« AnteriorContinuar »
question; but by indiscriminately macerating every thing, we may injure the substance on which we operate, instead of improving it. With us, a parent will correct his child for eating a raw turnip, as if it were poisonous, but the Russians, from the lowest peasant to the highest nobleman, eat turpips several times a day. [Clarke's Trav. in Russia, vol. i. p. 35.] We may be certain, then, there is no harm in the practice. There is every reason to believe, particularly from the observations of the navigators in the Pacific Ocean, that those races of men, who ad. mit into their nutriment a large proportion of fruit, and recent vegetable matter, unchanged by culinary art, have a form of body, the largest, of the most per. fect proportion, and the greatest beauty; that they have the greatest strength and activity, and probably that they enjoy the best health. This fact alone is sufficient to refute the vulgar error, that animal food is necessary to support strength. Addit. Reports, p. 172.
Raw potatoes have been used with advantage in the Fleet, particularly by Mr. Smith of the 'Triton, who made the scorbutic men eat them sliced, with vinegar, with great benefit. This accords with Dr. Merten's communication to the Royal Society of London. See Blane's Obs. on Dis. of Seamen, p. 59, 2d. ed.]
It is a fact that almost all our common garden.vegetables may be used without culinary preparation ; and it is highly probable, that in this natural state they would be more nutritive, more strengthening, and certainly, far more antiscorbutic, than when they have been changed by the fire. On this account it is highly advisable that some portion of fruit, or of fresh vegetable matter should be used daily. Children too should be encouraged in the use of such things,
jostead of being forbid them, as is the common prac. tice. If the stomach be so much diseased, that noth. of this kind can be borne, soups made with a large quantity of fresh vegetables may be substituted. They seem to be far preferable to vegetables much boiled. The soup and the vegetables may be eaten together, and are very agreeable to the palate.
I have been asked, repeatedly, as I recommend distilled, in place of common water, whether I think it necessary to use the same kind for boiling vegeta. bles. I regard such nicety as needless. If the matter to be boiled absorbs a large quantity of water, as rice, this attention may be right. In making bread, the same attention should, if possible, be paid. But the quantity absorbed by common culinary vegeta. bles is probably too small to deserve notice. Those who wish to be very exact, may dress their vegeta. bles by steam. Addit. Reports, p. 185.
On the subject of Food, see a compilation by the publisher of this volume, being a system of Cookery without flesh; containing directions for making upwards of one hundred palatable dishes, formed of the most wholesome ingredients. 18mo. 2s. in boards. ,
Four persons may derive ample support from one acre of ground, if cultivated in the best manner, in the production of grain, pulse, fruits, roots, and leaves.
England and Wales contain about ten millions of inhabitants, and forty-seven million acres of ground; of which, liearly forty millions are cultivated, the
other eight are waste. · There are, consequently four acres of cultivated ground to every person and nearly another acre of the uncultivated. Heoce, if the ground in England was thus cultivated, it's produce would support a population of one hundred and sixty millions; and, with numerous allowances, at least one hundred millions, or ten times it's present number.
Each person consumes, on an average, in every year, one quarter of wheat, being the produce of half an acre; three bushels of barley in beer, being the growth of the eighth of an acre; one sheep; one eighth of an ox, one third of a lamb, calf, and pig, being the produce of two acres; and in vegetables, the produce of one eighth of an acre. Each individ. ual therefore consumes ten ounces per day, of ani. mal food, or 220 lbs. in the year; which in animal food, is the annual produce of two acres of land. The same two acres, cultivated in potatoes, would yield, on an average, upwards of ten tons per acre, or forty-four thousand pounds weight; which avera ages one hundred and twenty pounds of potatoes per day.
If cultivated in wheat, the produce of the same two acres, which supply but two hundred and twenty pounds of animal food, would produce four thou. sand pounds weight of grain ; or afford ten pounds of wheat, per day, leaving sufficient for seed. Pease and beans yield in the same proportion. Turnips and carrots are as productive as potatoes. Parsnips double the weight of potatoes.
Mr. Middleton says, " that every acre would support it's man well on vegetable food, but let him change his diet to one meal per day, of animal food, and he will require the produce of four acres !"
In England, notwithstanding the produce of the soil has been considerably increased, by the enclo. sures of wastes, and the adoption, in many places, of a more successful husbandry, yet we do not ob. serve a corresponding addition to the number of in. habitants; the reason of which appears to be the more general consumption of animal food. Many ranks of people, whose ordinary diet was, in the last century, prepared almost entirely from milk, roots, and vegetables, now require every day, a considera. ble portion of the flesh of animals. Hence a great part of the richest lands of the country are converted into pasturage. Much also of the bread corn, which went directly to the pourishment of human bodies, now only contribute to it, by fattening the flesh of sheep and oxen. The mass and volume of provisions are hereby diminished ; and what is gained in the melioration of the soil is lost in the quality of the produce," - Paley's Moral and Political Philoso. phy.” ii, 361.
There is not one of the wants of life which may not be supplied directly from the soil; food, cloth. ing, light, heat, the materials of houses, and the instruments needful for their construction. By it's means not only is population increased to an indefinite extent, but the happiness of each individual is greatly augmented. It multiplies enjoyments by pre. senting to the organs an infinite variety of new and agreeable impressions; which are of themselves, to an unvitiated palate, abundantly sufficient for the gratifications of sense. Indeed, every truly exquisite taste is afforded by the vegetable kingdom. In what a wretched state of perversion is the digesting organs and palate of that man who has lost his relish for these pure, simple and innocent delights. Agricul.
ture disseminates man over the surface of the soil ; it diffuses health, prosperity, joy, society, benevolence; from this source spriog all the charities of life, and it makes a common family of the whole hu. man race. If those, who confine themselves to it's precious gifts, cannot, without other precautions, es. cape diseases, these are at least more mild in their form, and more slow in their progress; longevity is promoted; the final stroke is received with tranquil. lity, and death is disarmed of it's terrors.
By cultivation, vegetable productions become so abundant, as to be brought within the reach of the mass of mankind, and cheaper than any other substances used for food. Indeed they increase with the demand caused by an increase of population. All apprehension of evil from an over abundance of people, appear, in european countries at least, to be visionary. Death seems very rarely, even in the poorest class of people, to be caused, in ordinary seasons, by a want of food. Excess and the abuse of the gifts of providence, is productive of much more evil.—Dr. Lambe's Addit. Reports, p. 239. .
By the art of fencing, a portion of the natural her. bage is preserved for winter fodder, and man became enabled to domesticate several tribes of animals, forming a portion of the artificial population of cultiva. ted countries. Over these tribes he has assumed des. potic power ; he uses their labour, and applies both their milk and their flesh to his own sustenance. By giving life to these animals he confers on many a last. ing curse. In order to support his tyranny he mutilates the greatest part of the males. This shocking outrage on the common rights of nature, the cutting asunder a link which connects the individual with his species, cannot be counterbalanced by even a comfortable and easy enjoyment of animal life.