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inussels, fish, and seal-flesh. The New be necessary for its proper digestion ; Zealanders absolutely feed on fish, and moreover, the starch is also thus yet no more than three or four child- comminuted. In puff pastry this is
were found in the most prolific not the case, and the dough forms families.” *
itself into thin and solid layers. “All Eggs are very nutritious, especial- pastry,” according to Dr Paris, " is an ly when poached or lightly boiled; abomination. I verily believe that when boiled hard, or fried in butter, one half of the cases of indigestion they are difficult of digestion; and which occur after dinner-parties may the same may be said of omelettes, be traced to this cause.” A hard pancakes, and fritters. But here, as sentence, this, on juveniles and pastryindeed in all other cases, only gene- lovers ; but in mitigation one may ral empirical rules can be laid down suggest that the offences of pastry -rules which individual experience lie less in its own sinful composition, must rectify or confirm. There are than in the fact of its succeeding a persons who cannot eat the white chaos of meats, made-dishes, and of egg, there are persons who can- mingled vintages. The gentleman not eat the yolk, and there are who was found reeling forlorn and · others who cannot eat egg in any helpless against the railings, on his shape whatever. To some persons way home after dining with a friend, of delicate digestion eggs are found hiccuped energetic denunciations very suitable; while to others, whose against that "knuckle of ham digestion is generally good, they are which had taken the steadiness from hurtful. “In short,” says Leeuwen- his legs, and the singleness from obhoek, “we can much better judge jects ; in like manner the tart which for ourselves as to what agrees or is innocent when following a simple disagrees with us, than pretend to joint, may become as guilty as the advise other people what is good knuckle of ham at the rear of an diet, or the contrary.”+ Experience, elaborate dinner. We are all apt to enlightened by vigilant good-sense, over-eat ourselves, and then we throw can alone determine such questions the blame of our imprudence on some
It is idle to assure article of food not in itself more oba man who finds eggs disagree with jectionable than the others. him, that “they are really very Vegetables.—The immense variety wholesome;” and not less idle to of vegetable food cannot, of course, warn him against egys, or anything be even indicated in so rapid a surelse, which his experience pronounces vey as this. A volume might be beneficial. The blissful being who written on the bread-plants alone. knows not, except by rumour, what The tropical : rice, plantain, yam, is the difference between digestible sweet potato, chayote, arrow-root, and indigestible, may smile at cassava, bread-fruit, sago, cocoa-nut, Science and our exhortations; the taro, and date ; and the extra-tropimiserable being whose stomach pain- cal : wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckfully obtrudes itself upon his con- wheat, and potatoes; with maize, sciousness by importunities not to which is common to both regionsbe evaded, and by clamours not to these alone support millions of human be outargued, may gather some guid- beings, and are justly named the ing light from general rules, and thus staff of life.” The tropical plants by vigilance arrive at positive results yield more than the others; wheat for himself.
yields on an average only five or six Pastry. There are two kinds of fold in northern Europe, and eight pie-crust, called "puff” and “ short” or ten fold in southern Europe ; but
“" paste; of these the latter is the rice yields a hundred - fold. The most digestible, because the butter is plantain yields 133 times as much thoroughly mingled with the dough, food as wheat on the same area. and is by this
means in that state With a small garden round his but of minute subdivision which, when the peasant can support his family. treating of Fats and Oils, we saw to And how easy is subsistence in the
for each person,
* PEREIRA: On Diet, p. 282.
