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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 9. June 7, 1939

Food Analysis

Food Analysis.

Again we refer to official figures.

Dividing total consumption by total population we find that in New Zealand we eat about one pound of meat, half a pound of white flour, six or seven ounces of cane sugar, half a pound of potatoes, two thirds of a pint of milk and two thirds of an egg per person per day. We eat 2-3 [unclear: ounces] of butter but only a fraction of an ounce of [gap — reason: illegible][unclear: he][gap — reason: illegible].

These figures mean that practically two thirds of the food which we eat per day, is derived from cane sugar, red meat and white flour!

In other words, two thirds of the food which the average New Zealander eats is practically devoid of vitamins and minerals, and he cheerfully expects the other third to provide him with enough minerals and vitamins to make his body function properly!

What are the implications of these facts? To answer this, it is necessary to consult the newer knowledge of nutrition which has been so carefully worked out during the past twenty years.

The findings of the newer knowledge of nutrition are most interesting, and have a real bearing on the prevalence of ill health (mental and physical) in New Zealand. Nutrition experts such as Sherman, McCollum and McCarrison (to mention only three) have studied the diets of the healthy races of the world, and have compared these with the food of the so-called civilized races. The average composition of the more common food stuffs have also been worked out. Vitamins have been isolated, and their occurrence in foods has been defined in terms of international units. After twenty years intensive work on the physiological requirements of the human body, nutrition experts are getting nearer to knowing why the human body needs certain foods, and what goes wrong when the essential food constituents are not supplied.

When all this knowledge is condensed, we find that, unless every practice of food which passes the lips of any human being contains its maximum quota or vitamins and minerals, then some essential fond element is not being eaten in sufficient quantity.