“Mineral Matter in the Diet” Poem

Poem titled: Mineral Matter in the Diet
Source: The Journal of Home Economics (April, 1919)

A hundred years ago, there was a lot of food-related research, and people were beginning to understand the important role of vitamins and minerals in our diet. I was amazed to even find a poem in the Journal of Home Economics which encouraged cooks to prepare foods which contained lots of minerals.

32 thoughts on ““Mineral Matter in the Diet” Poem

  1. My grandpa used to make us drive to this out of the way water pump on a college campus [of all places] that had water filled with sulfur. It smelled and tasted awful. He was a of a generation that knew this was good for him. I am of a generation that takes a multiple vitamin every day. 😌

    1. πŸ™‚ I have similar memories of people filling jugs with water that flowed from a mountain spring. It’s interesting how different generations approach getting the vitamins and minerals that their bodies need.

  2. Had to look up purslane: a weedy portulaca plant. I buy them in the Springtime to plant for “pretty”. Didn’t know I could eat the leaves! But for the rest, my mother and her sisters (7 in all) were w-a-y ahead of the curve on this topic. They were into juicing back in the late ’50’s! I do some, and try to eat all my veggies, but fill-in w/supplements. Sheryl, you find the most interesting topics : )

    1. Wow, I’m impressed. I hadn’t realized that people juiced foods that long ago. It’s nice to hear that you enjoy the posts. I have a lot of fun pulling them together.

  3. This is such a clear reminder that those earlier generations knew a lot more than we sometimes give them credit for. The convenience of post-war tv dinners and frozen foods tempted people away from the kind of eating described in the poem. Now, we’re busily rediscovering that wisdom!

    As for iron, it was my grandmother who instilled in me the conviction that an iron skillet or pot always was best for cooking.

    1. I agree- You are so right about how we’re now rediscovering the wisdom of healthy eating. My cast iron skillet (which my parents bought at a flea market and gave me shortly after I got married many years ago) is my go-to frying pan.

  4. A clever poem that speaks to us even today. More cooking was done from scratch back then and nothing was wasted. Now we are tempted with fast food and processed food. I will have to look up dock. Interesting!

  5. I like this. It reminds me of the shock people express when I eat and enjoy the whole orange.(Though to tell the truth, I don’t know what benefits there are in the rind. And I do buy organic in the attempt to avoid toxins.)

    1. I think that the orange peels contain lots of nutrients. I’m surprised by how many hundred-year-old recipes call for grated orange (or lemon) peel – and think that it makes those dishes more nutritious. I also use organic oranges when I use the peel.

  6. Smart and witty woman! Growing up in an era when all that good stuff was stripped out (am thinking especially of bread), I am now trying to make up for lost time (and minerals πŸ™‚ )

      1. Most of my fictional writing has a historical bent to it. Although I find myself drawn to the 1930’s mostly, I still enjoy reading about almost anything from days past. So I really enjoy the tidbits you share from a hundred years ago.

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