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September 13, 1856

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Dr Salisbury hires six men to live upon a diet of only baked beans and coffee, but after 18 days, they "all presented such a forlorn, dilapidated appearance" that the doctor ordered a beef only diet to help them recover so that in just a few days "All felt unusually well, clear headed and happy."






J.H. Salisbury


Important Text:


 In September, 1856, I engaged six strong, healthy men, in the vigor of life, ranging in age from 25 to 40 years, to feed upon a special line of diet solely, with the understanding that I would pay them $30 per month each, if they submitted faithfully to the rigid discipline laid down. At the same time I explained to them the kind of food upon which I should require them to live, the exercise and other regulations marked out. All thought the diet and drinks could be easily endured, in fact, enjoyed, especially as they would have no manual labor to perform. They all entered upon the undertaking with the feeling that they would have a fine time at my expense. The diet consisted first of baked beans and coffee. This to continue for one month or until otherwise ordered by me. Exercise to be a two-mile walk, morning and evening. To retu'e at 9 p. m. and rise at 6 a. m. Drinks between meals, cold water. On the 13th of September, the experiments began. Breakfast at 7 a. m., dinner at 12 noon, and supper at 6 p. m. I shall designate my six boarders by the letters A, B, C, D, E, F. All were strong, robust, free from disease, and having one regular movement of the bowels every day. 

A weighed 160 lbs. Age 36 yrs. 

B --145 lbs--30 yrs


D--166-- 34



The first day all felt well and enjoyed themselves greatly.

Towards evening began to bloat, but had no special feeling of discomfort. Slept well. Entered upon the second day feeling about as well as on the first, except that all were flatulent and constipated. Yet all had a scanty, hard movement of the bowels before evening. In the after part of the day they were very uncomfortable from the bloating. Took them on a brisk walk of two miles, which was something of a relief.

Symptoms of Progressive Paralysis or Locomotor Ataxy began to show themselves in all six cases on tenth clay. These paralytic and peculiar symptoms increased each day after the tenth. On sixteenth day the disease was so marked, that not one of the six could walk straight without support. All wobbled and dragged their legs, not being able to lift them clear of the floor.

My boarders, on the 19th morning, all presented such a forlorn, dilapidated appearance, that I feared I should lose my reputation as a caterer, and also all my guests, unless I changed my diet list. They had all lost heavily in weight, and were much debilitated.

A weighed 138 lbs. Loss in 18 days 22 lbs. 

B 116 " " " 29 " 

C " 136 " " " 19 " 

D " 143 " " " 23 " 

E " 147 " " " 25 " 

F " 126 " " " 22 "

"When on the morning of the 19th day, I set before them nice beefsteaks, freed from fat and white tissue, they were all greatly delighted and ate ravenously of them. I gave to each 10 ounces of meat, with a good cup of clear coffee. Beef seasoned with butter, pepper and salt ; no other food or drinks. At dinner gave each 12 ounces of beefsteak, prepared as for breakfast, and half a pint of clear tea. The meal was hugely enjoyed. 

All now began to breathe easier and to feel clearer about the head. Passages less frequent, though still large and numerous. During the afternoon, all were in a state of enjoyable relief, and were ready to speak a good word for their host and his house. 

At supper, gave each 10 ounces of beefsteak, with a cup of clear tea. The meal was greatly relished. The eveuing was a pleasant one, all having a sense of relief from the extreme flatidence, bewildered heads, oppressed breathing and numbness of previous days. Retired at 9 p. m. All slept soundly and were ready to rise at 6 a. m. on the 20th morning. For breakfast, gave to each 12 ounces of broiled steak and haK a pint of clear coffee. Passages from bowels greatly lessened in quantity and frequency. Bloating almost gone. Heads quite clear, and all cheerful and happy. At dinner, gave each 1 lb. of nice broiled steak and half a pint of clear tea : meal greatly relished. All felt well and began to lose their haggard, shrunken look. Circulation good ; heads clear ; bloating gone ; movements beginning to be quite natural and few in number. At supper gave to each 12 ounces of broiled steak and half a pint of clear tea. All felt well during the evening. Retired at 9 p. m. Slept soundly. 

Called up on 21st day at 6 a. m. All feeling well and anxious for breakfast. Gave each 1 lb. of broiled steak and half a slice of bread, with half a pint of clear coffee. All enjoyed the breakfast. Half an hour after breakfast gave them a brisk walk of two miles. All well, and felt better, brighter and clearer than before the experiments began. Bloating, diarrhoea, ringing in ears and dizzy head all gone. At dinner gave to each 1 lb. beefsteak, 1 slice of bread and half a pint of clear tea. No diarrhoea ; stools quite natural except more profuse. At supper gave each 14 ounces of broiled steak, half a shce of bread, and half a pint of clear tea. Meal greatly enjoyed. All gaining rapidly in strength and feeling splendidly. Retired at 9 p. m. All slept soundly. 

Called up on 22d morning at 6 a. m. All in good trim, and loud in their praise of their host and his table. Gave each 1 lb. of broiled steak, half a pint of clear coffee and a slice of bread and butter. The meal was much enjoyed. All felt unusually well, clear headed and happy. Half an hour after breakfast gave them a long walk. At 12 m. each had 1 lb. of broiled steak, a slice of bread and a cup of clear coffee, which they took with great relish. After finishing the meal, I paid off my boarders and discharged them. With a feeling of regret and reluctance (I think on both sides) we separated. Still, they could not realize how I could keep up and "make both ends meet," while running a boarding house on this plan. I may add that I had throughout shared their diet, discipline and experiences in all respects.

Topics: (click image to open)

A doctor or medical professional who studies or promotes exclusive meat diets
Digestion of meat
Habits or cuts of meat that are said to be good for digestion, or when digestion is mentioned in context of carnivore diets.
Civilized Food
When the civilized food of intruding Europeans is introduced to native indigenous lands changing a nutritional revolution for the worse. This typically means white flour, sugar, corn, rice, cooking seed oils, and alcohol.
Facultative Carnivore
Facultative Carnivore describes the concept of animals that are technically omnivores but who thrive off of all meat diets. Humans may just be facultative carnivores - who need no plant products for long-term nutrition.
Carnivore Diet
The carnivore diet involves eating only animal products such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, marrow, meat broths, organs. There are little to no plants in the diet.
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