Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

service, so that even at fifteen cents a pound it is possible to sell candies where other expenses are low. A large part of the tons of candy purchased by the young people of our towns is glucose more or less bleached by bisulphite of soda. Commercial glucose of the unrefined sort as it comes from the factory to be used, in beer, for instance, has a yellow cast, and would not sell so readily ; hence the bleaching. Glucose itself is a good food, but the sulphites are not exactly wholesome.

The fancy for brilliant colors in food finds full play in candies. Some 200 coloring substances are named in the National Confectioners' Association list, of which about one-third are recognized as harmful. Mineral colors, such as lead chromate (yellow), formerly frequent, are rarely seen. Coal tar dyes, from their intense coloring power, are generally used. The quantity taken at any one time is almost infinitesimal.

Cheap candies are sometimes stuffed with starch, paste, and paraffin, and the fats used are of doubtful

Brandy drops” containing fusel oil and alcohol ought to be driven from the market.

In 1900 thirty-one out of seventy-eight samples of confectionery examined in Massachusetts were adulterated. Chocolate brandy drops gave in some cases more than 4 per cent of alcohol.

The Inland Revenue Department, Ottawa, Canada, reports the following results of an examination of highly colored confectionery, samples having been collected during two months: Out of fifty-six samples examined thirty-four contained two colors, twenty contained three

sources.

colors, and two contained four colors. In but one sample was the presence of arsenic shown, and that in such minute quantity as to be completely harmless.

USES OF SUGAR

In Europe it was used only in medicine until about the fifteenth century, and it was not produced in large quantities till about 1800. Only within a few generations has sugar been used as a food, and produced in sufficient quantities to bring the price within the reach of all classes of people. The consumption of sugar is everywhere increasing. In 1899 the total consumption was from seven to eight million tons. In 1904 it was from eleven to twelve million. In the United States alone it was nearly three million, having increased from eight pounds a head in 1825 to 75.3 pounds in 1904.

Until recently, taking the world as a whole, it might be said that sugar was used as a condiment rather than as a food, but at present it seems a very important article of diet, and should be so considered. It would seem that in the north it is taking the place of the starchy foods that sometimes can be obtained only with great difficulty. It is known that the consumption of sugar is large among American farmers and lumbermen. In Switzerland loaf sugar and very sweet chocolate are important elements in the outfits of mountain climbers, and on all polar expeditions sugar is considered an essential. Undoubtedly it is an invaluable as well as an agreeable food for these dwellers in the open air.

Professor PAüger is quoted as saying that without doubt the sugar in the blood is heavily drawn on during violent exercise ; hence the longing for it in a form that can be readily assimilated.

In Mrs. Abel's Bulletin, "Sugar as Food," I may be found exceedingly interesting accounts of experiments by Mosso and Dr. Schumberg in lessening fatigue by means of cane sugar. A short quotation is in place here: “In effect Dr. Schumberg says, The practical conclusion to be drawn is that sugar in small doses is well adapted to help men to perform extraordinary muscular labor.' He advises practical tests of his results on a large scale, in which small amounts of sugar in some refreshing drink, as lemonade, will be given to men fifteen or twenty minutes before they begin a piece of very hard work or at the first signs of exhaustion. If the sugar is to be taken in solid form he recommends chocolate as the best medium. The application of these results to the food of soldiers who may be called upon for extraordinary exertion in marching or fighting is very evident.” 1

In warm countries, where little fat is eaten, sugar as it is found in fruits forms a large portion of the food. It is said that in India the workmen must have each day a large amount of food that is well seasoned with sugar. In all tropical lands the natives live largely on dates, figs, and other fruits that have a high percentage

of sugar.

The growing opinion seems to be in favor of its moderate use. It is true that if the stomach is not able to digest it at once it is liable to change into lactic acid instead of being absorbed into the system. This only shows that sugar is not suitable for that individual at that time. The very general craving for sweets is undoubtedly founded on a law of demand of the system. Hence a moderate use of it by children is not to be rashly condemned.

1 Farmers' Bulletin No. 93.

Like all other foods, sugаr may be abused. That it plays a part as a heat-giving food is indicated by the fact that it is not craved to so great an extent in summer as in winter.

CHAPTER VII

NUTS

O

1ܙܙ

NE class of food material worthy of further study

from various standpoints has recently come into prominence. “Nuts as Food”) is the title of one of the excellent Farmers' Bulletins.

Certain facts about these products have been known without attaching due significance to them.

The plebeian peanut has been rescued from the upper gallery, and as “butter” has found its way to the most exclusive afternoon tea, as well as to the vegetarian bill of fare, and as “brittle" is a favorite candy. The pine nut, supposed to be a last resort of the starving Indian, is now imported and deprived of its content of turpentine for the delicate feast of devotees of uncooked foods.

Nut cakes, nut salads, nut ice cream, etc, all show the new direction in which public taste is tending.

These nuts are quite different from the most prominent variety of forty years ago, which was the cocoanut. This is today less frequently seen in our markets, being prepared nearer the place of production. Pecans are, for the time, the most abundant, and are worthy of the favor given them.

The composition of nuts is given as follows:
1 Maine Experiment Station, Bulletin No. 54.

« ForrigeFortsett »