Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/289

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FOOD PREPARATION

the state of mind when she expects to enjoy or understand anything scientific, so she does not seek out that class of reading. Meanwhile, nevertheless, she is in charge of the vital development of the race. A strange inconsistency! Thus we see that in most cases she is not fitted for her work and hence can have no sense of satisfaction in it.

As previously stated the purpose of this paper is to show the connection between woman's work in the home in preparing and serving food for her family and the harmonious development of personality; and also to indicate that as conditions now prevail in society she is unable to make use of the accumulated knowledge of scientists as to what is best for human welfare.

With this purpose before us we need to keep in mind the image of the home as an intermediate agent between the scientific knowledge of what is best for human development, on the one hand, and on the other the finished product of personality as we find it in society. Since the home stands as the connecting link between these two—the knowledge and the result, it must of necessity help or hinder the harmonious development of the social personality or the individual in his relations to his fellow men. Hence anything which will improve home conditions is of great importance to society in its attempts at individual and general progress.

In the face of these responsibilities which center around the home and the housemother in the vital, mental, moral and social care of her family, because she is specialized by society for home work, let us consider some of the results in the working out of this system.

Statistics tell us that under the present home system one fourth of all deaths for the United States during the year 1908 were of children under five years of age.[1] The infant mortality of England was higher for the three years 1896-1900 than for 1861-65.[2] Of the total deaths in Iowa in August, 1910, about one fifth were under one year of age and of these over 80 per cent, were from cholera infantum, a disease largely preventable through hygienic measures.[3]

It is stated of all diseases of infancy between the ages of 2 and 6 sixty-seven per cent, may be prevented on the basis of our present knowledge of sanitary measures, were they widely used.[4]

Statistics tell us that under the present home system, the prevalence of disease greatly impairs efficiency.

In the United States, 500,000 people are constantly ill from tuberculosis alone, which is in a large measure a preventable disease in

  1. "Mortality Statistics," 1908, p. 8, Special Census Report, Department of Commerce and Labor.
  2. Ibid., p. 9.
  3. Rockwood, Popular Science Monthly, March, 1911.
  4. Irving Fisher, "Bulletin of the Committee of One Hundred on National Health."