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Woman's Institute Library of Cookery Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals online

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indicated by the black spaces, which increase in size as the number of
dealers increase. The _producer_ may be the manufacturer, but in most
cases he is the farmer, the stockman, the dairyman, or the fruit
grower. The dealers handling the food between the producer and the
consumer are known as _middlemen_. They include the wholesaler, the
jobber, and the retailer. The retailer is the grocer, the butcher, or
the green grocer.

17. So that this chart may be clearly understood, several concrete
examples are given. Thus, the farmer who delivers vegetables directly to
the consumer is an example of plan No. 1. He has very little overhead
expense and consequently can sell cheaper than dealers who have a large
overhead expense. However, when the farmer delivers his vegetables to
the grocer and the grocer sells them to the consumer, an example of plan
No. 2 is afforded. Food bought in this way costs more than that bought
directly from the farmer. In plan No. 3, the farmer, for instance, sells
his vegetables to a wholesaler, who perhaps buys from other farmers and
then sells small quantities of them to the grocer for sale to the
consumer. This plan, as will readily be seen, is more involved than
either No. 1 or No. 2, but a still more roundabout route is that of plan
No. 4. In this case, for instance, the farmer sells his vegetables to a
canning factory, where they are canned and then sold to the grocer, who
sells them in this form to the consumer. Often two wholesalers, the
second one being known as a jobber, are involved in the transaction, as
in plan No. 5. In such an event, the farmer sells to the wholesaler, who
sells to the jobber, who, in turn, sells to the grocer, from whom the
consumer secures the goods. The most complicated route is that shown in
plan No. 6. This illustrates the case of the farmer who sells his cereal
products to a manufacturer, who makes them up into breakfast foods. He
then sells them in large quantities to the wholesaler, who sells them in
50- or 100-case lots to the jobber. From the jobber they go to the
grocer, who delivers them to the consumer.

From a study of this chart, it can be readily seen that the cost of food
may be reduced if the middlemen can be eliminated. For instance, the
housewife will be able to get fruits and vegetables cheaper if she buys
them from a farmer instead of a grocer, for she will not be called on to
pay any of the grocer's overhead expense or profit. Again, if she buys
her staple groceries in a store that is able to eliminate the wholesaler
or the jobber, she will get them at a lower price than if she deals
where these agencies must receive their share of the profits.

18. NATIONALLY ADVERTISED GOODS. - Much is said about the fact that the
consumer, in buying package foods that are nationally advertised, must
pay for the package and the advertising. This statement is absolutely
true; but it must be remembered that where large quantities of foods are
handled, the materials can be bought by the manufacturer or the
wholesaler at a lower price than by one who purchases only a small
amount. Then, too, if great quantities are sold, and this condition is
made possible only through advertising, the profit on each package sold
can be much smaller than that which would have to be made when less is
sold. Often, therefore, in spite of the advertising cost, a widely
advertised food can be sold for less than one that is not advertised at
all because a much greater quantity is sold.

19. CHAIN STORES. - The principle of selling great quantities of food at
a comparatively small profit on each item is put into practice in chain
stores, which are operated by different companies throughout the United
States. Such stores are a boon to the housewife who must practice
economy, for they eliminate a middleman by acting both as wholesaler and
as retailer. Because of this fact, foods that are purchased in large
quantities from the producer or manufacturer can be offered to the
consumer at a lower price than in a retail store not a part of a chain.
Therefore, if foods of the same quality are not lower in price in chain
stores, it must be because the buying is not well done or a greater
profit is made in selling them. In addition, chain stores generally
require cash for all purchases made in them and they do not usually
deliver goods. Consequently, their overhead expense is materially
reduced and they do not need to make such a large profit.


