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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.

Civilized Food

Recent History

January 3, 1805

The Great Fur Land - Life in a Company's Fort

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The diets of the people in the Forts in the Rocky Mountains and the Arctic are shown to be mostly fish and red meat, but imported goods such as flour, sugar, vegetables, and fruits are considered rare luxuries. "In many of the extreme Arctic stations the supply of provisions is limited the year round to reindeer-meat, and fish, and not infrequently to the latter alone." However, "the climate favors the consumption of solid food, and, after short residence, the appetite becomes seasoned to the quality of the fare obtainable."

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The mess-table has, too, other attractions than those of sociality, and of a more solidly substantial kind. The officers of the forts are all good livers, and, although accustomed to rough it on short allowances of food when necessity requires, take particular care that the home-larder shall be well stocked with all the delicacies and substantials afforded by the surrounding country. The viands are of necessity composed, in the greater part, of the wild game and fish with which the prairies and waters abound. But they are of the choicest kind, and selected from an abundant supply. One gets there the buffalo-hump-tender and juicy; the moose-nose--tremulous and opaque as a vegetable conserve; the finest and most savory waterfowl, and the freshest of fish-all preserved by the power of frost instead of salt. True, the supply of vegetables at many mess-tables is woefully deficient, and a continuous diet of wild meats, like most other things of eternal sameness, is apt to pall upon the appetite. But the list of meats is so extensive, and each requiring a particular mode of cooking that a long time may elapse without a repetition of dishes. Then, too, the climate favors the consumption of solid food, and, after short residence, the appetite becomes seasoned to the quality of the fare obtainable. Bread, as an imported article, is in many instances regarded as quite in the character of a luxury; the few sacks of flour which constitute the annual allowance of each officer being hoarded away by the prudent housewife as carefully as the jams and preserves of her more fortunate sisters. In such cases it is batted into small cakes, one of which is placed beside each plate at meal-time; the size of the cake being so regulated as to afford a single one for each meal of the year. The more common vegetables, such as potatoes and turnips, can be successfully cultivated in some places, and, wherever this occurs, enter largely into the daily menu. Fruits, either fresh or dried, seldom make their appearance upon the table; lack of transportation, also, forbidding the importation of the canned article. 


At many of the remote inland posts, however, the daily bill of fare is limited enough, and a winter season seldom passes without the garrison of some isolated station suffering extreme privation. At Jasper and Henry Houses, for example, the officers have been frequently forced to slaughter their horses in order to supplement the meagre supply of provisions. These posts are situated in the very heart of the Rocky Mountains, with the vast region marked "swampy" on the maps separating them from the depot forts. In many of the extreme Arctic stations the supply of provisions is limited the year round to reindeer-meat, and fish, and not infrequently to the latter alone. Under these circumstances, no wonder that the company's officer comes to regard the possession of flour and sugar as among the most essential requisites of life.

October 9, 1870

Arctic Passage, Whaleman's Shipping List and Merchants Transcript Letter

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Captain Frederick A Barker of the Japan shipwrecks in the Arctic Ocean in 1870 and is rescued by Eskimo natives who restore the frostbitten and dying men and then feed them a diet of raw walrus meat through the winter, despite suffering from famine themselves. Captain Barker realizes that his whaling and walrus slaugtering had reduced the natives only remaining food resources and wrote to authorites for help.

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From Artic Passage Book - Page 135 Physical Hardcover:

Captain Frederick A. Barker of the Japan was one of the few whaling men to cry out against the wholesale destruction of the walrus herds of the Bering Sea. In a letter to the Whalemen's Shipping List and Merchants Transcript he warned New England whaling men that the practice "will surely end in the extermination of this race of natives who rely upon these animals alone for their winter's supply of food." 28 If the butchering of the walrus did not cease, the fate of the Eskimo was inevitable: "Already this cruel persecution has been felt along the entire coast, while a wail like that of the Egyptians goes through the length and breadth of the land. There is a famine and relief comes not." 29 Eskimos had often asked Barker why the white men took away their food and left them to starve, and he had no answer to give them. They told him of their joy when the whalemen first began to come among them, and of their growing despair as the hunters began to decimate the walrus. "I have conversed with many intelligent shipmasters upon this subject," wrote Barker, "since I have seen it in its true light and all have expressed their honest conviction that it was wrong, cruel and heartless and the sure death of this inoffensive race." 30 Captains had told Barker that they would be glad to abandon walrus hunting if the ship owners would approve it, "but until the subject was introduced to public notice, they were powerless to act." 31 It would be hard to give up an enterprise that provided 10,000 barrels of oil each season. My advocacy "may seem preposterous and meet with derision and contempt, but let those who deride it see the misery entailed throughout the country by this unjust wrong." 32 


Captain Barker was not the only shipmaster to appeal for an end to the walrus slaughter, but he knew better than to most what was happening to northern natives. Barker had taken his Japan into the Arctic Ocean in 1870 and had made a good catch. Whales were plentiful and the weather was good, so Barker was reluctant to return south through the Bering Strait. As the days grew colder and the shore ice thickened, Barker was forced to give up the chase and work the Japan toward the strait. Unfortunately, he encountered heavy fog which slowed his progress, then a storm which buffeted the Japan for four days. On October 9, 1870, the Japan was off East Cape, Siberia, and in serious trouble. "The gale blew harder, attended by such blinding snow that we could not see half a ship's length." 33 Although Barker had taken in most of his sails, the Japan was racing at breakneck speed before the gale. "Just then, to add to our horror, a huge wave swept over the ship, taking off all our boats and sweeping the decks clean." 34 


The situation was critical. Barker steered for the beach and hoped for the best. An enormous wave hit the Japan and drove it upon the rocky shore. Miraculously, all the men got ashore safely, but their travails were just beginning. The weather was bitterly cold, and clothing and provisions had to be recovered from the disabled ship. Barker and his men struggled through the surf to the ship and back to the shore again and suffered fearful consequences. All were severely frostbitten, and eight of the thirty-man crew died in the effort. Natives came to the mariners' assistance. Barker was dragged out of the breakers, breathless and nearly frozen, loaded onto a sled, and taken to village. "I thought my teeth would freeze off." 35 Barker scrambled out of the sled and tried to run, hoping the exertion would warm him. Instead he fell down as one paralyzed. The natives picked him up and put him on the sled once more. 


In the village the survivors received tender care. "The chief's wife, in whose hut I was," wrote Barker, "pulled off my boots and stockings and placed my frozen feet against her naked borom to restore warmth and animation," 36. With such care the seamen who had not died on the beach recovered. But for the natives "every soul would have perished on the beach... as there was no means at hand of kindling a fire or of helping ourselves one way or the other." 37 


Barker and his men wintered with the Eskimos, They had no choice in the matter as the entire whaling fleet had returned south before the Japan started for Bering Strait, It was during these months that Barker leaned someching of the Eskimos' way of life and became their advocate. Except for a few casks of bread and flour that had washed ashore, the seamen were entirely dependent upon their hosts. The men ate raw walrus meat and blubber that was generally on the ripe side. The whalemen did not relish their diet, but it sustained them. Prejudices against a novel food inhibited Barker for a time. He fasted for three days. "Hunger at last compelled me and, strange as it may appear, it tasted good to me and before I had been there many weeks, I could eat as much raw meat as anyone, the natives excepted." 38 Barker soon understood that the natives were short of food. "I felt like a guilty culprit while eating their food with them, that I have been taking the bread out of their mouths."39 Barker knew and the Eskimos knew that the whalemen's hunting of walrus had reduced the natives to the point of famine, "still they were ready to share all they had with us." 40 Barker resolved to call for a prohibition of walrus hunting when he returned to New Bedford and further resolved that he would never kill another walrus "for those poor people along the coast have nothing else to live upon." 41 


