Dietary studies have brought out the fact that the waste of food material varies from three per cent, to six per cent, of the amount furnished. In some families there is practically nothing wasted; in others there is much waste. Waste occurs in four ways, - two of them in the kitchen and two at the table. The one who prepares the meals may waste by too much or unwise trimming of meats and vegetables, and in the manner of cooking them. She may also waste by cooking a larger amount than is needed, and by lack of skill in so preparing left-overs as to have them sufficiently palatable to be eaten. Those at the table waste by eating more than the system requires, and by taking on their plates more than they can eat. The food chemists have no intention of ascertaining what portion of food shall be weighed out to each person daily; neither is it intended that a dietary for each day in the week shall be printed and hung up, thus relieving the people of responsibility. Their only object is to show the nutritive value of different food materials, and point out which are the most economical sources of nutrients, and what combinations, will, in general, best subserve the purpose intended. The special applications must be made by each individual and each family.
Some people avoid white flour, in the belief that it is composed largely of starch. A study of the chemical analyses of wheats and flours will reveal the fact that white flour from hard northwestern spring wheat is rich in protein compounds. It contains twelve per cent, or more of muscle-forming material.
The idea is prevalent that yellow cornmeal contains more fat than white cornmeal. Chemical analyses show no difference in the composition of meal made from corn grown under the same conditions, whether yellow or white. The color has no practical bearing on the food value. Yellow butter is more attractive, and more pleas-ing in appearance, but has no greater food value than white butter. The same may be said of eggs having a dark-yellow yolk. The banana is a valuable fruit, but it cannot take the place of other foods. A child would be better nourished if he breakfasted on potatoes alone, than on bananas alone, but plain bread and milk would be better than either of the others, if a single dish is taken. Some people still cling to the idea that mushrooms contain much nutriment. Chemical analyses show them no better than other vegetables in this respect, and inferior to some.
References: U. S. Office Exp. Stations, Reprint from Year Book Dept. Agr. 1898 - A. P. Bryant - pp. 445-450; U. S. Dept. Agr., Farmers' Bulletin No. 93, pp. 13, 14; U. S. Dept. Agr., Office Exp. Stations, Bulletin No. 37, p. 57; U. S. Dept. Agr., Office Exp. Stations, Bulletin No. 29, p. 45; U. S. Dept. Agr., Office Exp. Stations, Bulletin No. 21, pp. 206-214; IT. S. Dept. Agr., Exp. Stations, Bulletin No. 32, p. 28; Feeds & Feeding - Henry - pp. 616-618, 641; Minn. Bulletin No. 54, pp. 70-72; U. S. Dept. Agr., Office Exp. Stations, Bulletin No. 98, p. 31 et seq.