ECONOMICAL BUYING

20. APPORTIONMENT OF INCOME. - When the housewife thoroughly understands
the qualities of foods as well as their comparative food values and is
familiar with the factors that govern food prices, she is well equipped
to do economical buying for her family. Then it remains for her to
purchase the right kind of food and at the same time keep within her
means. A good plan is to apportion the household expenses according to a
_budget_; that is, to prepare a statement of the financial plans for the
year. Then the amount of money that can be used for this part of the
household expenses will be known and the housewife will be able to plan
definitely on what she can buy. If necessary, this amount may be reduced
through the housewife's giving careful attention to the details of
buying, or if she is not obliged to lower her expenses, she may
occasionally purchase more expensive foods, which might be considered
luxuries, to give variety to the diet. The amount of money that may be
spent for food depends, of course, on the income, and the greater the
income, the lower will be the proportion of money required for this item
of the household expense.

21. To throw some light on the proper proportion of the family income to
spend for food, Table I is given. As the basis of this table, a family
of five is taken and the proportion that may be spent for food has been
worked out for incomes ranging from $600 to $2,400 a year. As will be
noted, an income of $600 permits an expenditure of only 19 cents a day
for each person. When food prices are high, it will be a difficult
matter to feed one person for that amount, and still if the income is
only $600 it will be necessary to do this. To increase the food cost
over 39 cents a day per person, which is the amount allotted for an
income of $2,400, would denote extravagance or at least would provide
more luxury than is warranted.


TABLE I

PROPORTION OF FAMILY INCOME FOR FOOD
================================================================
Income Per Cent. of Amount Spent Amount Spent Amount Spent
per Income Spent per year for per Day for per Day per
Year for Food Food Five Persons Person
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
$ 600 60 $360 $ .98 $ .19
800 55 500 1.36 .27
1,000 50 576 1.57 .31
1,200 48 576 1.57 .31
1,500 44 660 1.80 .36
1,800 39 702 1.92 .38
2,400 30 720 1.97 .39
================================================================


Various conditions greatly affect this proportion. One of these is the
rise and fall of the food cost. Theoretically, the buyer should adjust
this difference in the food cost rather than increase her expenditures.
For instance, if in a certain year, the general cost of food is 20 per
cent. greater than it was in the preceding year, the housewife should
adjust her plan of buying so that for the same amount of money spent in
the previous year she will be able to supply her family with what they
need. Of course, if there is an increase in the income, it will not be
so necessary to work out such an adjustment.

22. ECONOMIES IN PURCHASING FOOD. - Through her study of the preceding
lessons, the student has had an opportunity to learn how to care for
food in order to avoid loss and waste, how to prepare it so that it may
be easily digested and assimilated, and how to make it appetizing and
attractive so that as little as possible is left over and none is
wasted. She should therefore be thoroughly acquainted with the methods
of procedure in regard to all such matters and should have worked out to
her satisfaction the best ways of accomplishing these things to suit her
individual needs. But, in addition to these matters, she must give
strict attention to her food purchases if she would secure for her
family the most wholesome and nourishing foods for the least
expenditure of money.

23. To purchase food that will provide the necessary food value for a
small outlay is possible to a certain extent, but it cannot be done
without the required knowledge. In the first place, it means that fewer
luxuries can be indulged in and that the family dietary will have to be
reduced to necessities. It may also mean that there will probably be a
difference in the quality of the food purchased. For instance, it may be
necessary to practice such economies as buying broken rice at a few
cents a pound less than whole rice or purchasing smaller prunes with a
greater number to the pound at a lower price than the larger, more
desirable ones. The housewife need not hesitate in the least to adopt
such economies as these, for they are undoubtedly the easiest ways in
which to reduce the food expenses without causing detriment to any one.

24. Further economy can be practiced if a little extra attention is
given in the purchase of certain foods. As is well known, the packages
and cans containing food are labeled with the contents and the weight of
the contents. These should be carefully observed, as should also the
number of servings that may be obtained from the package or can. For
instance, the housewife should know the weight per package of the
various kinds of prepared cereals she uses and the number of servings
she is able to procure from each package.