Asiatic Archipelago, where sago civilised man, and vegetable food the grows wild in the woods, and a healthiest and suitablest in every man goes into the forest to cut his way. Many years ago, I was myself bread, as we to cut our firewood. a convert to this doctrine, seduced He fells the tree, divides it into by the example and enthusiasm of several pieces, scrapes the pith out, Shelley, and, for the six months in mixes it with water, strains it, and which I rigidly adhered to its prethere is sago-meal ready for use.* cepts, could find no sensible differThe bread countries have been geo- ence, except that I was able to study graphically indicated by Schouw as immediately after dinner. It soon follows :
became clear, however, that the ar“ The bread-line extends furthest north guments on which the doctrine rests in Scandinavia, for in Finmark we meet for support would not withstand phy-only within the fiords, it is true— with siological scrutiny. It is unnecessary barley and potatoes up to 70° N. latitude; to allude to such fantastic arguments from here it sinks both to the east and as that of Rousseau, who maintained west. It is well known that neither vegetables to be the proper food, Iceland nor Greenland possess bread. because we have two breasts, like plants, although the south coast of the the vegetable feeders; an argument former lies in 631°, and that of the latter
as worthless as the counter-argument in 60° N. latitude ; and that in the Feroë Islands, although lying between 611° and
of Helvetius, that flesh is the only 62!", there exists but an inconsiderable
proper food, because we have the cultivation of barley. On the east side
blind intestine short, like the fleshof North America the bread-line sinks feeders. The vegetarian theory is at still further to the south, for Labrador variance with the plain indications and Newfoundland have no bread-plants, afforded by our structure, and by the and the limit can scarcely be put here indications no less plain afforded by higher than 50°, consequently much our practice. The structure of our further south than in Denmark, where teeth and intestinal canal points to the plains abound in corn. It extends a a mixed diet of flesh and vegetable ; little further north on the western coast and although the practice of millions of North America, which, as is well known, possesses a warmer climate than
may be to avoid flesh altogether, it on the east side. The few data which we
is equally the practice of millions find here, render the determination of
to eat it. In hot climates there the north limit rather uncertain ; it can
seems little or no necessity for aniscarcely be placed higher than 57° or 58'. mal food ; in cold climates it is imTurning from Scandinavia towards the peratively demanded. In moderate east, we find a depression of the bread- climates, food is partly animal and line even in European Russia, here com- partly vegetable. Against instinct, ing by 67° northward of Archangel. so manifested, it is in vain to argue ; The curve is considerable in Asiatic
any theory of food which should run Russia ; at Ob the north limit of bread
counter to it stands self-condemned. comes to 60°, at Jenesi to 58', at Lena
Besides this massive evidence, we 57, and in Kamtschatka, which has only a slight cultivation of corn in the
have abundant examples in indivimost southern part, it sinks to 51-thus
dual cases to show how necessary to about the same latitude as on the east animal food is for those who have coast of North America. The bread- to employ much muscular exertion. line has thus two polar and two equato. The French contractors and manurial curves, the former corresponding to facturers who were obliged to engage the western, the latter to the eastern English navvies and workmen, besides of the continent.”+
cause French workmen had not the On surveying the list of nations requisite strength, at last resolved to and tribes whose food is principally, try the effect of a more liberal meat or entirely, vegetable, we are natu- diet; and by giving the Frenchman rally led to ask what confidence is as ample a ration of meat as that due to that party in America and eaten by the Englishman, the differEngland which proclaims Vegeta- ence was soon reduced to a mere norianism to be the proper creed for thing. It is worth noting that the
* Schouw : The Earth, Plants, and Man (Trans.), p. 137.
+ lbid., p. 131.
popular. idea of one Englishman gros, when it died completely exbeing equal to three Frenchmen, was hausted. The second was fed in the found by contractors to be tolerably same way with barley ; it ate 20 gros accurate, one Englishman really doing the first day, 14 the third, and so on the work of two and a half men ; and less and less ; in the fourth week it M. Payen remarks that the consump- expired. The third rabbit was fed tion of mutton in England is three on alternate days with potatoes and times as much as that in France, in barley, and its weight increased till proportion to the inhabitants.* the nineteenth day; and as its weight
Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, Wines, and then remained stationary, in the Beers, have been so amply and lucidly third week both potatoes and barley treated by Johnston in his Chemistry were given together, upon which the of Common Life, that we need say weight continued to increase, and the nothing of them in this place, except animal retained its original vivacity. to remark that they are all undeniably It has long been a question what nourishing, although seemingly in- quantity of Food is requisite for the capable of entering into the composi- proper sustainment and repair of the tion of any tissue, so that their phy- organism. Like most other quessiological value is still a mystery. tions of the kind, it can be answered
We have thus surveyed the great only in an approximative manner, varieties of Food, and have seen how precision being impossible. The diffar Science is from any accurate ferences of individual organisms, and data respecting the nutritive value the different conditions of these orof separate substances. It is doubt- ganisms, must always interfere with ful whether this last requisite will any attempt at accurate estimates. ever be attained, owing to the com- The same man must necessarily replexity of the problem, and the shift- quire more food when in activity ing nature of the data. The nutri- than when in repose ; in cold climates tive value of any substance is neces- more than in hot climates; and alsarily dependent on the relation of though we may strike an average that substance to the organism : but which shall be accurate enough as a that relation cannot be constant, be- matter of figures, of what use can an cause the organism itself is fre- average be in Physiology? The man quently changing. Moreover, a sub- to be fed is not an average. A hun
