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found to contain a free acid, while that of carnivorous animals constantly shows an acid reaction, and that the saccharine matter, in either case. rea li y takes on the acid terment: tion. If we a topt the usual calculation, and assume 24 parts of sugar to be equivalent as tuel, to 1 part of oil, we have in human milk an emulsion which contains plastic or nitrogenous material in the proportion of about 1 part to 3 of respiratory material. This proportion is sometimes stated as 10 of plastic material to 40 of respiratory matter calculated as staren,* a proportion which I shall assume as correct in what I have further to say on the scientific aspect of my subject.
By chemical research, then, we learn that the body of the infant is nourished and gradually built up by a fluid which contains one part of the co s ructive element to three or four parts of the non-constructive or respiratory elements; to which we may perhaps add that the occasional exis ence in risk of a free acid, and the great ease with which it turns sour, point to the possible necessity of a fre- acit as a constituent of a good diet. But this teaching of nature, and of science as her faithful in erpreter, fails us in an important point. We do not know the quantity of this typical emulsion which the infant requires and consumes for the support of its life, and the progressive growth of its frame; and it we did, the knowledge would not admit of application to the human being at its full growth.
Of the milk of animals it may suffice to observe that, while it is made up of the same constituent parts as human milk, those par's are blended in different animals in different proportions. Of this difference no feasible explanation can be given. The most obvious difference between the human infant and the young of animals, namely that the former does not derive its clothing from the milk of the mother, while the latter does, only partially explains the discrepancy in question. But the difference between human milk and that of animals is not such as to prevent the latter from being very freely used as an artice of diet in every part of the world, and for persons of al ages. Cow's milk, especially, is everywhere in large demand, and enters into many of our prison dietaries.
Dr. Guy next treats of wheaten flour and the various cereals, which he deems as essential to the support of adult life as milk is to infant existence.
What milk is to the support of infant life, that (as the chief, though not the exclusive, nutriment of the adult) is wheaten flour, and the four of the cereals, oats, barley, rye, and maize. The analyses and calculations of the chemist have shown that all these substances consist of the plastic, or constructive material, gluten (the equivalent of casein in milk and of albumen in the egg), mixed with from five to six times its weight of the respi atry elements, sugar, starch, and oil. For 10 parts of casein in human milk, there are 40 parts of respiratory or heat-producing elements calculated as starch, while in wheaten flour 10 parts of gluten are mixed with 46 parts of respiratory elements, also calculated a- starch. How near the flours or meals of the other cereals approximate to this standard of human milk, the following table will show.†
But though the cereals which are most largely employed as staple articles of food, resemble thus closely the food of the infan, and the proportion of the two leading elements in wheat approximate to the proportions in milk more nearly than in the other grains, it must not be supposed that the chemical composition of milk and of wheat presents more than this general resemblance. This is so far from being the case that, while in human milk the saccharine element constitutes little more than one-third of the dry solid matter, the sugar and starch of wheat taken together constitute more than four-fifths; while the casein in milk forms little less than a third, in wheat it is little more than a tenth; and white the butter or oil counts also for less than a third in milk, it scarcely constitutes a fiftieth part in wheaten flour. Wheaten flour, then, as compared with milk, is defective in plastic or constructive material, and still more in oily matters; and it is worthy of remark that the poorer classes in towns very generally supply this defect of oil by butter or dripping, and in the country by the fat of pork or bacon. The deficiency of gluten and albumen, as compared with the casein of milk, is supplied by milk itself, by eggs, by meat, fresh or salt, and by the seeds that abound in casein-the pea, the bean, and the lentil.
* For exact figures, see "Day's Physiological Chemistry," pp. 280 and 491.
Of wheaten flour I have only further to remark, that it stands at the bead of the cereals, if measured by its yield of sugar; that in the abundance of its starch it yields the palm only to rice (differing in this respect little from Indian meal); that in gluten and albumen (its plastic materials) it follows next in order to lentils, beans, peas, and oa's; that in fat it occupies an intermediate position; and that in gum, and in mineral matters, only, does it occupy a place somewhat below the average.
From chemical analysis, then, as well as from large experience, we learn that wheaten flour is admirably adapted to the support of human lite. We also know that, when converted into bread, it enters more or less largely into all our dietaries. For this reason, and especially because bread and water, for three days or more in succession, form the staple food of prisoners under punishment, I shall offer a few remarks on this article.