Let it be assumed that she buys two packages of different cereals at
the same time, which, for convenience, may be called package No. 1 and
package No. 2. She finds that No. 1 contains 16 ounces and No. 2, only
12 ounces; so she knows that No. 1 furnishes the greater amount of food
by weight for the money spent. But, on the other hand, No. 2 may go
farther; that is, it may serve a greater number of persons. This, in all
probability, means that the cereals are similar in character, but that
the food value of the servings from No. 2 is greater than that of the
servings from No. 1. No. 2 is therefore the more economical of the two.
Matters of this kind must not be overlooked, especially in the feeding
of children.

Then, too, the housewife should work out carefully which she can use to
greater advantage, prepared or unprepared cereals. If she finds that
unprepared cereals are the more economical and if she can depend on
their food value as being as high as that of the prepared ones, she
should by all means give them the preference. Of course, she may use
prepared cereals for convenience or for varying the diet, but the more
economical ones should be used with greater regularity.

25. Canned goods should be carefully observed. A certain brand of
tomatoes, for instance, may have 16 ounces to the can, whereas another
brand that can be bought for the same price may have 24 ounces. There
may be, however, and there probably is, a great difference in the
quality of the tomatoes. The 24-ounce can may have a much greater
proportion of water than the 16-ounce can, and for this reason will not
serve to the same advantage. As it is with canned tomatoes, so is it
with canned corn, peas, and other canned vegetables, for the price
depends altogether on the quality. Therefore, several brands should be
compared and the one should be purchased which seems to furnish the most
food or the best quality of food for the least money, provided the
quality continues.

26. In the preparation of meat, there is always some waste, and as waste
is a factor that has much to do with the increasing of costs, it should
be taken into consideration each time a piece of meat is purchased. If
there is time for some experimenting, it makes an interesting study to
weigh the meat before and after preparation, for then the amount of
shrinkage in cookery, as well as the waste in bone, skin, and other
inedible material, can be determined.

An actual experiment made with a 4-pound chicken showed that there was
a loss of 2-3/4 pounds; that is, the weight of the edible meat after
deducting the waste was only 1-1/4 pounds. The following shows how this
weight was determined:

POUNDS
Weight of chicken, including head, feet, and entrails 4
Weight of head, feet, and entrails 1-1/4
Weight of bones after cooking 7/8
Weight of skin after cooking 1/4
Shrinkage in cooking 3/8
- - -
Total amount of waste 2-3/4
- - -
Actual weight of edible meat 1-1/4

It will readily be seen that chicken at 40 cents a pound would make the
cost per pound of edible meat amount to exactly $1.28, a rather
startling result. It is true, of course, that the busy housewife with a
family can hardly spare the time for the extra labor such experiments
require; still the greater the number of persons to be fed, the more
essential is the need for economy and the greater are the possibilities
for waste and loss.

27. The home production of foods does not belong strictly to economical
buying, still it is a matter that offers so many advantages to the
economical housewife that she cannot afford to overlook it. A small
garden carefully prepared and well cultivated will often produce the
summer's supply of fresh vegetables, with sufficient overproduction to
permit much to be canned for winter. Not only do foods produced in a
home garden keep down the cost of both summer and winter foods, but they
add considerably to the variety of menus.

* * * * *


CORRECT DIET

SUITABILITY OF FOOD

28. At the same time the housewife is making a study of economy and
trying to procure as nearly as possible the best quality and the largest
quantity of food for the amount of money she has to spend, she must
consider the suitability of this food for the persons to whom it is to
be served. This matter is undoubtedly of greater importance than
economy, for, regardless of the amount of money that is to be spent,
suitable foods for the nourishment of all the members of the family must
be supplied to them. For instance, a family of two may have $10 a week
to spend for food, whereas one of five may perhaps have no more; but the
larger family must have nourishing food just as the one of two must
have. Therefore, whether the housewife has much or little to spend, her
money must purchase food suited to the needs of her family. Unless she
is able to accomplish this, she fails in the most important part of her
work as a housewife, and as a result, the members of her family are not
properly nourished.

