Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/511

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MILK FOR BABES.

would be destroyed by this temperature, and recommended such, a process for their destruction and for the preservation of foods. Thirty years ago Liebig said that by scalding milk once a day it could be kept indefinitely, and many a housewife, before and since, has put the same fact into practice. The process is new only in name—the discovery lies principally in its application—experiment having shown that the application of 150º F. for thirty minutes will destroy the Bacillus tuberculosis with certainty, and many germs that are likely to be found in reasonably pure milk, which, with ordinary precaution, will remain sweet for several days.

There is a good deal in a name, and it is to be hoped that "Pasteurized" milk will receive as cordial a welcome as was given to "sterilized" milk.

Generally, new ideas are received with some conservatism and are subjected to tests in expert hands before being adopted by the public; but the need was great, and it is seldom indeed that anything has had the benefit of so wide a trial and so immediate an acceptance as this idea of sterilization of milk. Benevolent persons opened dispensaries to give it to the poor, who, jumping to the conclusion that it was "exactly like mothers' milk" and had wondrously valuable qualities, failed frequently to see the true purpose of the work. Few stopped to inquire what sterilized milk really was, and directions given for its use were rarely followed.

The fact that milk, when subjected sufficiently to a high temperature, can be kept unchanged for an indefinite length of time, while of interest from a scientific standpoint, is of no practical interest to consumers, except upon long journeys, as it has been conclusively shown that for ordinary usage Pasteurization should be done daily. It is generally conceded that pure milk will save much infant mortality. The fact that thousands of children especially infants die every year from want of care in the preparation of their food is underestimated by many. At one of the meetings of the Philadelphia Board of Health, Dr. Shakespeare said, in his report, that milk of poor and unwholesome quality is originally and directly responsible for thousands of deaths annually in that city alone, not to speak of the sickness from this origin which is not fatal. To this category, he declares, certainly belong most deaths from cholera infantum, infantile tuberculosis, many of the deaths from acute diarrhœa, from typhoid fever, and some of the deaths from diphtheria and scarlet fever.

Dr. Chapin says that of six hundred infants whose cases were studied, nearly all the troubles were acquired and not hereditary. "While a tendency to constitutional disease may be inherited, it is the bad surroundings and faulty conditions of life that powerfully predispose to illness"—poverty and ignorance being the