of proteids and a very large quantity of fat. The claim that it is a valuable and nutritious food would only be true if it could be eaten in such quantities as are other foods (bread, fruits, &c.). Were this attempted, poisoning would result from the large quantity of alkaloid. The food value of half a spoonful or thereabouts of cocoa is insignificant. Certain much advertised cocoa mixtures are ridiculous in their pretentions, unscientific in preparation, and often injurious.

Cereals.—The most valuable is wheat, from its proteid being chiefly in the form known as gluten. From its tenacity, gluten enables a much better loaf to be produced from wheat than from any other cereal. The outer part of the grain is the richest in mineral matter and proteid. Wheatmeal bread shows a considerably higher proteid value than white. A large proportion of the proteid in the outer coats of the wheat berry is, however, not digested, and in some experiments the waste has been enough to quite nullify its seeming advantage over white bread. Coarsely ground, sharp branny particles in bread irritate the intestines, and cause excessive waste of nutriment; but finely ground wheatmeal is free from this objection, and is beneficial in preventing constipation. The comparative value of white and brown bread has been much discussed; it depends both on the quality of the bread and the condition of the digestive organs. Experiments on the digestion of bread and other things, have often been made on persons unaccustomed to such foods, or the foods have been given in excessive quantity. To those accustomed to it good wheatmeal bread is much pleasanter, more satisfying, and better flavoured than white; indeed, the latter is described as insipid. Most bakers' bread is of unsatisfactory quality. Flour and bread contain very little fat, the absence of which is considered a defect. This is remedied by the addition of butter, fat or oil, or by nuts, &c., which are rich in oil. These may be mixed with the flour prior to cooking, or used afterwards.

Oats contain a substance called avenin, apparently an alkaloid, which has an irritating action; the quantity is variable. It is to this that the so-called heating effect of oatmeal on some persons is due.

Prepared Cereals or Breakfast Foods.—Analyses were made of 34 of these cereal preparations by Weems and Ellis (Iowa State College Agricultural Bulletin, 1904). They report that the foods possess no nutritive value in excess of ordinary food materials; that the claim made for many pre-digested foods are valueless, and no reliance can be placed on the statement that they are remedies for any disease.

Oatmeal and other cereals are sold in packets as being partially cooked. We do not doubt that they have been subjected to a dry heat, but this has scarcely any effect on their starch and other constituents. The difference is a mechanical one. In rolled oats the grains are so cracked and broken, that on boiling with water, the water readily penetrates and more quickly cooks them throughout. There are other prepared cereal foods, but we doubt whether they are thoroughly cooked after the short boiling directed on the labels. They are a great convenience where it is difficult to get the time necessary for cooking the ordinary cereals. Coarsely ground wheat is too irritating when made into porridge, but there are some granulated wheats sold in packets, which are quite suitable. The Ralston breakfast food is excellent. They are rich in the phosphates and salts, found in the outer part of the grain. One cereal preparation called Grape Nuts, has had its starch converted into maltose and dextrin (maltose being a sugar), by a scientific application of the diastase of the grain. It is consequently easier of digestion and requires no cooking. It is beneficial for some forms of indigestion. There are several competing foods of less merit, the starch being less perfectly changed; one at least of which is objectionably salt. Properly cooked starch is readily digested by healthy persons, and for them malted food is of no special value.

Pulse, or Legumes, includes haricots and other beans, peas and lentils. The proteid contained is that variety known as legumin, which is either the same, or is closely allied, to the casein of milk and cheese. Pulse is very rich in proteid, the dried kinds in general use, contain 24 or 25 per cent. The richest is the soy-bean, which is used in China and Japan, it contains 35 per cent., besides 19 per cent. of fat. Pulse requires thorough cooking, haricots taking the longest time. Split lentils are cooked sooner, and are better digested; this is chiefly due to the removal of the skins. The haricots, bought from small grocers who have a slow sale, are often old, and will not cook tender. Pulse is best adapted to the labouring classes; the sedentary should eat it sparingly, it is liable to cause flatulence or accumulation of gas in the intestines, and constipation. Haricots are easier to digest when mashed and mixed with other food. Pulse was formerly stated to leave much undigested residue. Recent experiments have shown that it is satisfactorily digested under favourable conditions. Strümpell found beans in their skins to leave a large proportion of proteid matter unabsorbed. Lentil meal mixed with other food was digested in a perfectly satisfactory manner. Another experimenter (Rubner) found that when even the very large quantity of 1-1/8 pound of dried split peas per day were eaten, only 17 per cent. of proteid matter was unabsorbed, which compares very well with the 11 per cent. of proteid left from a macaroni diet, with which the same man was fed at another time. Had a reasonable quantity of peas been eaten per day, the quantity undigested would probably have differed little from that of other foods.

