The housewife has a great deal of responsibility…

Here is some advice on how to be well nourished… according to a cookery book published in 1935; we may smile at some of the ideas, and definitely might feel a little indignant about ‘the housewife’ bit, but in its time it was trying to do exactly what nutritionists and food writers are doing today, helping people eat well and eat healthily. Here is what is written in the Orderly Housekeeping section:

The housewife has a great deal of responsibility for it depends on her if the family is well-nourished or not. It is possible to eat any amount of food and yet be under-nourished if it is the wrong kind, or if it is badly cooked and indigestible.
Roughly speaking, foods may be divided into those that give heat and energy and those that build up and repair the body as it wears out. The heat and energy-giving foods include butter and all other fats, sugar and foods that contain starch such as flour, rice, tapioca or potatoes.
The chief body-building foods are milk, cheese, meat, fish eggs and wholemeal bread.
We are not obliged to eat as much meat as we do, and it is not really necessary to have it at all, as 2 eggs and 2 ounces of cheese will do the same work as a good helping of meat. Most of us like meat, however, but it will be cheaper, and we shall be healthier if we only have it once a day.
We all need more fat in cold weather, and the manual worker needs plenty of fat and energy giving foods, such as butter, suet puddings and potatoes, though he does not need more meat than the sedentary worker.
Besides heat-giving and body-building foods we need much more water than we usually drink, and also various minerals which are generally found in vegetables. The difficulty is that though we est boiled vegetables we often throw away the water containing valuable salts. The best way to get the full value of these is to eat salads, made not only of lettuce, but of every kind of vegetable, grated on a vegetable grater.

In the days when this was written, most people did not have central heating, most people walked or cycled a lot more than we do.


  1. David Lewis

    A girl at my health food store claims that we need vitamin supplements because of the way our produce is force grown with fertilizers etc so that you wouldn’t get the iron that you would expect from spinach for example. I take a calcium, magnesium and vitamin d3 every night because I suffered from terrible leg cramps and nightmares. I was told that if you take too many vitamins that you would just pee out those your body couldn’t use. I’m a believer but still try to eat healthy and exercise a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lois

      It’s so difficult, isn’t it, you get so many different opinions from so many different people… I love fruit and especially vegetables, but I’m beginning to wonder if they give me stomach cramps (yes I know the red wine helps but I’d prefer just to have the wine!!) … or maybe it’s just because I eat too much of them… or maybe it’s just one of those things… You are right, eat healthy and exercise!


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