. stance which under ordinary circum- dred men will consume an amount stances will be very nutritious, sud- of food which may be accurately denly fails to nourish, because some divided into a hundred parts; but other substance is present, or some these figures give us no real clue to other substance is absent. When- the quantity needed by each indiever the animal is a various feeder, vidual ; and rations founded on such variety in food becomes indispen- estimates must necessarily be impersable. Majendie found that rabbits fect, one man receiving more, ancould not subsist longer than a fort- other less, than is required. Indivinight if fed on a single article of dual experience can only be valid their ordinary food, such as carrots, for the individual. Valentin, from or cabbages, or barley ; and Ernest experiments on himself, found that Burdach made the following experi- his daily consumption was rather ment : Taking three rabbits not more than six pounds of solid and quite full-grown, but all three from liquid food; but Cornaro for fiftythe same litter, and as nearly alike eight years took no more than 12 as possible in size, strength, colour, ounces of solid food, and 14 ounces of form, and sex; to the one he gave light wine. Here are two individual nothing but water and potatoes, experiences widely discrepant. It is which were furnished ad libitum ; clear to the physiologist that the very it ate seven ounces on the first day, small amount of solid food taken by six on the second, and gradually less Cornaro was partly compensated by and less ; its weight, which on the the nutritive value of the wine, and seventh day was 161 gros, was re- partly by the fact that his moderate duced by the thirteenth day to 93 activity caused a less demand than
* PAYEN : Des Substances Alimentaires, p. 8.
is usual among men; but even when rogating experience, we find the most due allowance is made for such ele- singular and inexplicable differences ments, we are brought no nearer to in the quantities of food which india correct estimate, because we have viduals require, and in the quantities not yet determined, and perhaps which they will consume if permitnever shall determine, the relative ted. As a general rule, more is eaten nutritive value of the different arti- in cold climates than in hot clicles of food ; so that those elaborate mates; but it is by no means clear arrays of weights, which many to us that the reason of this is chemists and physiologists are fond the one advanced by Liebig when of producing as evidence, are vitiated he says, “ Our clothing is merely an by the initial fallacy of supposing equivalent for a certain amount of that vital phenomena can be reduci- food; the more warmly we are clad, ble to arithmetical calculation. the less urgent becomes the appe
We are tempted to pause for a tite for food, because the loss of moment to notice one of the most heat by cooling, and consequently singular of these misleading applica- the amount of heat to be supplied tions of arithmetic to life. Both by food, is diminished.” The relation phrenologists and their antagonists between cold and food is more comconstantly invoke the weight of the plex than that; and when Liebig brains of different men and animals, refers to the gluttony of the Sain the belief that an exact corre- moyedes, he overlooks the gluttony spondence is necessarily established of the Hottentots, which is quite between so many ounces of nervous as remarkable. “If,” he says, matter, and so much cerebral activity; were to go naked like certain savage but it is demonstrable that size is not tribes, or if in hunting and fishing the measure of power, unless "all we were exposed to the same degrees other things are equal," and they never of cold as the Samoyedes, we should are equal, in two different brains. be able with ease to consume half of Nervous tissue is not like so much a calf, and perhaps a dozen of tallow salt or chalk, definite in composi- candles into the bargain, daily, as tion, presenting everywhere precise- warmly-clad travellers have related ly the same quantities of water, with astonishment of these people. phosphorus, sulphur, &c. ; nor is it We should then also be able to take everywhere precisely similar in de the same quantity of brandy or velopment, the proportions and direc- train-oil without bad effects, because tions of its fibres differing in different the carbon and hydrogen of these brains, and at different ages of the substances would only suffice to keep same brain. Yet it is on these two up the equilibrium between the exqualities, of composition and de- ternal temperature and that of our velopment, that the functions of the bodies.” This sounds very plausible brain will depend for their relative as long as we confine our attention intensity; and these are not ascer- to Samoyedes, but it is overthrown tainable by measurement or weight. by the statement, recorded by BarTo weigh the brains of two men, with row in his Travels in Southern a view of determining what the com- Africa, that the Hottentots are the parative intellectual power of the two greatest gluttons on the face of the men really was, is as chimerical as earth. Ten Hottentots ate a midto weigh two men in the scales with dling-sized ox in three days; and a view of ascertaining what amount three Bosjesmans had a sheep given of muscular energy, dexterity, and them about five in the evening, endurance each possesses. Indeed, which was entirely consumed before the error never could have gained noon of the following day. They acceptance for a moment, if a true continued to eat all night, without conception of biological philosophy sleep and without intermission, till had been prevalent, because such a they finished the whole animal. After conception would have repudiated this their lank bellies were distended the attempt to explain vital or to such a degree that they looked psychological phenomena by the me- less like human beings than before." thods effective only in Physics. The inhabitants of the Alpine re
Quitting these estimates, and inter- gions of Lapland and of Norway
are not remarkable for their yora- To this must be added one and a city, nor are the Icelanders : a suffi- quarter pint of rich gravy - soup, cient proof that mere temperature is three wine-glasses of raw spirits, one not the sole cause of excessive eating, tumbler of strong grog, and one galsince such excess is observable in lon one pint of water. Captain Cochhot climates, and not always ob- rane, in his Journey through Russia servable in cold climates.