A sack, or 280 pounds, of wheaten flour, mixed into a dough with salt and water, whether fermented or unfermented, issues from the oven as about 360 pounds of bread. The yield varies according to the quality of the flour and the skill of the baker, and also with the two different processes of fermentation and aëration. But, for my present purpose, it will suffice to state that the raw wheaten flour, in being converted into cooked or baked bread, absorbs 2 parts of water for every 7 parts of flour. Of other changes it is not necessary to sp ak; but it should be understood that, though part of the starch may be converted into sugar and gum, neither the gluten and albumen, nor the oil in which wheaten flour is acknowledgedly deficient, admit of any increase in the process of bread making. And yet, in cases where bread is the only article of food, as in prisoners under puni-hment, or almost the only one, as in the very poorest classes both in town and country, it may be desirable to augment the glutinous element, to introduce the oil usually supplemented by butter or dripping, fat pork or bacon, and even to add something to the saccharine element. Now there are two ways of effecting this. We can make a considerable addition to the gluten and the oil by adding the bran to the flour, or making the bread of whole-meal, ob ained from the grain either before or after the modern process of decortication. By adding to bread so made a certain quantity of treacle, the element of sugar may be economically augmented, while the oil may be considerably increased by substituting for part of the wheaten flour a portion of Indian meal, which is remarkable for the quantity of oil it contains. In this way, by substituting the whole-meal for the fine flour, adding a certain quantity of treacle and a certain proportion of Indian meal, a bread might be produced which would prove at once nutritious and economical, and form the nearest convenient approach to the composition of human milk, which is generally, and, I believe justly, assumed as the standard of a perfect food. On bread of this mixed composition, prisoners under punishment might, I think, be confined for a longer period than at present; and if the element of a free acid, of the necessity of which I shall have more to say shortly, were added in the form of the potato, this period might be still further exten led.
If such a mixed bread as is here spoken of should be objected to as requiring the use of too many materials, or for any other reason, no difficulty ought to be raised in substituting brown, or whole-meal, bread for the white bread, now so generally in use, both within and without the walls of our prisons. I have no doubt whatever, that it would prove more wholesome as well as less expensive.
It will be seen from the foregoing extended quotation that Dr. Guy deems milk and wheaten flour the two primary or most essential articles of human diet. He, however, recognises the value of the other cereals, and of potatoes, lentils, peas, beans, etc. Following the plan of Dr. Lankester's work on Food, Dr. Guy gives the order in which they stand in relation to their most important elements, beginning always with that substance which contains the element under notice in the largest quantity.
STARCH.-Rice; wheat and maize; rye and buckwheat; barley; oats; peas; beans; lentils; potatoes.
100 parts of wheaten flour already contain about 16 parts of water, so that an addition of twosevenths, or nearly 29 parts of water, will raise the whole quantity of water contained in bread to 45 per cent, at which it is usually stated.
The superiority of brown bread, or of whole-meal bread, to white bread as commonly made, may be inferred from a comparative statement of the constituents of fine wheaten flour and bran respectively.
SUGAR.-Wheat; oats; barley and rye; potatoes; beans, peas, lentils, and buckwheat; rice; maize.
FAT.-Maize; oats; beans, peas, and lentils; wheat; buckwheat; rye; rice; barley; potatoes.
GLUTEN, CASEIN, AND ALBUMEN--Lentils; peas and beans; oats; rye; wheat; barley; maize; buckwheat; rice; potatoes.
ASHES.-Barley; beans; oats; peas; buckwheat; rye; wheat; lentils; maize; potatoes; rice.
Dr. Guy goes on to remark:
It is obviously on the flour or meal of one or other of these cereals that we must depend for supplying the staple of our dietaries. We must supply our paupers and prisoners with bread made from wheat, barley, rye, or Indian meal, or with bread skilfully constructed with the best elements of several of these; or we must make use of oatmeal with water, as gruel, or of oatmeal or Indian meal with milk, as porridge or pudding. Assuming these productions of the cereals as the basis of our dietaries, we must (especially where milk is not admitted as an element) be careful to provide the potato, or some equivalent vegetable or potherb, or some soup containing or not containing meat, but rich in vegetables or potherbs, as guarantees against the scurvy. With bread and potato as a groundwork, it would not be difficult to construct a great variety of diet tables to which no serious objection could be taken on scientific grounds, and which would be sure to maintain a fair state of health in those who are placed upon them.