In the summer of 1871 Barker and his men were rescued when the whaling fleet returned. Some recompense was made to the Eskimos for their charity; they were given provisions and equipment from the ships. The natives plight was observed by other captains too. One wrote a letter to the New Bedford Republican Standard to describe the "cruel occupation" of walrus killing. Most of those killed were females which were lanced as they held their nursing offspring in their flippers "uttering the most heartrending and piteous cries."' 42 Many whalemen felt guilty about this butchery, and they had to have very strong stomachs to carry out the bloody job under such circumstances. "But the worst feature of the business is that the natives of the entire Arctic shores, from Cape Thaddeus and the Anadyr Sea to the farthest point north, a shoreline of more than one thousand miles on the west coast, with the large island of St. Lawrence, the smaller ones of Diomede and King's Island, all thickly inhabited are now almost entirely dependent on the walrus for their food, clothings, boots and dwellings." 43 Earlier there were plenty of whales for them, but the whales had been destroyed and driven north. "This is a sad state of things for them." 


Other captains reported that they had seen natives thiry to forty miles from land on the ice, trying desperately to catch a walrus or find a carcass that had been abandoned by the whalemen. "What must the poor creatures do this cold winter, with no whale or walrus?" 45 Such appeals might have been effective eventually, though whether they would have led to a prohibition of walrus killing in time to spare the northern natives from famine is unlikely. But events took an unexpected turn in 1871: The ships which passed through the Bering Strait that season did so for the last time. The entire fleet was caught in the ice near Point Barrow, as the men including the Japan survivors-hunted walrus and whale. Thanks to the Revenue Marine, the seamen were saved, but the ships were lost. This disaster, coming six years after the Shenandoah's destructive cruise, dealt the whaling industry a blow from which it never recovered. But it may have saved the walrus and the northern natives from extinction. It was clear enough to the Bering Sea natives that they had benefited by the loss of the fleet. As an Eskimo or Chukchi of Plover Bay put it to a whaling captain when word of the loss reached Siberia: "Bad. Very bad for you. Good for us. More walrus now." 46

January 1, 1885

FUNCTIONAL AND INFLAMMATORY DISEASES OF THE STOMACH. BY SAMUEL G. ARMOR, M.D., LL.D.
Functional Dyspepsia (Atonic Dyspepsia, Indigestion).

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The dietary treatment of dyspepsia was described: the diet, for instance, of bodily labor should consist largely of digestible nitrogenous food, and meat, par excellence, should be increased in proportion as muscular exercise is increased.

FUNCTIONAL AND INFLAMMATORY DISEASES OF THE STOMACH.

BY SAMUEL G. ARMOR, M.D., LL.D.

Functional Dyspepsia (Atonic Dyspepsia, Indigestion).

As a rule, the food should be such as will require the least possible exertion on the part of the stomach. Raw vegetables should be forbidden; pastries, fried dishes, and all rich and greasy compounds should be eschewed; and whatever food be taken should be eaten slowly and well masticated. Many patients digest animal better than vegetable food. Tender brown meats, plainly but well cooked, such as beef, mutton, and game, are to be preferred. Lightly-cooked mutton is more digestible than beef, pork, or lamb, and roast beef is more digestible than boiled. Pork and veal and salted and preserved meats are comparatively indigestible. Bread should never be eaten hot or fresh—better be slightly stale—and bread made from the whole meal is better than that made from the mere starchy part of the grain. Milk and eggs and well-boiled rice are of special value.


But to all these general dietetic rules there may be exceptions growing out of the peculiarities of individual cases. These should be carefully studied. The aged, for obvious reasons, require less food than the young; the middle-aged, inclined to obesity and troubled with feeble digestion, should avoid potatoes, sweets, and fatty substances and spirituous liquors; persons suffering from functional derangements of the liver should be put, for a time, on the most restricted regimen; while, on the contrary, the illy fed and badly-nourished require the most nutritious food that can be digested with comfort to the patient.



