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Diet and dress of a 19th century epicure

  How to Choose Eggs 
  To Tell Good Eggs and Keeping Eggs Fresh

   Eggs A La Suisse


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Bread, Pastries, Puddings
Sea Foods, Game & Poultry
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Eat the Best Food Possible

Food and Clothing in a Lifetime

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From: Facts For Farmers: Also for The Family Circle. A Compost of Rich Materials For All Land-owners, about Domestic Animals and Domestic Economy; Farm Buildings; Gardens, Orchards, and Vineyards; and all Farm Crops, Tools, Fences, Fertilization, Draining, and Irrigation - edited by Solon Robinson - 1865. Note the incredible variety of foods people ate compared to our extremely limited diets.

378. The Food and Clothing a Man may Consume in a Lifetime. 末Alex. Soyer's "Modern Housewife" gives the following calculation as the probable amount of food that an epicure of seventy years might have consumed. "Supposing his gastronomic performances to commence at ten years, he will make 65,700 breakfasts, dinners, and suppers, to say nothing of luncheons and extra feastings. To supply the epicure's table for sixty years, Soyer calculates he will require 30 oxen, 200 sheep, 100 calves, 200 lambs, 50 pigs; in poultry, 1,200 fowls, 300 turkeys, 150 geese, 400 ducklings, 263 pigeons; 1,400 partridges, pheasants, and grouse; 600 woodcocks and snipes; 600 wild ducks, widgeon, and teal; 450 plovers, ruffs, and reeves; 800 quails, ortolans, and dotterels, and a few guillemots and other foreign birds; also 500 hares and rabbits, 40 deer, 120 Guinea-fowl, 10 peacocks, and 360 wild-fowls. In the way of fish, 120 turbot, 140 salmon, 120 cod, 260 trout, 400 mackerel, 300 whitings, 800 soles and slips, 400 flounders, 400 red mullet, 200 eels, 150 haddocks, 400 herrings, 5,000 smelts, and some hundred thousand of those delicious, silvery whitebait, besides a few hundred species of fresh-water fishes, In shell-fish, 20 turtle, 30,000 oysters, 1,500 lobsters or crabs, 300,000 prawns, shrimps, sardines, and anchovies. In the way of fruit, about 500 lbs. of grapes, 360 lbs. of pineapples, 600 peaches, 1,400 apricots, 240 melons, and some hundred thousand plums, green-gages, apples, pears, and some millions of cherries, strawberries, raspberries, currants, mulberries, and an abundance of other small fruit, viz., walnuts, chestnuts, dry figs, and plums. In vegetables of all kinds, 5,475 lbs. weight, and about 2,434-3/4 lbs. of butter, 684 lbs. of cheese, 21,000 eggs, 800 tongues. Of bread, 4-1/2 tons, half a ton of salt and pepper, near 2-1/2 tons of sugar. His drink during the same period may be set down as follows: 49 hogsheads of wine, 13,683 gallons of beer, 584 gallons of spirits, 342 gallons of liqueur, 2,394-3/4 gallons of coffee, cocoa, tea, etc., and 304 gallons of milk, 2,736 gallons of water. This mass of food in sixty years amounts to no less than 33-3/4 tons of weight of meat, farinaceous food and vegetables, etc., out of which I have named in detail the probable delicacies that would be selected by an epicure through life. But observe that I did not count the first ten years of his life, at the beginning of which he lived upon pap, bread and milk, etc., also a little meat, the expense of which I add to the age from then to twenty, as no one can really be called an epicure before that age; it will thus make the expenses more equal as regards the calculation. The following is the list of what I consider his daily meals:

"BREAKFAST.末Three quarters of a pint of coffee, four ounces of bread, one ounce of butter, two eggs, or four ounces of meat, or four ounces of fish.
"LUNCH.末Two ounces of bread, two ounces of meat, or poultry, or game, two ounces of vegetables, and a half pint of beer, or a glass of wine.
"DINNER.末Half a pint of soup, a quarter of a pound of fish, half a pound of meat, a quarter of a pound of poultry, a quarter of a pound of savory dishes or game, two ounces of vegetables, two ounces of bread, two ounces of pastry or roasts, half an ounce of cheese, a quarter of a pound of fruit, one pint of wine, one glass of liqueur, one cup of coffee or tea; at night one glass of spirits and water."

     To this we have added the following calculation of the clothing the same man may have used. We estimate that a full-dressed man carries about fifty yards of cloth upon his body, or at least it has taken so many square yards of cloth to make the following garments: one under and one over shirt and drawers, eight yards; vest, with all its inside and out, four yards; coat, overcoat and cloak, 32 yards; the handkerchiefs in the coat and cloak pockets, two yards; pants, lined, four yards. Then we may add a nightshirt, four yards and morning wrapper, 10 yards, and we have 64 yards for a single suit. Allow six of these suits a year末of some garments he will want more, and some less than six, but take that as an average, and we have 384 yards for the gentleman's wardrobe one year. Multiply that by sixty years, and we have 23,040 yards of cloth, which appears a fair allowance, as we throw out the ten years of childhood. With these garments he will want each year two pair of boots, two pair of shoes, two pair of slippers, two pair of rubbers or overshoes末480 pairs. With these he will wear sixty dozen pairs of stockings and (four hats a year) 240 hats. I will say nothing about the yards of cloth that he will want about his toilet and table, his carpets and curtains, and his bed, with its daily change of bedding; but you can imagine it would make a large spread. The great questions for consideration, in an agricultural point of view, is this: Could such a consumer of earth's products produce as much as he consumed, with all industry applied during life, or would he be dependent upon the labor of others?