« ForrigeFortsett »
BULLETIN No. 84, MAINE EXPERIMENT STATION, 1902,
For ten cents one buys of the last named 677 heat units of food value, and of the first 8,200 heat units enough for nearly three days' ration. The cost of gas for cooking is, however, to be taken into account.
The truth about breakfast foods is that the housewife saves time and trouble at considerable cost to her pocket.
The Bulletin says: “Of the fifty brands recently collected only twenty-one are found in the list of three years ago. There seems to be a tendency on the part of manufacturers to substitute new and attractive names for a product that has been before the public for some time."
This is caused in part by the deterioration which the manufacturers permit, either by the packages becoming stale and even wormy or by less care in production. During the time of introduction the new name means fresh material.
Rolled oats, and some other grains, are softened by steaming raw, crushed by rolls, and then dried so as to keep. The starch is then more soluble. Sometimes the heat is dry heat, either at first or after steaming, and then there is a dextrinizing and browning, like the crust of bread.
The malted foods are mixed with barley and partly predigested.
These prepared cereals have their place, but the family provider, not the manufacturer, should decide what that place shall be in each case.
The lazy habit of obtaining information (?) from the label, instead of developing common sense and real knowledge, is responsible for most of these drains on the pocket.
As stated before, it is within the power of every housewife to know, and the bureau of information should find a place in every club.
As to the loss in food value by this predigestion of the prepared foods the last word has not been said. Cooking doubtless changes the relations of the various ingredients, but the waste within the body of the mushy cereals may cause some to be more than double the value of others.
The steam cooking either does not develop or dissipates the flavor, so that one tires of the mush or adds sugar
a dietetic sin and cream and fruits. In this
respect the flaked and toasted varieties are more “ tasty,” if not more digestible, as they may well prove, however, if thoroughly masticated.
Barley belongs to the genus Hordeum. It is probably a native of Northern or Central Asia, but it has a remarkable power of adapting itself to a great range of temperature, and has a wider distribution than wheat or oats. On the eastern continent its culture extends from 70° north latitude to 42° south, and in America from 62° north to 20° south. Its use as an article of food is coeval with the history of man. It yields a greater produce per acre than any other grain except rice. It was largely cultivated by the Romans, and used chiefly as food for horses. In England, in the middle of the seventeenth century, it was commonly used as the food of the people because it grew readily in any part of the kingdom. Since improved means of transportation have brought all countries within a few days of each other, wheat is carried to lands in which it will not thrive, and people no longer need to live on the produce of their own soil. Barley has less starch and more cellulose, mineral matter, and fat than rice. It is largely used for the manufacture of beer, being better suited for it than the other grains. Its flavor should commend it to the intelligent consumer for more varied use.
Perhaps no other food stuff has been so misrepresented as rice. On the one hand, it is often stated in print and in conversation that rice is “only starch and has no nutritive value.” On the other hand, the Chinese and Japanese and other East Indian people are said to “ live on rice.” It has been represented, in the case of the recent war, that the Japanese soldiers went through this strenuous campaign on rice.
This only illustrates the need of universal education in the matter of food values. Under the direction of Prof. W. O. Atwater this subject was thoroughly investigated by the United States government at the time of the Chicago Exposition with reference to several groups quartered in the Midway, especially in the case of the Java village. Other studies of the dietary habits of so-called rice-eating people have been made on the spot with the same general result, namely, that rice is found to take the place of bread, potatoes, and vegetables — in a word, furnishes the pound of starch a day which other nations take in a variety of forms.
Since rice contains only a small proportion of either fat or nitrogenous compounds, it cannot form the sole food of human beings for any length of time, but the great bulk of cooked rice has misled many observers, and caused them to overlook the concentrated nitrogenous food which always accompanies it. For instance, the Java village people brought with them potted fish roe to furnish in large degree the needed nitrogen. The Chinese in San Francisco import from China dried ducks' livers and hard-boiled ducks' eggs. All the peoples who have been investigated use meats, chicken, ducks, fish, or some other form of proteid supply. They do not use this in the wasteful excess in which American communities usually revel, but in a sufficient quantity, as a rule. It is the fat which is more often lacking in their diet.
Rice is admirably adapted to serve as a conveyor of fat and proteid, in the form of cheese, for instance.
Different varieties show differing food values. The Japanese variety is richer in nitrogen substances.
The rice of commerce is the product of the grass Oryza sativa, probably a native of the East Indies, but cultivated in all portions of tropical and subtropical regions. It forms the principal food of nearly onethird of the human race, and enters largely into the diet of all civilized nations. It has been known in China for 5,000 years. The outer coat of woody fiber does not adhere closely and is easily removed, so that, as sent to market, the shelled grain is the inner or starch kernel. The wild rice of North America belongs to another genus, Zinania aquatica. It grows in the north temperate regions, and deserves more notice than it has hitherto received. Rice flour is now largely used in the adulteration of many finely ground foods and of condiments.
“ History tells us that the first rice grown in this country was introduced in 1695 by the captain of a brig from Madagascar, who gave some seed to Governor Smith and his friends to experiment with, and the result has been an important industry. The rices which chance introduction had brought in were looked upon as the finest in quality in the world and were exported to Europe ; but with the call for a whiter and more polished product than the hand-threshed rice of plan