To these general predisposing causes may be added indigestion occurring in febrile states of the system. The cause here is obvious. In all general febrile conditions the secretions are markedly disturbed; the tongue is dry and furred; the urine is scanty; the excretions lessened; the bowels constipated; and the appetite gone. The nervous system also participates in the general disturbance. In this condition the gastric juice is changed both quantitatively and qualitatively, and digestion, as a consequence, becomes weak and imperfect—a fact that should be taken into account in regulating the diet of febrile patients. From mere theoretical considerations there can be no doubt that fever patients are often overfed. To counteract the relatively increased tissue-metamorphosis known to exist, and the consequent excessive waste, forced nutrition is frequently resorted to. Then the traditional saying of the justly-celebrated Graves, that he fed fevers, has also rendered popular the practice. Within certain bounds alimentation is undoubtedly an important part of the treatment of all the essential forms of fever. But if more food is crowded upon the stomach than can be digested and assimilated, it merely imposes a burden instead of supplying a want. The excess of food beyond the digestive capacity decomposes, giving rise to fetid gases, and often to troublesome intestinal complications. The true mode of restoring strength in such cases is to administer only such quantities of food as the patient is capable of digesting and assimilating. To this end resort has been had to food in a partially predigested state, such as peptonized milk, milk gruel, soups, jellies, and beef-tea; and clinical experience has thus far shown encouraging results from such nutrition in the management of general fevers. In these febrile conditions, and in all cases of general debility, the weak digestion does not necessarily involve positive disease of the stomach, for by regulating the diet according to the digestive capacity healthy digestion may be obtained for an indefinite time.


Exhaustion of the nerves of organic life strongly predisposes to the atonic forms of dyspepsia. We have already seen how markedly the digestive process is influenced by certain mental states, and it is a well-recognized fact that the sympathetic system of nerves is intimately associated with all the vegetative functions of the body. Without a certain amount of nervous energy derived from this portion of the nervous system, there is failure of the two most important conditions of digestion—viz. muscular movements of the stomach and healthy secretion of gastric juice. This form of indigestion is peculiar to [p. 441]the ill-fed and badly-nourished. It follows in the wake of privation and want, and is often seen in the peculiarly careworn and sallow classes who throng our public dispensaries. In this dyspepsia of exhaustion the solvent power of the stomach is so diminished that if food is forced upon the patient it is apt to be followed by flatulence, headache, uneasy or painful sensations in the stomach, and sometimes by nausea and diarrhoea. It is best treated by improving in every possible way the general system of nutrition, and by adapting the food, both in quantity and quality, to the enfeebled condition of the digestive powers. Hygienic measures are also of great importance in the management of this form of dyspepsia, and especially such as restore the lost energy of the nervous system. If it occur in badly-nourished persons who take little outdoor exercise, the food should be adapted to the feeble digestive power. It should consist for a time largely of milk and eggs, oatmeal, peptonized milk gruels, stale bread; to which should be added digestible nitrogenous meat diet in proportion to increased muscular exercise. Systematic outdoor exercise should be insisted upon as a sine quâ non. Much benefit may be derived from the employment of electric currents, and hydrotherapy has also given excellent results. If the indigestion occur in the badly-fed outdoor day-laborer, his food should be more generous and mixed. It should consist largely, however, of digestible nitrogenous food, and meat, par excellence, should be increased in proportion to the exercise taken. Medicinally, such cases should be treated on general principles. Benefit may be derived from the mineral acids added to simple bitters, or in cases of extreme nervous prostration small doses of nux vomica are a valuable addition to dilute hydrochloric acid. The not unfrequent resort to phosphorus in such cases is of more than doubtful utility. Some interesting contributions have been recently made to this subject of gastric neuroses by Buchard, Sée, and Mathieu. Buchard claims that atonic dilatation of the stomach is a very frequent result of an adynamic state of the general system. He compares it to certain forms of cardiac dilatation—both expressions of myasthenia. It may result from profound anæmia or from psychical causes. Mathieu regards mental depression as only second in frequency. Much stress is laid upon poisons generated by fermenting food in the stomach in such cases. It may cause a true toxæmia, just as renal diseases give rise to uræmia. Of course treatment in such cases must be addressed principally to the general constitution.