Nuts are, as a rule, very rich in oil and contain a fair proportion of proteid; when well masticated they are a very valuable food. Walnuts are one of the best, and the kernels can be purchased shelled, thus avoiding much trouble. They can be finely ground in a nut-mill and used for several purposes, mixed in the proportion of about two ounces to the pound of wheatmeal they produce a rich flavoured bread. They can also he used in sweet cakes and in rich puddings to increase their food value, lightness and taste. Pine kernels being very oily, can be used with flour in the place of lard or butter.

Fruits are generally looked upon as luxuries, rather than as food capable of supplying a meal or a substantial part of one. They are usually eaten only when the appetite has been appeased by what is considered more substantial fare. Fresh fruits contain a larger proportion of water than nearly all other raw foods, and consequently the proportion of nourishment is small; but we must not despise them on this account. Milk contains as much or more water. Certain foods which in the raw state contain very little water, such as the pulses and cereals when cooked absorb a very large quantity; this is particularly the case in making porridge. Cabbage, cauliflower, Spanish onions and turnips, after cooking contain even 97 per cent. of water. Roast beef contains on an average 48 per cent., and cooked round steak with fat removed 63 per cent. of water. It is customary at meal times to drink water, tea, coffee, beer, wine, &c. When a meal contains any considerable quantity of fresh fruits there need be no desire to drink. Notwithstanding that fruits contain so much water, a dietary consisting of fruits with nuts, to which may be added bread and vegetables, will contain less water than the total quantity usually consumed by a person taking the more customary highly cooked and seasoned foods. An advantage is that the water in fruits is in a wholesome condition, free from the pollution often met with in the water used for drinking purposes. Raw fruits favour mastication, with its consequent advantages, whilst cooked and soft food discourages it. Plums and what are termed stone fruits, if eaten in more than very small quantities, are apt to disagree. Persons with good digestions can take fruit with bread, biscuits and with uncooked foods without any inconvenience. Fruit is more likely to disagree when taken in conjunction with elaborately cooked foods. Many cannot take fruit, especially if it be acid, at the same time as cereal or starchy substances, and the difficulty is said to be greater at the morning's meal. If the indigestion produced is due to the acid of the fruit preventing the saliva acting on the starch, scientific principles would direct that the fruit be eaten quite towards the end of the meal. The same consideration condemns the use of mint sauce, cucumber and vinegar, or pickles, with potatoes and bread, or even mint sauce with green peas. Bananas are an exception, as not interfering with the digestion of starch. Bananas are generally eaten in an unripe condition, white and somewhat mealy; they should be kept until the starch has been converted into sugar, when they are both more pleasant and wholesome. Nuts and fruit go well together. For a portable meal, stoned raisins or other dried fruit and walnut kernels or other nuts are excellent.

What has been called a defect in most fruits, is the fact that the proteid is small in proportion to the other constituents. This has been too much dwelt upon, owing to the prevailing exaggerated idea of the quantity of proteid required. The tomato contains a large proportion, though the water is very high. Bananas, grapes and strawberries contain to each part of proteid from 10 to 12 parts of other solid nutritive constituents (any oil being calculated into starch equivalents); this is termed the nutritive ratio. Although this may seem a small proportion of proteid, there are reasons for believing that it is sufficient. Taking the average of 29 analyses of American apples, a nutritive ratio of 33 was obtained. If it were suggested that life should be sustained on apples alone, this small quantity of proteid would be an insurmountable difficulty. As the addition of nuts or other nutritious food sufficiently increases the proteid, no objection can with justice be made against the use of fruit. A study of our teeth, digestive organs and general structure, and of comparative anatomy, points to fruits, nuts and succulent vegetables as our original diet.