It will be seen from the foregoing that the flesh of animals is not considered by Dr. Guy as an indispensable, or one of the primary and staple elements of human dietaries. He wisely discriminates where such men as Professor Johnston and Dr. Lankaster dogmatise and blunder. He clearly sees and honestly admits that a well ordered Vegetarian diet supplies all the needful elements of nutrition and respiration. Into the question-quantities and proportions of suitable articles of food—we cannot enter, at least in our present article, further than to give the following brief
Thus far I have allowed myself to be guided by the light of science--of science herself largely indebted to nature and experience and have been led to the discovery of certain suitable forms of food which may be conveniently taken as the staple of our dietaries. But I have not exhausted the teachings of science, for she professes to guide us, not merely to the discovery of suitable articles of food, but also to prescribe the quantities and proportions in which they should be administered. Vierordt, an eminent German physiologist, weighing carefully the results of numerous and precise experiments on that which enters the body as food, and that which leaves it through its several channels of purification and discharge, tells us that an adult male, to keep in good condition, should take about 4 ounces of albuminous matters, nearly 3 ounces of fat, and about 10 ounces of amylaceous food daily. About 84 ounces of water would be taken as drink, and about an ounce would have to be allowed for the saline matters contained in, or added to, the three leading articles of food.
If we take this scientific estimate of Vierordt as our standard for an adult male, assume a free access to water, and that the saline matters which the body requires are partly contained in any food which we may select, and partly added, as common salt, in the preparation of it, it will not be difficult to frame a dietary which shall fitly carry this scientific theory into practice.
The dietary of Vierordt, expressed in grains, consists of
Several dietary tables are given, both with and without flesh meat, wherein the various elements, albuminous, fatty, and amylaceous, more or less approximate to the standard scientific estimate of Vierordt. But all these we must pass over for the present.
The "Teachings of Experience," a very interesting and important part of the article, extending over twenty-four pages, must be passed over, so far as any analysis or summary are concerned. The following passage, however, is too
significant and important to be omitted.
I must now ask the attention of the Society to dietaries from which meat has been wholly excluded, and to three dietaries especially which contain no animal food whatever. The first of these exclusively vegetable dietaries is very interesting, ina-much as it is a prison diet on which prisoners were fed for long periods, and weighed at the beginning and end of their sentences. The history of this dietary, and of its effects on the health of the prisoners, and on their weight, will be found in the Report of 1823, on the epidemic at Millbank. The facts are given on the authority of the Governor of the Devizes House of Correction. The dietary consisted of
On two days in the week a vegetable soup was substituted for the potatoes; but there was no meat whatever in this dietary, and no milk, or other animal matter. Nevertheless, the Governor was able to report that this dietary agreed well with the prisoners, that no loss of strength was noticed, and that no prison could be more healthy. And he ad led "There is not now, nor has there been, any case of scurvy." It should also be observed that this exclusively vegetable diet, having been adopted in an English prison, must have been strange to most of the inmates who, before they became prisoners, had doubtless been able to procure more or less of animal food and of meat. The prisoners had been kept on this diet for various periods up to eighteen months-many of them for six months and more; 292 prisoners, in various groups, were weighed on entering and on leaving the prison. Of 38 prisoners thus weighed after periods varying from two weeks to six months, 27 were found to have gained, 2 to have lost, and 9 to have neither gained nor lost. The average gain in weight was 3 pounds. Two other p is ners, after eighteen months, had gained, on an average, 6 lbs., and 20 prisoners, confined for twelve months, had gained at the end of that period 5 lbs. on the average. Four other groups of prisoners, confined during six months, three months, two months, and one month, respectively, gained, on an average, 3lbs., 3 lbs., 2 lbs., and 2 lbs.
Here then we have in favour of a bread-potato-and-gruel diet the most conclusive evidence. There was no loss of strength, an excellent state of health, no scurvy, and a most satisfactory addition to the weight of the prisoners. It should also be observed that there were among the isoners several whose terms of imprisonment were sufficiently long to severely test any dietary.