But of all predisposing causes of dyspepsia, deficient gastric secretion, with resulting fermentation of food, is perhaps the most prevalent. It is true this deficient secretion may be, and often is, a secondary condition; many causes contribute to its production; but still, the practical fact remains that the immediate cause of the indigestion is disproportion between the quantity of gastric juice secreted and the amount of food taken into the stomach. In all such cases we have what is popularly known as torpidity of digestion, and the condition described is that of atony of the stomach. The two main constituents of gastric juice—namely, acid and pepsin—may be deficient in quantity or disturbed in their relative proportions. A certain amount of acid is absolutely essential to the digestive process, while a small amount of pepsin may be sufficient to digest a large amount of albuminoid food. [p. 442]Pure unmixed gastric juice was first analyzed by Bidder and Schmidt. The mean analyses of ten specimens free from saliva, procured from dogs, gave the following results:


Lack of the normal amount of the gastric secretion must be met by restoring the physiological conditions upon which the secretion depends. In the mean time, hydrochloric and lactic acids may be tried for the purpose of strengthening the solvent powers of the gastric secretion.


EXCITING CAUSES.—The immediate causes of dyspepsia are such as act more directly on the stomach. They embrace all causes which produce conditions of gastric catarrh, such as excess in eating and drinking, imperfect mastication and insalivation, the use of indigestible or unwholesome food and of alcohol, the imperfect arrangement of meals, over-drugging, etc.


Of exciting causes, errors of diet are amongst the most constantly operative, and of these errors excess of food is doubtless the most common. The influence of this as an etiological factor in derangement of digestion can scarcely be exaggerated. In very many instances more food is taken into the stomach than is actually required to restore tissue-waste, and the effects of such excess upon the organism are as numerous as they are hurtful. Indeed, few elements of disease are more constantly operative in a great variety of ailments. In the first place, if food be introduced into the stomach beyond tissue-requirements, symptoms of indigestion at once manifest themselves. The natural balance betwixt [p. 443]supply and demand is disturbed; the general nutrition of the body is interfered with; local disturbances of nutrition follow; and mal-products of digestion find their way into the blood. Especially is this the case when the excessive amount of food contains a disproportionate amount of nitrogenous matter. All proteid principles require a considerable amount of chemical alteration before they are fitted for the metabolic changes of the organism; the processes of assimilative conversion are more complex than those undergone by fats and amyloids; and it follows that there is proportional danger of disturbance of these processes from overwork. Moreover, if nitrogenous food is in excess of tissue-requirement, it undergoes certain oxidation changes in the blood without becoming previously woven into tissue, with resulting compounds which become positive poisons in the economy. The kidneys and skin are largely concerned in the elimination of these compounds, and the frequency with which these organs become diseased is largely due, no doubt, to the excessive use of unassimilated nitrogenous food. Then, again, if food be introduced in excess of the digestive capacity, the undigested portion acts directly upon the stomach as a foreign body, and in undergoing decomposition and putrefying changes frets and irritates the mucous membrane. It can scarcely be a matter of doubt that large groups of diseases have for their principal causes excess of alimentation beyond the actual requirements of the system. All such patients suffer from symptoms of catarrhal indigestion, such as gastric uneasiness, headache, vertigo, a general feeling of lassitude, constipation, and high-colored urine with abundant urates, together with varied skin eruptions. Such cases are greatly relieved by reducing the amount of food taken, especially nitrogenous food, and by a systematic and somewhat prolonged course of purgative mineral waters. Europe is especially rich in these springs. The waters of Carlsbad, Ems, Seltzer, Friedrichshall, and Marienbad, and many of the alkaline purgative waters of our own country, not unfrequently prove valuable to those who can afford to try them, and their value shows how often deranged primary assimilation is at the foundation of many human ailments. The absurd height to which so-called restorative medicine has attained within the last twenty years or more has contributed largely to the production of inflammatory forms of indigestion, with all the evil consequences growing out of general deranged nutrition.


