Cost And Nutritive Value

The discussion of cost has dealt so far with the cost of food materials as they are found in the market. What we are really seeking to learn is the amount of nutritive material to be obtained for a given sum of money, and in order to do this, we must think of our purchases in terms of the foodstuffs and their values. The accompanying table from a government bulletin1 gives an estimate of cost from this point of view in terms of protein and fuel value. Notice that wheat bread is a cheap food, standing first in the amount of building material and energy.

Amounts Of Protein And Energy Obtained For 10 Cents Expended For Bread And Other Foods At Certain Assumed Prices Per Pound

Food Materials

Price

10 Cents will Buy

10 Cents' Worth will Contain

Protein

A Fuel Value of

Wheat bread..............................

5 cents per lb.

Ounces

32.0

Ounces

2.9

Calories

2400

Cheese....................................

22 cents per lb.

7.3

1.9

886

Beef, average...........................

20 cents per lb.

8.0

1.2

467

Porterhouse steak ....................

25 cents per lb.

6.4

1.3

444

Dried beef ...............................

25 cents per lb.

6.4

.1

315

Eggs......

24 cents per lb.

10.0

1.3

198

Milk......

9 cents per qt.

38.3

1.2

736

Potatoes.....

60 cents per bu.

160.0

-

2950

Apples.....................................

1 1/2 cents per lb.

106.7

-

1270

1 U. S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers' Bulletin 487.

The price quoted for eggs is low, and even less could be obtained for ten cents at prevailing prices in 1913-1914. This kind of estimate is a help in making menus and dietaries. (See Chapter XVIII (Menus And Dietaries).) Another method of estimating economy for this purpose is by calculating the cost of 100-Calorie portions of various food materials. A table giving such a comparison will be found in the next chapter.