The potash and other salts of the organic acids in fruits tend to keep the blood properly alkaline. Where there is a tendency to the deposition of uric acid in the body, they hinder its formation. Citric, tartaric, malic and other organic acids exist in fruits in combination with potash and other bases, as well as in the free state. The free acids in fruits, when eaten, combine with the alkalies in the intestinal tract, and are absorbed by the body and pass into the blood, not as acids, but as neutral salts. Here they are converted into potassium carbonate or some other carbonate. Fruit acids never make the blood acid but the reverse. Fruit salts and acids are antiscorbutic. Fruits have often proved of the greatest benefit in illness. What is known as the grape cure has been productive of much good. Lemons and oranges have also been of great benefit. Strawberries have been craved for and have proved of the greatest advantage in some extreme cases of illness when more concentrated food could not be endured. Fruit is coming into greater use, especially owing to its better distribution and lessened cost. Fruit is not as cheap as it should be, as it can be produced in great abundance at little cost, and with comparatively little labour. The price paid by the public greatly exceeds the real cost of production. A very large proportion, often the greater part of the cost to the consumer, goes in railway and other rates and in middle-men's profits. It is commonly cheaper to bring fruit from over the sea, including land carriage on either side, than it is to transport English produce from one part of our country to another. English homegrown fruit would be cheaper were it not for the difficulty of buying suitable land at a reasonable price, and the cost of transit. For the production of prime fruit there is a lack of sufficient intelligence, of scientific culture and co-operation.

Vegetables—using the name in its popular sense—contain valuable saline constituents or salts. By the usual method of cooking a large proportion of the salts is lost. It is better to steam than to boil them. The fibrous portion of vegetables is not all digested, but it is useful in stimulating the peristaltic action of the bowels and lessening any tendency to constipation. Vegetables are more especially useful to non-vegetarians to correct the defects of their other food.

The potato belongs to a poisonous order—the Solanacæ. There is a little alkaloid in the skin, but this is lost in the cooking. The eyes and sprouting portions contain the most and should be cut out.

Fungi.—There are about a hundred edible species in this country, but many of the fungi are poisonous, some intensely so. It can scarcely be expected that these lowly organised plants, differing so much in their manner of growth from the green or chlorophyll bearing plants, can be particularly nourishing. It is only the fructifying part, which appears above the ground, that is generally eaten. It is of very rapid growth. Of 9 edible fungi of 4 species, obtained in the Belgrade market, the average amount of water was 89.3 per cent., leaving only 10.7 per cent. of solid matter; the average of fat was 0.55 per cent. The food value of fungi has been greatly over-rated. In most of the analyses given in text-books and elsewhere, the total nitrogen has been multiplied by 6.25 and the result expressed as proteid. The amount of nitrogen in a form useless for the purpose of nutrition is about a third of the whole. Of the remainder or proteid nitrogen, it is said much is not assimilated, sometimes quite half, owing to the somewhat indigestible character of the fungi. An analysis of the common mushroom gave proteids 2.2 per cent., amides (useless nitrogenous compounds) 1.3 per cent., and water 93.7 per cent. The fungi are of inferior nutritive value to many fresh vegetables and are much more expensive. Their chief value is as a flavouring.

Milk and Eggs are permissible in a vegetarian dietary, and as a rule, vegetarians use them. Eggs, with the exception of such as are unfertile, are of course alive; but they have no conscious existence, and cannot be said to suffer any pain on being killed and eaten. An objection to their use as food is, that on an egg and poultry farm, the superfluous male birds are killed, and as the hens become unprofitable layers they are also killed. A similar humane objection applies to the use of cow's milk by man. The calves are deprived of part of their natural food, the deficiency being perhaps made up by unnatural farinaceous milk substitutes. Many of the calves, especially the bull calves, are killed, thus leaving all the milk for human use. When cows cease to yield sufficient milk they too are slaughtered. Milch cows are commonly kept in unhealthy houses, deprived of exercise and pure air, crowded together, with filthy evil smelling floors reeking with their excrements, tended by uncleanly people. With no exercise and a rich stimulating diet they produce more milk; but it is no matter for surprise that tuberculosis is common amongst them. When the lesions of tubercle (consumption) are localised and not excessive, the rest of the carcase is passed by veterinary surgeons as fit for food; were it otherwise, enormous quantities of meat would be destroyed. As butcher's meat is seldom officially inspected, but a very small part is judged by the butchers as too bad for food. In mitigation it may be said that poultry lead a happy existence and their death is, or should be, quickly produced with but little pain, probably less pain than if left to die from natural causes. The same cannot be said of cattle and sheep when the time arrives for their transport to the slaughter man's. It is argued by vegetarians who take milk and animal products that they are not responsible for the death of the animals, as they do not eat their flesh. As vegetarians profit by conditions in which the slaughtering of the animals is a part, they cannot be altogether exonerated. Cow's milk is prone to absorb bad odours, and it forms a most suitable breeding or nutrient medium for most species of bacteria which may accidentally get therein. By means of milk many epidemics have been spread, of scarlet fever, diphtheria, cholera, and typhoid. Occasionally milk contains tubercle bacilli from the cows themselves. By boiling, all bacteria, except a few which may be left out of consideration, are destroyed. Such a temperature, however, renders the milk less digestible and wholesome for infants. By heating to 160° F. or 170° F. for a few minutes, such pathogenic germs as are at all likely to be in milk (tubercle, typhoid, diphtheria, &c.) are killed, and the value of the milk is but little affected: this is called Pasteurising. It was until quite recently a common practice to add boric acid, formaldehyde and other preservatives; this has injured the vitality and caused the death of many infants. They have not yet gone quite out of use.