and Siberian Tartary, relates that Although Liebig's statement can- the Admiral Saritcheff was informed not be accepted, being indeed only one that one of the Yakuti ate in fourof the conclusions deduced from his and-twenty hours the hind quarter theory of respiratory food, there is of a large ox, twenty pounds of fat, ample evidence to show that, without and a proportionate quantity of melted referring excessive gluttony to cold, we butter for his drink. To test the are justified in referring an increase truth of this statement, the admiral of appetite to cold ; and the increase gave him a thick porridge of rice is perfectly intelligible : more exer- boiled down with three pounds of cise must be taken in cold weather butter, weighing together twentyto develop the necessary amount of eight pounds; and although the glutanimal heat, more tissue must be ton had already breakfasted, he sat wasted, and consequently more sup- down to it with great eagerness, and ply is needed for repair. “He who consumed the whole without stirring is well fed,” says Sir John Ross, from the spot. Captain Cochrane “resists cold better than the man also states that he has seen three who is stinted ; while starvation from Yakutis devour a reindeer at a meal ; cold follows but too soon a starvation and a calf weighing about two hunin food.” The same writer thinks, dred pounds is not too much for a that not only should voyagers to the meal of five of these gluttons.* polar regions take more food than These facts are curious, but of usual, but “it would be very desir- course they throw no light on the able indeed if the men could acquire question, how much food an indivithe taste for Greenland food, since đual requires to keep himself aliveand all experience has shown that the active. Nor, indeed, has any method large use of oil and fat meats is the yet been devised which could elucidate true secret of life in these countries, that point. We can never feel conand that the natives cannot subsist fident that the quantity taken is not without it, becoming diseased, and somewhat more, or somewhat less, dying, with a more meagre diet." than would really be advantageous.
The accounts which travellers give If a man is active on six pounds of the quantity of food which can be daily, he might be perhaps stronger consumed are extraordinary. Sir on six and a half; and if six and a John Ross estimates that an Esqui- half should prove the precise amount maux will eat perhaps twenty pounds which kept his weight unaltered, it of flesh and oil daily. Compare this would only do so under precisely with Valentin's six pounds, or with similar conditions, and we know that Cornaro's twelve ounces of solids, and on different days he will waste diffefourteen ounces of wine ! Captain rent quantities. Parry tried, as a matter of curiosity, Some caterpillars daily eat double how much an Esquimaux lad, who their weight in food ; a cow eats was scarcely full-grown, would con- 46 lb. daily; and a mouse eats eight sume if left to himself, The follow- times as much, in proportion to its ing articles were weighed before being own weight, as is eaten by a man. given. He was twenty hours getting But when such facts are cited, we through them, and certainly did not must bear in mind the enormous difconsider the quantity extraordinary : ferences in the nature of the foods
thus weighed, their relative amounts Sea-horse flesh hard frozen, 4 4 of water, and indigestible material. boiled,
4 Bread and bread-dust,
The same caution is requisite in 12
speaking of man's diet. It has been 10 4 variously computed. Sanctorius es