Dr. Baly, in his paper in the "London Medical Gazette," to which I have already had occasion to refer, gives an example of the same kind. It is that of the Stafford County Gaol, in which the weekly allowance of food consisted of
with 21 pints of gruel, but no meat and no soup, and yet scurvy did not occur, its absence being verified by his own inspection of 70 prisoners confined in that gaol for periods of from three to six months.
In this case, also, a diet consisting wholly of vegetable food must have been new to the prisoners.
The third example of an exclusive vegetable diet is afforded by the eighth of the series of Glasgow expe. iments. The ten prisoners were fed for one month on 6 pounds of potatoes per diem; and at the end of that period had increased in weight, one with another, no less than 34 lbs., or only half-a-pound less than the average gain in the first and second experiments of that series.
These are the only examples that I have happened to come across of a purely vegetable diet a diet from which not merely meat, but every animal product, even mi k, was excluded. But I have already, in this paper, given s veral examples of dietaries from which meat was wholly excluded, the only animal element being milk made into porridge with oatmeal, and into pudding with Indian meal.
After giving several other examples of "these exceptional dietaries," from which flesh meat is entirely excluded, and in which the results are quite satisfactory, Dr. Guy remarks:
I have no hesitation, then, in expressing an opinion in favour of the sufficiency of a dietary from which the meat element is whol y excluded. I have no doubt that heath may be preserved, and with it the capacity for labour, on a diet consisting of milk and vegetable
food; and I should have no hesitation in prescribing for all criminals under short terms of imprisonment a diet consi-ting wholly of bread and potatoes. I think that the experience acquired at the Devizes House of Correction, at Stafford, and at Glasgow would be a complete justification for such a dietary.
The third and concluding part of the article enters into an elaborate examination of "Existing Prison Dietaries,' embracing tables of dietaries for the two classes of prisoners that have to be provided for the prisoners in our county gaols who are sentenced for periods varying from a few days to less than three years, and the convicts in our Government establishments, whose sentences exceed three years.
At the close of this important article, Dr. Guy enunciates twelve distinct propositions, the results to which the foregoing inquiry has led him. We give Nos. 1, 6, and 7 as those propositions and conclusions that bear more directly on the general question advocated by the Dietetic Reformer.
1. That though the elementary constituents of a wholesome and nutritious diet, and the articles of food which yie'd them, are ascertained with sufficient accuracy, the quantity of food required to support any given body of men in health aud efficiency, is not, and cannot be, precisely determined.
6. That we possess conclusive evidence of the sufficiency of a diet from which meat is wholly exclud d, and even of a diet consisting entirely of vegetable matter; that such a diet would probably suffice for able-bodied paupers, and even for prisoners sentenced to hard labour, and for convicts employed at public works; and that this is true of men previously accustomed to animal food.
7. That the potato is an important element in our dietaries, and that its omission has probably been the true cause of outbreaks of scurvy which have been attributed to a mere reduction in the quantity of food.
Our space will not admit of comment or such remarks as we should be glad to indulge in. The intelligent reader, however, will not fail to observe how strongly and, as we think, conclusively the truth of our Vegetarian system of diet is vindicated from the flippant dogmatisms and flimsy fallacies of many of its opponents.
Dr. Guy is unknown to us, and is no doubt himself a flesh-eater; but he is a candid, observant, and honest searcher of the truth. Hence his statements and conclusions, given as they are with the facts and data on which he has founded them, are the more important as corroborative testimony to the truth of our system. We may hereafter make further reference to this testimony; and in the meantime we recommend those friends who have arrived at doubtful conclusions from individual personal "experience," or experiments" on a very narrow scale, and it may be under morbid cravings or abnormal circumstances that have disturbed the operation as well as the judgment of the operator, to reconsider the question under the light of science and a wider experience, as set forth by Dr. Guy in his article. now referred to. Testimony and confirmation of our views from such a quarter are entitled to our grateful acceptance; and demand the respectful recognition even of those who do not yet adhere to our system of diet.
"IN THE DAY THOU EATEST THEREOF THOU SHALT SURELY DIE."
In another part of our present number we give articles from "The Times," "Daily Telegraph," "Leeds Mercury," "Once a Week," and the "Social Science Review," on the now popular question of diseased meat. Similar articles have appeared in many other papers, but the names above given sufficiently indicate