Clark Wolf is the host and organizer. The panel—on food and politics—includes me, talking about my memoir, Slow Cooked, An Unexpected Life in Food Politics; Chloe Sorvino, author of Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed, and the Fight for the Future of Meat; Alex Prud’homme, author of Dinner With The President: Food, Politics and the History of Breaking Bread at the White House; and Tanya Holland, author of Tanya Holland’s California Soul. Free, but register here. It starts at 5:00 p.m. and lasts one hour.
by Marion Nestle
Apr 10 2011
Dietary Guidelines, 1861 (they haven’t changed much….)
I’m at a meeting in Washington DC of the American Society of Nutrition. At the exhibits, David Schnackenberg, who runs a website on the history of military nutrition, gave me these dietary guidelines from 1861. They are from a monograph by Dr. John Ordonaux, “Hints on the Preservation of Health in the Armies: for the Use of Volunteer Officers and Soldiers.”
- Soldiers should be fed a mixed diet of animal and vegetable substances.
- A variety of foods are needed to avoid monotony and increase assimilation.
- A healthy diet must conform to the physiological requirements of the season with less animal fats in the summer dietary, and more starch, vegetables, and fruits.
- Fresh fruits are always preferable to dry or preserved ones.
- Farinaceous vegetables are more nourishing than roots or grasses.
- The best soldiers in the world are fed on dark colored bread.
- French army dietaries provide nutritious soups made with meat or vegetables.
- The woody fibre of the vegetable provides bulk as well as nourishment.
- Each company should have at least one educated cook.
- Beans, unless thoroughly cooked, are only fit for horses. When half-cooked, they will provoke indigestion and diarrhea.
- Ardent spirits are not necessary for health and the soldier is better off without them.
- Soldiers must be well fed to bear the fatigues of marching, to encounter unaffected the changes of climate, and to develop a high muscular tone.
As I keep saying, basic nutrition advice has, in fact, not changed much over the years. The big change in the last 150 years is the invention of junk foods. Dr. Ordonaux did not have snacks and sodas to contend with, nor today’s extensive obesity among army recruits.