For infants the only satisfactory food is that of a healthy mother. On account of physical defects in the mother, or often for merely selfish reasons, the infant is deprived of its natural food. Many attempts have been made to bring cow's milk to approximately the same composition as human milk. It can be done by adding water, milk sugar and cream of known composition, in certain proportions. Great difficulties are met with when this is put into practice. The simplest method is that of Professor Soxhlet. The proper quantity of milk sugar is added, but instead of adding the right quantity of cream or fat—a very difficult thing to do—the equivalent quantity of extra milk sugar is used. Although not theoretically satisfactory, in practice it answers very well. We have found it to agree very well with infants. To cow's milk of pure average quality, add half its volume of water containing 12.3 per cent. of milk sugar; or, what amounts to the same thing, to a pint of cow's milk add one and a quarter ounce of milk sugar and half-a-pint of water. It is preferable to Pasteurise by placing the bottle of milk in a vessel of water. This water is to be heated until the milk shows a temperature of about 75° C. or 165° F., but must not exceed 80° C. or a change in the albumen of the milk takes place which affects its digestibility. Keep at this temperature for about ten minutes. If not required at once, a plug of cotton wool should be placed in the neck of the bottle, and it should be kept in a cold place until required. Professor Soxhlet does not advise the addition of lime water. The proteids are not of the same composition as in human milk (the calf being a ruminating animal)—and it is a common plan to add water or barley water to milk until it is so watered down that it cannot curdle into tough curds. An infant has thus either to distend its stomach with a large quantity of watery nourishment, or else to get insufficient food. Sometimes it is necessary to peptonise the milk a little. At the Leipzig infants hospital, and also the Hygienic Institute, they give to infants, up to 9 months old, Prof. Soxhlet's mixture, except that an equal volume of water is added to the milk. Milk, cheese, and especially hen's eggs contain a very large proportion of proteid. When added to food poor in proteid they improve its nutritive quality. It has often been said, and with truth, that some vegetarians by the profuse use of animal products, consume as much, or even more proteid of animal origin than the average person who includes flesh food in his dietary. An excess of proteid from these sources is less injurious as eggs contain no purins, and milk but a very small quantity. In support of the use of animal products, it may be said that we have become so fond of animal foods and stimulating drinks, that the use of milk, butter, cheese and eggs renders the transition to a dietary derived from the vegetable kingdom much easier. By means of these, cooked dishes can be produced which approach and sometimes can scarcely be distinguished from those of cooked flesh.

In the present state of society, when really good vegetarian fare is difficult to procure away from home, eggs, cheese, and milk are a great convenience.

Digestion.—The digestive juices contain certain unorganised ferments, which produce chemical changes in the food. If the food is solid, it has to be liquefied. Even if already liquid it has generally to undergo a chemical change before being fitted for absorption into the body. The alimentary canal is a tubular passage which is first expanded into the mouth, and later into the stomach. As the food passes down, it is acted upon by several digestive juices, and in the small intestine the nutritive matter is absorbed, whilst the residue passes away.

