|The Rushden Echo, 30th April, 1915, 1920, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Health Reports & Sanitary Reports
Food in War Time
Medical Officer of The Rushden Urban Council
Gives Some Valuable Hints
Dr. H. S. Baker, Medical Officer for the urban district of Rushden, in the course of his annual report of the Rushden Urban Council, says:-
While reviewing the subject of foods I would like to include some recommendations which seem to me at the present juncture to be of considerable importance in view of the increased price of most commodities. I have enclosed the subject matter from a leaflet published by “The Medical Officer” with the permission of the Croydon Borough Health Department, and I would ask the press if it makes any abstracts from this report to lay particular stress upon it rather than upon the vital statistics, as it is in my opinion of more concern to that abstract entity, “the man in the street,” or rather that more concrete personage “The woman who wields the purse.”
Foods may be regarded generally as being of three kinds. Some of each should be included in the daily supply. The three kinds are:-
(1) Starchy and sugar food; such, in the main, are potatoes and sugar.
(2) Fatty foods, such as dripping or butter.
(3) Body building foods. The body building substances are present in large proportions in all lean meat, in fish, in eggs, and in many kinds of beans and peas and nuts. Rice and flour also contain a considerable proportion of body building substances mixed with much starchy food.
The first two kinds of food are of great value in helping the body to carry on its work, but some of the third kind of food is essential for the growth and repair of the body.
In addition to the three kinds of food forming the bulk of the diet, certain salts and substances that are in vegetables and fruit are necessary if the body is to be kept healthy.
A sufficient quantity of water must of course be taken. Fresh milk is a remarkable food, as it contains every necessary kind of food substance.
It is important to remember that food must not only contain the right amount of the necessary substances, but those substances must be in such a form that they can be digested in the body and then absorbed in the blood.
The real (strength giving) value of ordinary food materials by no means corresponds with their cost. By sensible buying and good cooking it is easy to prepare a meal which is pleasing and palatable and of high food value at a much smaller cost than if no care and intelligence were exercised in choosing.
Here are some Facts about Foods
A mixed vegetable and meat diet suits most people best.
DRIED PEAS, HARICOT BEANS, and LENTILS contain as much flesh forming material as MEAT, and are very much cheaper.
“SECONDS” FLOUR, although less attractive in appearance than white flour, is more nourishing.
OATMEAL is a very rich food, but requires thorough boiling to make it digestible.
POTATOES are best value when cooked in their skins, or steamed.
ONIONS, BEETROOT, and CARROTS are more nutritious than CABBAGES, but greens and fruit are valuable, as they keep the blood in good condition.
BANANA, RAISINS, and DRIED CURRANTS are cheap and nourishing.
SUGAR and TREACLE are useful foods, but jam is not nearly such good value as Margarine or Dripping.
HERRINGS, BLOATERS, and KIPPERS are most nourishing.
FROZEN MEAT and the CHEAPER CUTS contain as much nourishment as the best meat; excellent stews may be made from them with cheap vegetables.
FRESH FOODS are better than canned foods.
DRIPPING and MARGARINE contain as much food value as the best butter; dripping is well worth buying. It is an extremely valuable food for children, who will take it readily with bread or toast or as dripping pudding. SUET PUDDING should be given to children who dislike fat meat.
CHEESE is one of the cheapest and best of foods, and is rich in nourishment.
What to Drink
COCOA is a food, and is more beneficial than tea or coffee.
BEER and SPIRITS have small food value, and, at the best, are expensive luxuries for anyone in hard times, except under doctor’s orders. Intemperance in time of War cannot be too severely condemned.
SKIMMED MILK is a good drink for children, provided some dripping is given as well to supply the fat taken from the milk.