The use of indigestible and unwholesome food entails somewhat the same consequences. This may consist in the use of food essentially unhealthy or indigestible, or made so by imperfect preparation (cooking, etc.). Certain substances taken as food cannot be dissolved by the gastric or intestinal secretions: the seeds, the skins, and rinds of fruit, the husks of corn and bran, and gristle and elastic tissue, as well as hairs in animal food, are thrown off as they are swallowed, and if taken in excess they mechanically irritate the gastro-intestinal mucous membrane and excite symptoms of acute dyspepsia, and not unfrequently give rise to pain of a griping character accompanied by diarrhoea. Symptoms of acute dyspepsia also frequently follow the ingestion of special kinds of food, such as mushrooms, shellfish, or indeed fish of any kind; and food not adapted to the individual organism is apt to excite dyspeptic symptoms. Appetite and digestion are also very much influenced by the life and [p. 444]habits of the individual. The diet, for instance, of bodily labor should consist largely of digestible nitrogenous food, and meat, par excellence, should be increased in proportion as muscular exercise is increased. For all sorts of muscular laborers a mixed diet is best in which animal food enters as a prominent ingredient. Thus, it has been found, according to the researches of Chambers, that in forced military marches meat extract has greater sustaining properties than any other kind of food. But with those who do not take much outdoor exercise the error is apt to be, as already pointed out, in the direction of over-feeding. It cannot be doubted at the present time that over-eating (gluttony) is one of our popular vices. Hufeland says: "In general we find that men who live sparingly attain to the greatest age." While preventive medicine in the way of improved hygiene—better drainage, better ventilation, etc.—is contributing largely to the longevity of the race, we unfortunately encounter in more recent times an antagonizing influence in the elegant art of cookery. Every conceivable ingenuity is resorted to to tempt men to eat more than their stomachs can properly or easily digest or tissue-changes require. The injurious consequences of such over-feeding may finally correct itself by destroying the capacity of the stomach to digest the food.


Food may also be introduced into the stomach in an undigestible form [p. 445]from defects of cookery. The process of cooking food produces certain well-known chemical changes in alimentary substances which render them more digestible than in the uncooked state. By the use of fire in cooking his food new sources of strength have been opened up to man which have doubtless contributed immeasurably to his physical development, and has led to his classification as the cooking animal. With regard to most articles the practice of cooking his food beforehand is wellnigh universal; and especially is this the case with all farinaceous articles of food. The gluten of wheat is almost indigestible in the uncooked state. By the process of cooking the starchy matter of the grain is not only liberated from its protecting envelopes, but it is converted into a gelatinous condition which readily yields to the diastasic ferments. Roberts, in his lectures on the Digestive Ferments, points out the fact that when men under the stress of circumstances have been compelled to subsist on uncooked grains of the cereals, they soon fell into a state of inanition and disease.

Animal diet is also more easily digested in the cooked than in the raw state. The advantage consists chiefly in the effects of heat on the connective tissue and in the separation of the muscular fibre. In this respect cooking aids the digestive process. The gastric juice cannot get at the albumen-containing fibrillæ until the connective tissue is broken up, removed, or dissolved. Hot water softens and removes this connective tissue. Hence raw meat is less easily digestible. Carnivorous animals, that get their food at long intervals, digest it slowly. By cutting, bruising, and scraping meat we to a certain extent imitate the process of cooking. In many cases, indeed, ill-nourished children and dyspeptics digest raw beef thus comminuted better than cooked, and it is a matter of observation that steamed and underdone roast meats are more digestible than when submitted to greater heat.

