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The Day's food in war and peace
([ca.1918])

Lesson IV: [Conservation of fat and sugar],   pp. 41-53 PDF (3.5 MB)


Page 42

CONSERVATION OF FAT AND SUGAR. 
Dr. E. V. MCCOLLUM. 
Johns Hopkins University. 
Fats and sugars are both things that we use as much to make our food 
taste good as to give nourishment that we can not obtain elsewhere. They
are both things which we, as a Nation, use much more freely than most other
peoples, and more freely than we need for either health or comfort. 
In 1917 the total amount of sugar used In the United States averaged 83 
pounds for each person. Part of this was used in the manufacture of non-
edible products, probably from 55 to 60 pounds went directly into the house-
holds as sugar, and the rest was eaten in the form of candy, sweet drinks,
bakery goods, condensed milk, and other commercially cannedfoods. It is safe
to say that the average American consumes between 3 and 3j ounces of sugar
a day, twice as much as that ordinarily used by the Frenchman. Only the 
Englishman exceeded this use before the war. 
Sugar is scarce among the Allies because the great sugar-beet fields of north-
ern France and Belgium are in the hands of the Germans, and the cane sugar
which England usually imports from India and other distant lands can not
be obtained for lack of ships. If the Allies are to have sugar it must come
mainly from America; and this means that we must share our supply with 
them. They do not ask for enough to bring their supply up to what it was
before the war, but merely for enough to make their food fairly palatable.
We 
can give them this if we cut down our own use to 1  ounces (3 tablespoons)
Instead of 3 ounces a person a day. 
Our use of fats is even more generous as compared with that of other coun-
tries. Where an American ordinarily consumes 3  ounces a day, an Englishman
uses 3k, a Frenchman 1 , and a German 2j. With all the changes which war
has made in the world's food supply, these figures have changed very greatly,
particularly in Europe. 
The fats which are obtained from domestic animals (butter, lard, suet, 
tallow, for example) are produced there in very much smaller amounts thttn
usual, because there are not enough feed and labor available to keep up the
usual number of cows and pigs and sheep and there are no vessels to bring
In 
supplies from Australia and South America. The vegetables fats and oils are
made chiefly from the seeds of plants growing in warm countries (olive, cotton
seed, peanut, for example), and these can not be imported as usual for lack
of ships. To make the situation worse, fats are needed not only for food
but also for making glycerine and other compounds used for munitions and
for various other industrial purposes, including the manufacture of soap.


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