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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. (Edited for content.)

375. Quality of Food Suited to a Farmer's Family."As to the quality of the food, there is no doubt that the more simply it is cooked the more easily it is digested.
     "Chemical analysis should be the guide for the cookery book.
     "No one would think of eating raw potash, a substance that dissolves metals, but we do not hesitate to eat saleratus, which is a modified preparation of it, and has the same, though a more gradual effect, upon the organic tissues and the blood. Soda, it is well understood, rots cloth and takes the skin form the hands when it is put into soap, or even when used to 'break hard water,' as the washerwomen term it; yet we put it into bread and cakes. Our stomachs were not made to digest metals, and when we powder them and eat them, we try to cheat nature.
     "Spices were undoubtedly made for use in those climates where they grow, but the natives of those climates use them much more sparingly than we do. We may reasonably suppose that they are more adapted to the wants of hot climates than of cold ones, as nature has placed them in the former, and yet we saturate our food with them, mix them together, destroy the flavors of each by so doing, and make a stimulus to appetite by a conglomeration, which is a most unnatural one, and gradually injures the very power of digestion. We thus conceal, also, that fine aroma of vegetables and meats which distinguishes one from the other, and deprive ourselves of the pleasure God designed we should feel in partaking of them. There is a delicate fruit of the tropics resembling a muskmelon, which grows, however, not upon a vine, but upon a tree, the taste of which is so finely delicate, that a foreigner can not even perceive it at first; but if he does not cover it with pepper and salt, as we have seen many foreigners do, to 'give it a taste,' he will, after partaking of it a few days or weeks (according to the simplicity of his appetite), appreciate its flavor, which is that of the most delicate aromatic nut. In our climate we lose the flavor of many vegetables in the same way, by covering them with pepper, and also by putting them into water below the boiling-point when we cook them.* Every one who is so happy as to live in the country, and can gather vegetables daily from his own garden, knows the difference between them when gathered thus and properly cooked, and those which have been picked and kept for market even one night.
     "When substances like rice, corn-starch, and farina are used, which have very little taste (rice, because it has been so long exposed to the air after it is gathered, and corn-starch and farina, because; from the mode of their preparation, they lose a great part of the nutritious ingredients of the corn), a delicate flavoring of spice may be used without injury to health.
     "Science may at last bring us to the conclusion, that each climate and region produces those articles of food which it is most healthful to eat in their respective localities.
     "It is not the most costly or most luxurious living that we would advocate, but it is a variety of food. The difficulty is, that we are tempted sometimes by a great variety of dishes at one meal to eat too much. This is no argument against variety of food.
     "It is important that we should study to increase earth's products, and improve their quality, to produce the highest condition of perfection in man. A man, it is true, may be a glutton, and consume mountains of flesh and rich dishes, but that is not the point. It is that we all should consume the best food possible to be produced, an in sufficient variety to give healthy results."


*see How to Cook