29. It has long been an established fact that correct diet is the
greatest factor in maintaining bodily health. Food is responsible for
the growth and maintenance of the body tissues, as well as for their
repair. In addition, it supplies the body with heat and energy.
Consequently, taking the right food into the body assists in keeping a
person in a healthy condition and makes work and exercise possible.

Because so much depends on the diet, the housewife, while considering
what can be bought with the money she has to spend, must also decide
whether the foods she plans to buy are suitable for the needs of her
family. In fact, she should be so certain of this matter that she will
automatically plan her menus in such a way that they will contain all
that is necessary for each person to be fed. But, as every housewife
knows, the appetites of her family must also be taken into
consideration. Theoretically, she should feed her family what the
various members need, regardless of their likes and dislikes. However,
very few persons are willing to be fed in this way; in truth, it would
be quite useless to serve a dish for which no one in the family cared
and in addition it would be one of the sources of waste.

30. To make the work of the housewife less difficult, children should be
taught as far as possible to eat all kinds of food. Too often this
matter is disregarded, and too often, also, are the kinds of food
presented, to a family regulated by the likes and dislikes of the person
preparing the food. Because she is not fond of certain foods, she never
prepares them; consequently, the children do not learn to like them. On
the other hand, many children develop a habit of complaining about foods
that are served and often refuse to eat what is set before them. Such a
state of affairs should not be permitted. Indeed, every effort should be
made to prevent a spirit of complaint. If the housewife is certain that
she is providing the members of her family with the best that she can
purchase with the money she has to spend and that she is giving them
what they need, complaining on their part should be discouraged.

31. With a little effort, children can be taught to like a large variety
of foods, especially if these foods are given to them while they are
still young. It is a decided advantage for every one to form a liking
for a large number of foods. The person who can say that he cares for
everything in the way of food is indeed fortunate, for he has a great
variety from which to choose and is not so likely to have served to him
a meal in which there are one or more dishes that he cannot eat because
of a distaste for them.

Every mother should therefore train her children during their childhood
to care for all the cereals, vegetables, and fruits. Besides affording
the children a well-balanced diet, these foods, particularly vegetables
and fruits, when served in their season, offer the housewife a means of
planning economical menus, for, as every one knows, their price is then
much lower than at any other time and is less than that of most other
foods. During the winter, turnips, carrots, onions, and other winter
vegetables are more economical foods than summer vegetables that must be
canned or otherwise prepared to preserve them for winter use or the
fresh summer vegetables purchased out of season. However, it is
advisable to vary the diet occasionally with such foods.


COMPOSITION OF FOOD

32. To feed her family properly, the housewife should understand that
the daily food must include the five food substances - protein, fat,
carbohydrate, mineral matter, and water. As these are discussed in
_Essentials of Cookery_, Part 1, they should be clear to the housewife,
but if they are not fully understood, a careful review should be made of
the discussions given there. The ways in which these food principles
contribute to the growth and health of the body, as well as the ordinary
foods that supply them in the greatest number, are tabulated in Table II
for easy reference. This information will assist the housewife
materially in the selection and preparation of food for her family;
consequently, close attention should be given to it and constant
application made of it.

33. As has already been learned and as will be noted here, a food
substance often has more than one use in the body. For instance, protein
builds tissue and also yields energy, but its chief work is that of
building tissue, and so it is classed first as a tissue-building food
substance. The fats and carbohydrates also have a double use in the
body, that of producing heat and energy and of building fatty tissue.
However, as their chief use is to produce heat and energy, they are
known principally as heat-producing foods. Mineral matter not only is
necessary for the building of bone and muscle, but also enters into the
composition of the blood and all the fluids in the body. Growth and
development are not ideal without an adequate supply of the many kinds
of these salts, which go to make up the tissues, nerves, blood, and
other fluids in the body.

