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British Food Journal Volume 20 Issue 5 1918

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 May 1918



A “ Practitioner of over Forty Years' Experience ” in a letter to the Pall Mall Gazette observes that few members of the medical profession “ regard ‘ calories ’ and such like as guides to treatment of patients, simply because they cannot implicitly rely upon laboratory experiments. Anyhow, they do not impress the profession generally, as their doubts are based upon everyday experiences.” The real point that seems to have been overlooked by the so‐called experts is that, “ although the same amount of nourishment may be present in two substances, according to laboratory experiments, it does not necessarily follow we can assimilate them equally well. Here is a case in point. We know that starch and dextrine are similar, and contain very nearly the same amount of nourishment, and, chemically, are almost indistinguishable; hence biscuits should be as supporting as bread. But it is a known fact that soldiers cannot march and thrive so well on the former as upon the latter (notwithstanding that in the point of nourishment as shown by laboratory experiments, 18 ounces of biscuit are said to equal 24 ounces of freshly made bread), hence it comes about that ovens are sent to the front rather than tons of biscuits. It is not meant that biscuits are not nourishing, but merely that they cannot be assimilated so well as bread, dextrine so well as starch.”


(1918), "British Food Journal Volume 20 Issue 5 1918", British Food Journal, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 57-66.




Copyright © 1918, MCB UP Limited

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