What we call flesh is chiefly composed of muscle, with a certain proportion of fat and a considerable quantity of water. A piece of fresh beef, thoroughly dried, will lose three-fourths of its weight. Starch and sugar, which compose nearly fifty per cent. of wheat bread, are absent from meat. For this reason a due admixture of animal and vegetable food seems best adapted for the nutrition of the human body.

Wild animals have usually very little fat. Domestic animals, fed for the market, have often a large proportion of it. The flesh of heavy sheep may be three-fourths fat. Such fattening as this is unprofitable to the consumer, causing much waste. Good meat may be told from its firmness and elasticity to the touch, from its marbled appearance, its color, between pale pink and deep purple, its lack of unpleasant odor, and its slight shrinkage in cooking.

The following directions for the choice of meat will be of service to the young housekeeper: