This section is from the book "Practical Dietetics With Special Reference To Diet In Disease", by William Gilman Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Practical Dietetics with Special Reference to Diet in Disease.
Bacon is much more digestible than pork, and ham occupies an intermediate position. "On an average, 100 grammes of ham give 30 of albuminates and 32 of fat; the salt ranges between 7 and 10 per cent " (Bauer).
In Germany, and especially at Carlsbad and other mineral springs, ham is much prescribed in invalid dietaries. It is often given scraped or "rasped." Bauer says (Dietary of the Sick, p. 91): "The flesh of the hog seems to be better adapted for smoking than that of other animals, and long experience compels us to recognise smoked ham as one of the wholesomest forms of meat. Whether boiled or eaten raw, it seems, as a rule, to be more easily digested by weak organs than almost any other." An opposite view is prevalent in England and America, where it is less used for the sick. So distinguished a dietitian as Pavy omits mention of it in his book upon Food and Dietetics. Ham is much more digestible when thoroughly boiled, cut thin, and eaten cold. It should not be fried for invalids. Hot ham fat is very indigestible.
If cut thin and cooked crisp, fat bacon is friable and easily broken into small particles during digestion. It can often be eaten by dyspeptics, and forms an excellent variety of fatty food for consumptives. According to Letheby, prime bacon should not lose over one tenth of its weight by boiling, and ham should lose less. It furnishes ample body heat, and is a valuable ingredient of the army emergency ration. In the ordinary ration of armies or institutions it proves less monotonous than corned beef or boiled beef. Besides its food value, its presence in the ration makes it possible to use various foods which could not otherwise be as easily cooked. When our troops in the Philippines were deprived of bacon in their ration, it was found that they were spending their wages to buy lard for frying.
Horseflesh is a nutritious meat for those who are not fastidious. It is consumed in large quantities by the poor in France (where over 5,000 tons are eaten annually in Paris alone), and to some extent in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and Austria. It has never found favour in England or the United States, and most of the horseflesh butchered in this country is canned for consumption by foreigners. It contains neurin, and its excessive use may cause diarrhoea.
Rabbit has white meat, and Belgian hare meat is partially white, but they are not proper invalid foods.