The saliva is the first digestive juice. It is alkaline and contains a ferment called ptyalin. This acts energetically on the cooked and gelatinous starch, and slowly on the raw starch. Starch is quite insoluble in water, but the first product of salivary digestion is a less complex substance called soluble-starch. When time is allowed for the action to be completed, the starch is converted into one of the sugars called maltose. In infants this property of acting on starch does not appear in effective degree until the sixth or seventh month, and starch should not be given before that time. Only a small quantity should be provided before the twelfth month, when it may be gradually increased. Dr. Sims Wallace has suggested that the eruption of the lower incisors from the seventh to the eighth month, was for the purpose of enabling the infant—in the pre-cooking stage of man's existence—to pierce the outer covering of fruits so as to permit his extracting the soluble contents by suction; and accordingly when these teeth are cut we may allow the child to bite at such vegetable substances as apples, oranges, and sugar cane. Dr. Harry Campbell says that starch should be given to the young, "not as is the custom, as liquid or pap, but in a form compelling vigorous mastication, for it is certain that early man, from the time he emerged from the ape till he discovered how to cook his vegetable food, obtained practically all his starch in such a form. If it is given as liquid or pap it will pass down as starch into the stomach, to setup disturbance in that organ; while if it is administered in a form which obliges the child to chew it properly, not only will the jaws, the teeth, and the gums obtain the exercise which they crave, and without which they cannot develop normally, but the starch will be thoroughly insalivated that much of it will be converted within the mouth into maltose. Hard well baked crusts constitute a convenient form in which to administer starch to children. A piece of crust may be put in the oven and rebaked, and spread with butter. Later, we may give hard plain biscuits." Dr. Campbell continues, that he does not say that starch in the pappy form, or as porridge, should find no place whatever in man's dietary at the present day, but we should arrange that a large proportion of our food is in a form inviting mastication.

The teeth perform the very important function of breaking down our food and enabling it to be intimately incorporated with the saliva and afterwards with the digestive juices. The Anglo-Saxon race shows a greater tendency to degeneracy in the teeth than do other races; the teeth of the present generation are less perfect than those of previous generations. A dentist writes (Lancet, 1903-2, p. 1054) "I have had the opportunity of examining the teeth of many natives in their more or less uncivilised state, from the Red Indians of North America, the negroes of Africa, to the more civilised Chinese, Japanese, and Indians of the East, and I have usually found them possessed of sound teeth, but so soon as they come under the influence of civilised life in Washington, Montreal, London, Paris and other cities, their teeth begin to degenerate, though their general health may remain good." In a long article on mastication in the Lancet (1903-2, p. 84) from which we have already quoted, Dr. Harry Campbell gives as the effect of thorough and efficient mastication, that it increases the amount of alkaline saliva passing into the stomach, and prolongs the period of starch digestion within that organ. That it influences the stomach reflexly by promoting the flow of gastric juice. That the frequent use of the jaws and the tongue, during the period of growth, cause the jaws to expand. If the jaws are not adequately exercised during this period, owing to the use of soft food, they do not reach their normal size, the teeth are overcrowded, do not develop fully, and are prone to decay. The effect of vigorous mastication is to stimulate the circulation in the tooth pulp, which promotes nutrition and maintains a firm dental setting. Dr. Campbell writes: "I am perfectly at one with Dr. Wallace, in believing that the removal of the fibrous portion of food is the main cause of the prevalence of caries among moderns."

When the food reaches the stomach, gastric juice is secreted. This juice contains a ferment called pepsin and hydrochloric acid. Pepsin is only active in an acid media. Starch digestion proceeds in the stomach to such a time—stated as from 15 to 30 minutes—when the acid gastric juice has been poured out in sufficient quantity to neutralise the alkalinity of the saliva. The gastric juice acts upon the proteids only. After a time the liquefied contents of the stomach are passed into the first portion of the small intestine, called the duodenum. Here it meets with the pancreatic juice, which like the gastric juice attacks proteids, but even more energetically, and only in an alkaline media. The proteolitic ferment is called trypsin. The pancreatic, the most important of the digestive fluids, contains other ferments; one called amylopsin, takes up the digestion of any remaining or imperfectly converted starch left from the salivary digestion. Amylopsin is much more powerful and rapid than the ptyalin of the saliva, especially on uncooked starch. Its absence from the pancreatic juice of infants is an indication that starch should not be given them. Another ferment, stearopsin, emulsifies fats. The bile is alkaline and assists the pancreatic juice in neutralising the acid mixture that leaves the stomach; it also assists the absorption of fats. The digestion of proteids is not completed in the stomach. There are some who look upon the stomach as chiefly of use as a receptacle for the large mass of food, which is too quickly eaten to be passed at once into the intestines; the food being gradually expelled from the stomach, in such quantities as the duodenal digestion can adequately treat. A frequently used table, showing the time required for the digestion of various foods in the stomach, is of little practical value. There is ample provision for the digestion of food, there is a duplication of ferments for the proteids and starch. In health, the ferments are not only very active, but are secreted in ample quantities. The digestive or unorganised ferments must not be confused with the organised ferments such as yeast. The latter are living vegetable cells, capable of indefinite multiplication. The former are soluble bodies, and though capable of transforming or digesting some thousands of times their mass of food, their power in this direction is restricted within definite limits. Another and preferable name for them is enzymes.