Some interesting observations have been made by Roberts on the effects of the digestive ferments on cooked and uncooked albuminoids. He employed in his experiments a solution of egg albumen made by mixing white of egg with nine times its volume of water. "This solution," says Roberts, "when boiled in the water-bath does not coagulate nor sensibly change its appearance, but its behavior with the digestive ferments is completely altered. In the raw state this solution is attacked very slowly by pepsin and acid, and pancreatic extract has no effect on it; but after being cooked in the water-bath the albumen is rapidly and entirely digested by artificial gastric juice, and a moiety of it is rapidly digested by pancreatic extract."

It is a mistake, however, to suppose that cooking is equally necessary for all kinds of albuminoids. The oyster, at least, is quite exceptional, for it contains a digestive ferment—the hepatic diastase—which is wholly destroyed by cooking. Milk may be indifferently used either in the cooked or uncooked state, and fruits, which owe their value chiefly to sugar, are not altered by cooking.

The object in introducing here these remarks on cooking food is to show that it forms an important integral part of the work of digestion, and has a direct bearing on the management of all forms of dyspepsia.

January 1, 1911

American physical education review. v.16 (1911)

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Up to this time the athletes had lived a simple natural life in the open air, eating figs, cheese, porridge and meal cakes, with meat only occasionally. The introduction of a meat diet is ascribed to Pythagoras of Samos, a trainer of boxing and other sports. The object of a meat diet was to make weight, and to produce this bulk the trainer prescribed vast quantities of meat.

The high ideals of the poet, artist and philosopher kept athletics comparatively pure for a short time, but when the patriotic wave that followed the Persian war had spent its force, the decline in amateurism was rapid, and we enter the third period where too much competition begat specialization; specialization begat professionalism, and that in itself was death to true sport. Even the good athlete could not hope for success unless he put himself under a rigorous and prolonged course of training. The trainers had to concentrate on the preparation for single events. "The runner," says Socrates, "has over-developed his legs, the boxer his arms and shoulders." 


Up to this time the athletes had lived a simple natural life in the open air, eating figs, cheese, porridge and meal cakes, with meat only occasionally. The introduction of a meat diet is ascribed to Pythagoras of Samos(c. 570 – c. 495 BC), a trainer of boxing and other sports. It was momentous in that it at once created an artificial distinction between the life of the athlete and the life of the ordinary man, who ate meat but sparingly, just as our training tables place the athletes in an artificial and unnatural class by themselves, being used for this purpose quite as much as for any special diet that may be prescribed. 


The object of a meat diet was to make weight, for there was no classification in Greece of boxers and wrestlers into light, middle, and heavy weights. Weight then was important, and to produce this bulk the trainer prescribed vast quantities of meat, so that eating, sleeping and exercise occupied the athlete's entire time. 


Euripides calls such an athlete "the slave of his jaw and his belly," and the generals and soldiers condemned this training because it left no time for the practice of military exercises, and failed to produce the all-round development necessary for the useful soldier and citizen. The sacrifice for supreme excellence in a specialty was too great to make success a sufficient reward. Athletics had now passed that point where they could serve their true purpose of providing exercise or recreation. The competition was too severe and the training too artificial and exacting. It became the monopoly of the few professionals who devoted their entire time to it, while the rest of the young men, despairing of success, took to the hill as spectators. The amateur could not compete with the professional. Before the close of the fifth century, the word athlete had come to denote a professional, and amateur athletics were no longer practiced by the fashionable youth of Athens. Socrates, taunting an ill-developed youth with his unprofessional condition of body, meets the answer, "Of course, for I am not a professional but an amateur." 


Whereupon Socrates reads him a lecture on the necessity of developing his body to the utmost, saying: "No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a part of his profession as a citizen to keep himself in good condition and ready to serve his state at amoment's notice." "What a disgrace it is for aman to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable."


