Funky, Fascinating and Funny Food Facts

CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY MUSIC

Music – “Don’t Eat The Food That Is Sitting On Your Plate” from Teacher’s Favorites by Barry Louis Polisar. Released: 2000

In addition to the cookbooks in my collection, I have a number of what I call “reference” cooking books. Included among them is one entitled “Dictionary of Foods”, by Bengamin Gayelord Hauser and Ragnar Berg, published in 1932. Berg, co-author of the book, was evidently considered to be “Germany’s foremost food scientist“.

Bengamin Gayelord Hauser and Ragnar Berg, authors of "Dictionary of Foods", 1932

Bengamin Gayelord Hauser and Ragnar Berg, authors of “Dictionary of Foods”, 1932

In browsing through the book, I happened upon some facts, which were hitherto (I love that word) unknown to me, however, they may be common knowledge, which I have just now discovered. My readers will no doubt enlighten me. Among their analyses of foods, here are a few snippets of information:

Two apples, eaten before breakfast each morning, will help to overcome constipation…” (the thought of consuming two apples before I even have a cup of java is unthinkable to me!)

Wow...eating 2 apples even before you've had your coffee? (Photo Credit: www.annapurnaz.in)

Wow…eating 2 apples even before you’ve had your coffee? (Photo Credit: http://www.annapurnaz.in)

Unripe artichokes are said to be helpful to those who have jaundice, dropsy or rheumatism…” (Dropsy…isn’t that a klutzy person?)

Avocado pears…are also recommended to hasten delayed menstrual periods and to stimulate the sexual organs”) (“stimulate the sexual organs”? Here, here now, we’ll have none of that!)

"I warned you about eating those avocados, didn't I ?" (Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com)

“I warned you about eating those avocados, didn’t I ?” (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

Bacon…containing a small percentage of protein which is for the most part non-assimilable. For this reason bacon is the least injurious of all animal food products” (wow, and I thought bacon was the most injurious of all animal food!)

According to Hauser & Berg, bacon is a good choice of animal food (we knew that) (Photo Credit: www.pelletheads.com)

According to Hauser & Berg, bacon is a good choice of animal food (we knew that) (Photo Credit: http://www.pelletheads.com)

Caviar is not an economical food…” (well, duh….nothing has changed since 1932)

in 2016, like 1932, caviar continues its reputation as "an uneconomical food" (Photo Credit: www.telegraph.co.uk)

in 2016, like 1932, caviar continues its reputation as “an uneconomical food” (Photo Credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

 

 

 

Cherries, eaten in sufficient quantities (about a pound a day) tend to regulate the eliminative process of the intestines” (that’s a lot of cherries and a lot of $$$)

Here's your daily dose of cherries to keep your digestive system in tip-top shape (Photo Credit: www.racheleats.wordpress.com)

Here’s your daily dose of cherries to keep your digestive system in tip top shape (Photo Credit: http://www.racheleats. wordpress.com)

Corn and corn meal are thought by the majority to be excellent foods, but this is not true” (tell that to the Native Americans)

According to Hauser & Berg, corn is not really good for you (Photo Credit: www.the-gluten-free-chef.com)

According to Hauser & Berg, corn is not really good for you (Photo Credit: http://www.the-gluten-free-chef.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Eggs are greatly overestimated as a food…” (someone better enlighten the egg marketing boards)

"Uh oh. If those guys nix eggs and we stop laying, we'll end up in the soup pot!" (Photo Credit: www.davidwolfe.com)

“Uh oh. If those guys nix eggs and we stop laying, we’ll end up in the soup pot!” (Photo Credit: http://www.davidwolfe.com)

 

Children should be given figs in preference to candy” (good luck with that one!)

"I don't WANTa fig. I want a Hershey's bar!" (Photo Credit: www.mamanaturally.wordpress.com)

“I don’t WANT a fig. I want a Hershey’s bar!” (Photo Credit: www.   mamanaturally. wordpress.com)

 

In Southern Europe, where the people are of an emotional temperament, it is said that lemons, when eaten frequently, will calm the passions” (Hey there Frenchie….go suck a lemon and keep your hands off of me!)(with apologies to the French)

Southern Europeans can calm their emotions by sucking on a lemon (Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com)

Southern Europeans can calm their passions by sucking on a lemon (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

Lobsters are frequently recommended to nervous people as a brain and nerve food” (I’d probably be a lot smarter if my mother could have afforded a lobster a day when I was growing up)

Brain food (for the wealthy) (Photo Credit: www.hickerphoto.com)

Brain food (for the wealthy) (Photo Credit: http://www.hickerphoto.com)

 

Macaroni and meat make a very poor food combination” (with an attitude like this, “Hamburger Helper” would still be sitting on the grocery store shelves)

Someone forgot to tell General Mills that meat and pasta are not a good combination (Photo Credit: www.en.wikipedia.com)

Someone forgot to tell General Mills that meat and pasta are not a good combination (Photo Credit: http://www.en. wikipedia.com)

Onions…are recommended for colds, hoarseness, coughs, catarrh, dizziness (vertigo), dropsy, Dysuria, Loss of appetite, body and breast pains, flatulency, constipation, face aches, headaches, murmurings in the ears, worms, etc.” (wow…forget two apples a day. Just munch on an onion!)

Eating onions is way better for you than snacking on apples. There's just that breath thing (Photo Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk)

Eating onions is way better for you than snacking on apples. There’s just that breath thing (Photo Credit: http://www.dailymail.          co.uk)

Pistachios are supposed to increase the activity of the reproductive organs and stimulate the emotions” (there we go again with that reproductive stuff and stimulation! Shocking, especially for 1932)

"What? You mean this pistachio stuff is only for humans?" (Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com)

“What? You mean this pistachio stuff is only for humans?” (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

And, lastly, there are multiple ads at the end of the book, promoting books by Hauser, among them this one:

HEALTH DAY
(GESUNDHEITSTAG)

This sensational one-day-a-week health
Holiday has taken Europe by storm. In
Presenting “Health Day” to America,
Bengamin Gayelord Hauser introduces an
entirely new and novel idea for the
preservation of your health and vitality. One day
a week is all that is required – one day in
which to “revitalize,” “Re-chemicalize,” and
“re-charge” – one day during which time
you will eat and drink only those foods
which will work miracles in a tired and toxic body. $1.00

Is this what Gesundheitstag day is all about? (Photo Credit: www.wizzley.com)

Is this what Gesundheitstag day is all about? (Photo Credit: http://www.wizzley.com)

Gesundheit” is a common expression used to wish good health to a person who has just sneezed. So, it follows that “Gesundheitstag” might be translated literally as “sneezing day” or “sneezing stay”. It really means “health day”. The book is reminiscent of the current trend to detoxifying diets and purging our bodies of unhealthy stuff. However, whatever the author meant by suggesting that on the one day a week health holiday we “re-chemicalize” is unknown. Maybe that should be the day after, when one puts back all the bad stuff which has just been eradicated!

 

"Merle, you must make a point of attending my "Gesundheitstag" and bring some pistachios!" (Bengamin Hauser & Merle Oberon: Photo Credit: www.gettyimages.com)

“Merle, you must make a point of attending my “Gesundheitstag” and bring some pistachios!” (Begamin Hauser & Merle Oberon: Photo Credit: http://www.gettyimages.com)


My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

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About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 6,235. What next? More shelves?
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