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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/161

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149
UNITED STATES' WHEAT-GROWING CAPACITY.

years ending 1878, and at the present time is 4.5 bushels. . . . Should all the wheat-growing countries add to their area to the utmost capacity, on the most careful calculation the yield would give us only an addition of some 100,000,000 acres, supplying at the average world yield of 12.7 bushels to the acre, 1,270,000,000 bushels, just enough to supply the increase of population among bread-eaters till the year 1931. At the present time there exists a deficit in the wheat area of thirty-one thousand square miles. . . . When provision shall have been made if possible to feed 230,000,000 units likely to be added to the bread-eating populations by 1931, by the complete occupancy of the arable areas of the temperate zone now partially occupied, where can be grown the additional 330,000,000 bushels of wheat required ten years later by a hungry world? If bread fails—not only us, but all the bread-eaters of the world—what are we to do? We are born wheat-eaters. Other races, vastly superior to us in numbers, but differing widely in material and intellectual progress, are eaters of Indian corn, rice, millet, and other grains; but none of these grains have the food value, the concentrated health-sustaining power of wheat, and it is on this account that the accumulated experience of civilized mankind has set wheat apart as the fit and proper food for the development of muscle and brains."

Sir William then proceeds to deal with the salvation by chemistry. But before taking notes from that part of his address, is it not singular to remark this tendency of the scientist as well as of the English farmer to think only in terms of wheat, wholly ignoring other grains? It may be interesting to point out the exact difference in the nutrients.

Wheat flour is analyzed in the following statement:
Water 11.6
Protein 11.1
Fats 1.1
Carbohydrates 75.6
Mineral matters 0.6
Total nutrients 88.4
Potential energy in one pound 1,660 calories.
Corn or maize meal differs only as follows:
Water 14.5
Protein 9.1
Fats 3.8
Carbohydrates 71.0
Mineral matters 1.6
Total nutrients 85.4
Potential energy in one pound 1,650 calories.