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mon in the manufacture of fruit syrups and that coal tar dyes are freely used to give an attractive color.
“The grape juices have usually been found pure, bu in some instances from five to seven per cent of alcohol has been found.
“ All lime juices are much below standard, having been diluted with two or three times their volume of water.”
It has been the history of every harmful adulteration that, as soon as the public became aware of the nature of it, its manufacture was stopped and some new device substituted. The remedy, then, for this sort of fraud is the education of the general public to such an extent that it can, with some degree of probability, detect any flagrant case of adulteration or substitution. It is the aim of this little book to place in the hands of housekeepers such information as will enable them to purchase intelligently and to know in what direction to be suspicious of the different food products on the market. The nature of the adulterations will vary from year to year with the advance of knowledge and with the detection and exposure of the accustomed frauds; therefore a careful watch is needed to keep the dealers and manufacturers in check. The bulletins of each state agricultural experiment station give the results of examination of local markets.
Demand is the great cause of supply; and if many of the reasons for complaint were examined, it would be found that the grocers, of whom we so bitterly complain, are only supplying the demand of their customers. Few dealers are in a position to instruct their customers; there are occasional philanthropists among them, but most of them must make money, and they can do this only by supplying what the public want. The superstition yet lingering in the minds of people is nowhere shown more clearly than in the purchases they make for every-day use.
1 New Hampshire Sanitary Bulletin, October, 1904, p. 70.
Science, and especially chemical science, has achieved so many marvelous triumphs within the last fifty years that it is looked upon as an occult knowledge, having the power which was attributed to the alchemy of the Middle Ages; and even intelligent persons, perhaps unconsciously, look upon chemical operations as capable of transforming substances in as subtle a manner as was claimed to be possible by the old-time searcher after the philosopher's stone.
As a result, the average housekeeper is a fit subject for the modern alchemist the man who can turn cereals and apple cores into gold by a few neatly turned phrases calculated to impress the housewife with the profound wisdom of the manufacturer.
“Although the words 'adulteration' and 'sophistication' are in a degree synonymous, yet there is a distinction which seems borne out in legal practice. To adulterate the coin of the realm or the liquor of the bar with a baser metal or an imitation whisky is a heinous offense. So is the mixture of milk with the baser article, water, which thereby lowers its food value. But the wretched sophistry' which obscures the nature of things on a package of prepared food misleads more persons and inflicts more injury on the community than the other, yet goes unrebuked. The most barefaced assertions are printed in magazines, and pure food shows' only whet the appetite for something
In considering the probabilities of adulteration, one important fact must not be overlooked.
When prices are low and food is plentiful there is much less reason for admixture of foreign substances; but when prices are high and any article scarce, then is adulteration rife. Take, for example, cream of tartar: in ordinary years, when money is plentiful and gold at par, it can be bought at from thirty-five to forty cents a pound; but when gold was two dollars or more, as during the Civil War, and when the risk of importation became considerable, cream of tartar sold for two dollars or so a pound. The poor people could not pay fifty cents for what they had been accustomed to get for ten, but they did not know enough of the principles of cooking to get along without it, and so they asked for something cheaper. During those years there was very little of the genuine article sold under the name, and the result was poor bread and injured health.
A very good example of the law of supply and demand was given to the writer by a man of strict integrity, but a man of business who understood the public temper. When quite young he kept a small grocery store in one of the suburbs of Boston. Cream of tartar had just come into use. A woman who had been in the habit of purchasing her supplies at a neighboring grocery came to him one day for some articles.
1 Air, Water, and Food, p. 155.
The young man prided himself on the good quality of his goods, therefore felt quite sure she would be pleased and give him her custom. What was his surprise to have her come back and complain of the quality of his cream of tartar. It did not make as good bread as that which she had been buying. He ventured to suggest that perhaps it was strong and that she used too much; but she would not be satisfied and wanted another kind, so he made up a package for her of twothirds cream of tartar and one-third rice flour; this satisfied her, and she became his customer. We can hardly expect our grocers to become philanthropists and teachers of the people. Their business is to supply the public with the articles which it demands, and it is from education of the public that we must look for redress. There is great danger to the moral sense of the community from this sort of cheating — this obtaining money under false pretences (for it is nothing else). And the public is content to be cheated; it should be aroused, and by a knowledge of food materials a stop may be put to most frauds.
In the new enthusiasm for social service many students are working at the problem of developing a fuller life for the sinews of the republic, the wage-earners. Each one of these students of social conditions comes upon a find, as it seems to him, of a great leak in the average family purse in the case of his grocer's and butcher's bills. By all laws of economy the workman should not spend so much of his money for food. If he lived more economically his family could have more recreation and a better house.
There is no more burning question in sociology today than this, What ought food to cost ? That the buyer does not get his money's worth in many directions is true. It is to add one mite to the heap of knowledge which the United States Government is sending out in its bulletins from the Department of Agriculture that this volume is written.
One result of this study of social conditions is the introduction of cooking into the public schools and, along with the practice, a considerable amount of elementary science to serve as a foundation for further study and an inspiration to investigation. Helpful as these classes have been, they are still often too much under the domination of the commercial cooking schools, as we may term them — those which depend upon the patronage of women who wish to outdo their neighbors in fancy cakes, pink teas, and decorative rather than nutritious dishes. In the one case food is used, like fabrics and flowers, as decoration and not as that strength-giving material which shall make men and women workers.
The cooking classes of today must learn how to make attractive meals out of nutritious materials, and must pay attention to composition and quantity of food served as well as to its outward appearance.
A great deal may be done by economy in the preparation of food and in the substitution of one kind for another, according to the cost at different seasons of the year. Here a knowledge of the composition of the various articles of diet will enable one to choose and yet to give the family all the constituents needed.