The action of saliva on starch is powerfully retarded by tea, this is due to the tannin. Coffee and cocoa are without effect. Tea infused for two minutes only, was not found to have sensibly less restraining effect than when infused for thirty minutes. On peptic digestion both tea and coffee had a powerful retarding effect. When of equal strength cocoa was nearly as bad, but as it is usually taken much weaker, its inhibitory effect is of little consequence.

Bacteria are minute vegetable organisms, which exist in the dust of the air, in water and almost everywhere on or near the surface of the earth. They are consequently taken in with our food. They exist in the mouth; those in carious teeth are often sufficient to injuriously affect digestion and health. The healthy gastric juice is to a great degree antiseptic, but few bacteria being able to endure its acidity. When the residue of the food reaches the large intestine, bacteria are found in very great numbers. The warmth of the body is highly favourable to their growth. They cause the food and intestinal debris to assume its fæcal character. Should the mass be retained, the bacterial poisons accumutate and being absorbed into the body produce headaches, exhaustion, neurasthenia and other complaints. Proteid matter, the products of its decomposition and nitrogenous matter generally, are especially the food of bacteria; this is shown in the offensiveness of the fæces of the carnivora, notwithstanding their short intestines, compared with that of the herbivora. Also in the difference of the fæces of the dog when fed on flesh and on a nearly vegetable diet. On a rich proteid diet, especially if it consists largely of flesh, the bacterial products in the intestines are greater than on a vegetable diet. On the latter such a disease as appendicitis is rare. Professor Elie Metchnikoff, of the Pasteur Institute, thinks that man's voluminous and highly developed large intestine fulfils no useful purpose, and on account of its breeding a very copious and varied bacterial flora, could with advantage be dispensed with. He also has said that man, who could support himself on food easily digestible, has a small intestine which is disproportionately fully developed. Instead of having between 18 and 21 feet of small intestine, man might do with one-third of that length. According to him, there is a disharmony of our food and our digestive system. Referring to such views, and the desire of some surgeons to remove the vermiform appendix and portions of the intestines upon too little provocation, Sir W. Macewin, M.D., F.R.S. (B. Medical Jrn., 1904, 2 p. 874) says:—"Is this human body of ours so badly constructed that it contains so many useless parts and requires so much tinkering? Possibly I may be out of fashion with the times, as I cannot find such imperfections in the normal human body as are alleged. On the contrary, the more one looks into the human body and sees it work, the better one understands it and the more one is struck with the wondrous utility, beauty, and harmony of all its parts." Our food we can change, but not our organs-except by a dangerous surgical operations. Our teeth with our complex and very long intestines are adapted for fibrous, bulky and solid food. On such food mankind has lived for an immense period of time. It is true that there are several theoretical advantages in cooked vegetable foods; but unfortunately there is a want of conformity with our digestive organs. If a flesh diet is taken, the incongruity is greater. Concentrated food causes constipation. An active man, leading an out-of-door life, can take unsuitable food with little or no apparent inconvenience, the movements of his body favouring intestinal action; whilst the same food to a sedentary person will prove distinctly injurious.