Fun Wikipedia Facts about Pythagoras:

Pythagoreanism also entailed a number of dietary prohibitions.[107][156][172] It is more or less agreed that Pythagoras issued a prohibition against the consumption of fava beans[173][156] and the meat of non-sacrificial animals such as fish and poultry.[166][156] Both of these assumptions, however, have been contradicted.[174][175] Pythagorean dietary restrictions may have been motivated by belief in the doctrine of metempsychosis.[146][176][177][178] Some ancient writers present Pythagoras as enforcing a strictly vegetarian diet.[e][146][177] Eudoxus of Cnidus, a student of Archytas, writes, "Pythagoras was distinguished by such purity and so avoided killing and killers that he not only abstained from animal foods, but even kept his distance from cooks and hunters."[179][180] Other authorities contradict this statement.[181] According to Aristoxenus,[182] Pythagoras allowed the use of all kinds of animal food except the flesh of oxen used for ploughing, and rams.[180][183] According to Heraclides Ponticus, Pythagoras ate the meat from sacrifices[180] and established a diet for athletes dependent on meat.[180]

January 1, 1951

Roger Buliard

Carnivore

Inuk

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It is fat, fish, and meat that a man wants in this country. Are we white men harbingers of a new and brilliant era, or simply advance agents of destruction? Do we bring with us anything more than dollar corruption, and the corporal and moral germs that have afflicted our own civilization?

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The government family allowances, distributed to the Eskimos by the Hudson's Bay Company, have been precious help, especially to large families, and have been of great assistance in enabling the Eskimo people to bridge the gap created by the change in their economy wrought by the introduction to fox hunting. One deficiency of the allowance system is that it does not encourage Eskimos to teach their children to live off the country wherever possible. If the Eskimo takes his allowance every month or two, he can only obtain such items as fruit, tinned milk, jam, and so forth--things he doesn't particularly care for or need. It is fat, fish, and meat that a man wants in this country. To acquire credit for nets and ammunition an Eskimo must refrain from drawing his allowance until it amounts to forty dollars. Some arrangement should be made that would encourage the Eskimo to hunt, rather than to live on foods that are unsuitable. 


Whatever the deficiencies of the new dispensantion, it is certainly true that the Inuk is less abandoned than he was a year, two years, ten years ago. And this we must applaud, for when we look at certain statistical data we are forced to shudder at what the figures demonstrate of man's inhumanity toward man.


Monez, in the wake of Diamond Genness, estimated the number of Canadian Eskimos to be twenty-two thousand before the arrival of the white man. Some eight thousand were left in 1921, six thousand in 1931, and about five thousand in 1950. 


We are told that the Eskimo population trend has been reversed, that next year, and the year after, there will be more of them.


Will they be the same caliber of Eskimo, energetic, tough, healthy?


Or will they be a people broken in spirit and health, like the Chippewas to the south?


A single glance at the specimens now growing up seems to show that we may be gaining in quantity only what we have irretrievably lost in quality. The answer to this problem is in better government, better medical services, better police work. Only if epidemics are prevented, tuberculosis checked, ignorance ameliorated, and the methods of trade improved will the Eskimo people have a real chance of surviving with their own peculiar usefulness and beauty intact.


Are we white men harbingers of a new and brilliant era, or simply advance agents of destruction?


Do we bring with us anything more than dollar corruption, and the corporal and moral germs that have afflicted our own civilization?


If the future is to provide a satisfactory answer to these thorny problems, it is imperative that all those who work for the Eskimo, in any field or capacity whatsoever (the government, the civilian commercial enterprises, the Christian Churches), dedicate all their endeavors with supreme determination and utter selflessness not only to save the poor Inuk from extermination, but also to assure him a human "modus vivendi" compatible with the unique environment in which Providence wishes him to work out not only his temporal existence, but his eternal salvation. Then, and only then, will the Inuk, out there on the ice, perceive at last the promise of a bright new dawn that will scatter the darkness forever.

Ancient History

Books

Arctic Passage: The Turbulent History of the Land and People of the Bering Sea 1697-1975

Published:

January 1, 1975

Arctic Passage: The Turbulent History of the Land and People of the Bering Sea 1697-1975

Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us about Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom

Published:

November 26, 2018

Nourishment: What Animals Can Teach Us about Rediscovering Our Nutritional Wisdom
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