Reflections on life, marriage, and a young woman who is constantly learning how much there will always be to learn!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

19th-Century Diet

Sorry for the current fixation on food! Since nutrition is currently my major topic of study, it provides the majority of information that I have to share right now:o)

I found this article about the traditional nineteenth-century American diet very interesting. Though I'm not sure I can quite believe the authors' conclusion, it certainly makes one consider the benefits of whole foods vs. our society's modern diet of fake foods.

Just reading it for historical interest alone--discovering what 19th century homemakers used to prepare for their families--is fascinating. What do you think you want to make Pig's Head Mush anytime soon? ;oP


Anonymous Erin Wallace said...

I have so enjoyed reading your blog! I stumbled across it from Becky Miller's, after I found her's off of Spunky Homeschool (a daily read for me). I had my husband read some of your posts and kept asking "Who does this sound like you to you???". Everytime he answered, laughing, "You." You and I share lots of interests! I am currently working as a teacher, but plan to be a homemaker full time when this school year is over. Yea! So, I don't have the time or energy to pour into menu planning and nutrition research right now that I want to, but I have a great book recommendation for you. I read it last spring and it rocked my food world. Unfortunately, I've not been able to fully consider and imlement much of what was in it, but I'm so excited about the opportunity. It's called What the Bible Says about Healthy Living by Rex Russell. Several of the things you mentioned in your posts made me think of it. It's basic premise is that God created us, knows what foods best nourish us, and that there is guidance in his word for how we should eat and take care of ourselves. He basically says that we should eat the things that God designed for food in the closest manner to how he created them (lots of raw foods, etc.) It's a good read. I think you'd like it. I look forward to reading more!

Erin (not kidding)

5:48 PM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger Mrs. Wilt said...

Erin, I don't know about the Hog's Head Mush, but I'd be licking my chops over the hog liver and hog tongue! JUST KIDDING! Ewwwww! No wonder the ladies then were generally so tiny- YUCK!

9:36 PM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger Becky Miller said...

That was a fascinating article...thanks for linking to it. It made me think of the heavily laden tables in Jane Austen movies and of all the amazing food descriptions in the book "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think another key to the health of the people who ate such a diet was the amount of exercise they got. When you walk everywhere, you can afford to eat 3000 calories a day!

9:21 AM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Mrs.B. said...

Aaaahh, so that's what 'scrapple' is. When we lived in PA, there were signs on restaurants advertising scrapple and when I'd ask people what it was, noone told me, specifically, most ladies just said 'Eeeww, I don't like scrapple'. Sounds gross to me!

I think they worked harder and didn't eat processed foods, so that made the difference in their weight....but generally they didn't live as long as we do now, so it's hard to tell what the long term affects of their diet really was.

2:00 PM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Erin said...

Hi Erin! I'm glad you introduced yourself! That's funny what your husband said about me sounding like you...:o) I've got one more sort-of similarity for you: I almost became a teacher. Was VERY seriously considering it at one point, and even applied for a couple jobs. I ultimately went to work for another company and then came to be at home...but it was a close call;o) Hmmm...we really must be a lot alike! Oh, and thanks for the book recommendation. Does the author suggest to eat ALL foods raw, or just encourage a good amount?

About the topic on hand...isn't it funny that we find some of the things our ancestors used to eat so disgusting, and yet they probably loved them! I bet they would be horrified at some of the things people eat now! (Like Twinkies...sorry I just have a thing about about fake food!)

Becky, I was thinking about those old books too! And BTW, SOME of us could never afford to eat 3000 calories a day, no matter how much we walked! I used to live in a situation where I did walk everywhere, and I still had to be prudent about my diet. *Sigh* I'm just not one of those lucky people with energizer-metabolisms, I guess!

4:24 PM, March 29, 2006  
Anonymous erin wallace said...

I had a fairly impressive metabolism until I turned 27. I never had to pay attention to what I ate. It's amazing how quickly it's changed in the last 2 years! Now I really have to watch it! Oh well.

The author of the book I mentioned doesn't say to eat everything raw, but to think about how the food was intended when considering how or if to cook it. For example, meats and things like potatoes were obviously created to be cooked. But most fruits and veggies weren't--they're just as yummy and more nutritious raw. He basically encourages us to eat things as close to how God made them as possible. Interesting...

4:56 PM, March 29, 2006  
Blogger Ryan said...

I came across this blog looking for information about the diets of 19th century Americans. This is kind of necroposting, but that article you linked used zero statistical information concerning health to back it's assertions. A quick look at the life expectancy comparisons are revealing, especially when you get past childhood where diseases had the most impact. It's healthier than processed foods, but I wouldn't follow the good ladies of Monmouth, Illinois' diet if you want to be very fit.

6:48 PM, May 19, 2010  

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