Some persons have such a vigorous digestion that they can consume almost any food, even that which is obviously unsuitable; not only bad in kind but excessive in quantity. Other persons have to be very careful. Many have boasted that they can take of what they call the good things of life to their full, without bad effect. We know of such men who have been much esteemed for their joviality and good nature, but who have broken down in what should have been a hearty and useful middle life. There are others who were poorly equipped for the battle of life, with indifferent constitutions, never having had the buoyancy and overflowing of animal spirits; but who, by conserving such strength as they had, have outlived all their more healthy but less careful comrades. The errors of the parents are often most evident in the children or grandchildren. There are many persons who cannot eat of some particular food, although it may be quite wholesome to others. Sometimes it is a psychological rather than a physiological disability, which may he overcome by an effort of the will. At other times it seems to have no connection with the imagination, although it is not always possible to give a sound reason for it. In the main, of course, there are principles of dietetics applicable to all alike, but in regard to details, everyone should make rules for himself, according to his experience. When there appears no real reason for an idiosyncrasy, a little humouring of our taste and digestion will often overcome it, to our advantage. It is generally those of delicate constitution who are most sensitive. Some cannot eat oatmeal except in small quantity. Olive and other vegetable oils, even when of good quality cannot be taken by many people, whilst others find them quite as wholesome, or even better than butter. Vegetarians can generally detect lard in pastry both by its taste and its after effects, although those accustomed to this fat do not object to it. It is also surprising how some individual's tastes and habits will vary at different periods of their lives.

One form of dyspepsia is due to undigested starch remaining in the stomach and causing an excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid. As long as proteid food is present, the pepsin and acid expend themselves on it, and are removed together. The undigested starch continues to stimulate gastric secretion, and the acid residuum causes pain, heartburn and flatulence. If there be also any butyric acid, or some other fatty acid, derived from milk, butter, cheese, &c., there will be acid eructations. For this form of indigestion there are several methods of treatment. First; the very thorough cooking of all starchy food, and it is an advantage to take a little good extract of malt, either at the time of eating or directly afterwards. The diastase of the malt has the same action on starch as the ptyalin in the saliva. It is better, scientifically, to have the farinaceous food at about 130° F. (as hot as the mouth can bear will do), and then to add malt extract. On keeping the mixture warm, from a few minutes to half an hour or more, the starch is digested and rendered soluble. Such food is not very pleasant to take. The food known as Grape Nuts has been treated in a similar manner. The use of malt extract, however, seems a clumsy substitute for salivary digestion. Second; the eating of starch in the form of hard and dry biscuits, crusts and other hard food, which demand thorough mastication and insalivation, and the keeping in the mouth for a long while, during which the saliva has time to act. This is the best plan. Third; the taking of sodium bicarbonate towards the end of the period of digestion, in order to neutralise the acid in the stomach. This gives relief, but does not cure, as the dose has to be repeated after each meal; in course of time the quantity of soda has sometimes to be increased to an alarming extent. Fourth; the abstention from starchy foods and the substitution of an exclusive flesh dietary. In the "Salisbury" treatment, raw minced beef is given. This method often gives immediate relief, but its ultimate effect on the kidneys and other organs is very bad.

No hard and fast rule can be laid down as to the number of meals into which the daily amount of food required should be divided. The stomach appears to work to the best advantage when it is full, or nearly so, and the appetite is appeased. Three approximately equal meals seems to be a convenient division. Dr. Dewey and his followers advise only two meals a day, and it seems incontestable that many persons find the plan advantageous. These are generally adults with weak digestions, or elderly persons who, on account of their age and the sluggish action of their assimilative functions, require comparatively little food. Children, on account of their vigorous vitality, rapid growth and hearty appetites, ought not to be restricted to this number. Persons who have got into the pernicious habit of greatly over-eating, and whose stomachs have become distended and unusually large, sometimes find it easier to restrict their daily food to a healthy quantity by taking only two meals. The general objections against two meals are that either two little food is taken, or the ingestion of such a large quantity is bad for the stomach and causes it to press on the adjacent viscera. The large quantity of blood and nerve force drawn to the over-distended stomach, depletes the brain and nervous system, causing drowsiness and incapacity for mental and physical work. The carnivora, whose opportunity for obtaining food—unlike the herbivora—is irregular and often at long intervals, gorge themselves upon opportunity and are in the habit of sleeping after a meal. The frugivora and herbivora, however, are alert and ready to fly from their enemies should such appear. The conveying of so much nourishment to the liver and blood stream at one time, is probably a greater tax on them. A light lunch between the usual full meals has nothing to recommend it. The stomach is burdened to little purpose, often before it has finished with one meal another is imposed upon it, no time being left for recuperation.

