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Over 200 Years Ago, Soldiers Were Advised To Eat Mostly Vegetables

Chocolate Milk at Every Meal: Unhealthy military mess halls are hurting our armed forces, Kristen Hinman, Slate, February 28, 2011

This stood out:

"Two years into the Revolutionary War, a surgeon general in the Continental Army issued a pamphlet on nutrition. "The diet of soldiers should consist chiefly of vegetables," Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote in Directions for Preserving the Health of Soldiers. "The nature of their duty, as well as their former habits of life, require it."
It was routine, in Rush's time, for soldiers to consume a "pound or two of flesh in a day."
So, in 1777, over 230 years ago, soldiers were eating a "pound or two of flesh." I'll assume that doesn't include eggs or dairy products. That's a lot of animal food. I wonder what chronic diseases those soldiers suffered later in life, if they enjoyed a retirement at all.

The UK Department of Health recently advised their adult population to consume something closer to 2.5 ounces:

"Red and processed meat probably increases the risk of bowel cancer and people who eat around 90g or more should consider cutting down to reduce their risk."
UK Department of Health, February 25, 2011
They say cutting back to 70 g/day (2.5 ounces) could help reduce cancer risk without impacting "the proportion of the adult population with low iron intakes."

How much is 2.5 ounces? About the size of a large egg.

The photo is from
Shorpy Historic Photo Archive. It's dated 1915, about 138 years after the time of Dr. Rush. I love cooking photos.
Thanks for the article to BL who always sends good links.

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