34. The body regulators must be included in the food given, for they
assist in all processes carried on in the body. Some are necessary to
aid in the stimulation required to carry on the processes of digestion
and in some cases make up a part of the digestive fluids. Consequently,
vegetables and fruits that supply these body regulators and foods that
supply vitamines should be provided.

Water, the chief body regulator, not only is essential to life itself,
but forms by far a greater proportion of the body than any other single
substance. The largest part of the water required in the body is
supplied as a beverage and the remainder is taken in with the foods that
are eaten.

TABLE II

FOOD SUBSTANCES AND THEIR RELATION TO GROWTH AND HEALTH

I Body-building materials
Proteins.
Meat
Fish and shell fish
Poultry and game
Eggs
Milk and milk products
Legumes (dried beans, peas, lentils)
Wheat and wheat products, as corn starch
Nuts
Mineral matter, or ash
Vegetables
Fruits
Eggs
Milk
Cereals
Meats
II Heat-producing materials
Fats
Animal
Lard
Suet
Tallow
Butter and cream
Vegetable
Olive oil
Corn oil
Cottonseed oil
Coconut oil
Nut oils
Mixed oils
Oleomargarine
Butterine
Nut butter
Crisco, etc.
Carbohydrates
Starch
Cereals and cereal products
Irish and sweet potatoes
Sugar
Cane sugar and molasses
Beet sugar
Maple sugar and sirup
Honey
Corn sirup and other manufactured sirups
Proteins
Same as in I

III Body regulators
Water
Mineral matter, or ash
Same as in I
Cellulose
Fruits
Vegetables
Covering of cereals and nuts
Food Acids
Sour fruits - citric and malic
Tomatoes - malic
Spinach - oxalic
Rhubarb - oxalic
Vitamines
Fat soluble A
Milk
Butter
Egg yolk
Water soluble B
Green vegetables, as spinach, chard, lettuce, beet greens
Asparagus and stem vegetables, as celery
Fruit vegetables, as tomatoes, peppers, okra
Fruits

The importance of bulk in foods cannot be emphasized too much. The
indigestible cellulose of fruits, vegetables, and cereals is of such
importance in the body that some of these foods should be supplied with
every meal. Therefore, their incorporation into the diet should be
considered as a definite part of the menu-making plan.

The acids of fruits are valuable as stimulants both to the appetite and
to the digestion. Then, too, they give a touch of variety to a menu
otherwise composed of rather bland foods. The stimulation they produce
is much more healthful than that of condiments, drugs, or alcoholic
beverages and should receive the preference.

_Vitamines_ are substances necessary for both growth and health. A child
deprived of the foods containing them is usually not well and does not
grow nor develop normally. These substances are also required in the
diet of adults in order to maintain the body in a healthy condition. The
leafy vegetables and milk are the foods that yield the greatest supply
of vitamines. In fact, it is claimed by those who have experimented most
with this matter that these two sources will supply the required amount
of vitamines under all conditions.

* * * * *

BALANCING THE DIET

QUANTITY AND PROPORTION OF FOODS

35. FACTORS INFLUENCING FOOD. - Numerous factors affect the kind and
quantity of food necessary for an individual. Chief among these are age,
size, sex, climate, and work or exercise. In addition to determining the
amount of food that must be taken into the body, these factors regulate
largely the suitability of the foods to be eaten. It is true, of course,
that all the food substances mentioned in Table II must be included in
every person's diet after the first few years of his life, but the
quantity and the proportion of the various substances given vary with
the age, sex, size, and work or exercise of the person and the climate
in which he lives. Merely to provide dishes that supply sufficient food


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Online LibraryWoman's Institute of Domestic Arts and SciencesWoman's Institute Library of Cookery Volume 5: Fruit and Fruit Desserts; Canning and Drying; Jelly Making, Preserving and Pickling; Confections; Beverages; the Planning of Meals → online text (page 23 of 27)