Dietaries.—The best proportions of proteids, carbo-hydrates and fats required for the nourishment of the body has not yet been conclusively decided. The common plan is to average the dietary of large bodies of persons, particualrly of soldiers and prisoners. These dietaries have been adjusted empirically (the earlier ones at least), and are generally considered as satisfactory. They are chiefly of English and German origin. Another method is to laboriously analyse the injesta or food consumed and compare it with the dejecta or excretions, until a quantity and kind of food is found which is just sufficient to keep the body in equilibrium. This latter plan is the best, but to be quite satisfactory must be tried on a large number of suitable persons under varying conditions, both of quantity and kind of food. Nearly all the experiments have been made on persons accustomed to a stimulating dietary: their usual food has included a considerable quantity of flesh and alcoholic drinks. Sufficient attention has not been paid to the dietaries of the more abstemious races who partake of little if any flesh food. The standard daily dietary for a man of average weight, doing a moderate amount of work, is variously stated by the best authorities as proteids from 100 to 130 grammes, fat 35 to 125 grammes, and carbo-hydrates 450 to 550 grammes. There is a surprising difference of opinion on the amount of fat, but those who give least fat give the largest quantity of carbo-hydrate and vice-versa. Dr. R. Hutchison in "Food and Dietetics," sums up the quantities given by the highest authorities as follows:—-

Proteid 125 g. ( 4.4 oz.) x 4.1 = 512 cal. = 20 g. N, 62 C
Carbo-hydrate 500 g. (17.6 oz.) 4.1 2050 200
Fat 50 g. ( 1.8 oz.) 9.3 465 38
675 g. (23.8 oz.) 3027 Total 20 g. N, 300 C
The nutrient ratio is 1 : 4.9. For scientific purposes, metrical weights and measures are used, instead of the inconvenient English grains, ounces, pounds, &c. (1 gramme = 15.43 grains; 1 ounce avoirdupois = 437.5 grains = 28.35 grammes). A calorie is a measure of the power of a food in generating heat and muscular energy (these two being convertible).

The calories used in food tables are kilo-calories, representing the amount of heat which would raise a kilogramme (1000 grammes) of water 1° Centigrade. This is the same as raising 1 pound weight 4° Fahrenheit. According to the table given, 125 grammes of dry proteid are required per day; this contains 20 grammes of nitrogen and 62 of carbon. When thoroughly consumed or utilised in the body, the heat or its equivalent in muscular work equals 512 kilo-calories. Proteids have, of course, an additional value as tissue formers. The factors used here, of 4.1 and 9.3, are those commonly employed; but the latest and most reliable research, taking account only of that part of the food which is actually available in the body, gives for proteid and carbo-hydrate 4 calories, and for fat 8.9 calories.

Fat has a higher food value than the carbo-hydrates, as 4.1 : 9.3 = 2.27 or 4.0 : 89 = 2.225, according to whether the old or new factors are used. In the table of analyses 2.225 was used. The standard dietary for a woman, or of a boy 14 to 16 years of age, is given as equivalent to eight-tenths that of a man; a child of 10 to 13 six-tenths; of 2 to 5 four-tenths. A man doing hard work requires one-tenth more. The following table gives three standard dietaries, and a few actual ones, in grammes per day. The food of persons in easy circumstances, and of working men in the receipt of good wages, approximate to the standard dietaries, except that the fat is higher and the carbo-hydrates proportionately less. This is due to an abundance of animal food. It was thought unnecessary to give them in detail:—

Dr. Alexander Haig considers that 88 grammes of proteid is required by a man leading a decidedly active life.

NOTES.—(a) The Japanese are of small stature and weight.

(b) One of a series of experiments by A.W. Blyth, 1888. 1½ lbs. of wheatmeal per day was required for equilibrium; sedentary occupation, with a daily walk of six miles.

(c) See "A Text Book of Physiology," by M. Foster, 5th edition, part ii., p. 839; the diet was bread, fruit and oil. The man was in apparently good health and stationary weight; only 59 per cent. of the proteids were digested, leaving the small quantity of 32 grammes available for real use. In commenting upon this, Professor Foster writes:—"We cannot authoritatively say that such a reduction is necessarily an evil; for our knowledge will not at present permit us to make an authoritative exact statement as to the extent to which the proteid may be reduced without disadvantage to the body, when accompanied by adequate provision of the other elements of food; and this statement holds good whether the body be undertaking a small or large amount of labour."

(d) The Miller of Billericay's case is quoted by Dr. Carpenter, and also by Dr. Pavy. It was reported to the College of Physicians in 1767 by Sir George Baker. A remarkable degree of vigour is said to have been sustained for upwards of eighteen years on no other nutriment than 16 oz. of flour, made into a pudding with water, no other liquid of any kind being taken.

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