Wouldn't it be nice to go back to simpler times, when you didn't have to make so many decisions about which kind of milk or bread or nut butter to buy? Well, according to the Handbook for Homemakers of 1926, food wasn't so simple back then either.

from Foods & Cookery: A Handbook for Homemakers (copyright 1926)

What the Homemaker Needs to Know About Food

The homemaker of today has many food problems to solve which are quite different from those of a generation ago.

First, she has many more foodstuffs to use, which the ends of the earth contribute to her table at all seasons of the year, thru the development of modern transportation and refrigeration, whereas, in years gone by she has been limited mainly by the foods grown in the home garden and farms and orchards. But further, the changes in occupation and mode of living have been vast, and have made necessary corresponding changes in the dietary needs of the family.

Then, too, agriculture has developed better products which are now graded and classified, making buying a more complex task. With this has also come a development of a more critical taste, and often a preference for fewer foods which may be more pleasing to look at, but which after all may not hold life giving vitamins and valuable food nutrients needed for proper development of bone and muscle. The complexity of modern life, too, has introduced prepared food in many forms, of whose value to the body we know very little, since scientific investigation of their food value has only begun.

But of even greater significance to the homemaker is the fact that scientists and nutrition specialists have learned more about the real food needs of the body and what different foodstuffs contribute to it's proper development. Many long established notions about foods have been upset and many new principles have been established. All the knowledge about carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and calories that has come into use in foods and cookery has come into use in very recent years. Virtually, meal planning is a new art in many respects and today the homemaker's problem is not a simple problem, but a complex one.



Food to furnish heat to keep it warm
Food to furnish power or energy to do work
Food to furnish material from which to build and repair bone, muscle and other tissues
Foods which regulate or keep all processes going at a normal rate of speed (ie circulation of the blood and digestion of food).