Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/292

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fourth of all deaths are of children under five—those who are entirely dependent on the home whose diseases in 67 per cent, of the cases could be prevented by proper diet and care. We have the fact that 500,000 people in the United States are ill of tuberculosis and that such prevalent diseases can, in many cases, be cured by diet and fresh air. We have the fact that as estimated even well people lose at least five days a year from colds and minor ailments which might have been largely prevented by a proper diet. We have the fact that one half of the women who are divorced by their husbands desert home voluntarily. We have the fact that many charity workers give as their testimony that much social misery is caused by the "unpreparedness" of the homemakers. We have statistics to show the great waste of infant life in mansion as well as in humbler home. We have the statement of Professor Devine, the well-known charity expert, that in many homes we find the beginnings of tendencies which often lead to crime and disabling disease. We have the statements that innutritious food is a prolific cause of intemperance, which of itself leads to crime. We have the facts that much blindness and physical degeneracy might be prevented by a proper knowledge made available to the masses through the housemother in the home.

In the face of all these facts it would certainly appear that woman, who is the guardian of the home, is either ignorant of the proper consumption of wealth in the home in serving human welfare or else she is remiss in her duty. It is safe to say that not all women would be consciously negligent or remiss in their life's work, so the natural conclusion is that woman for the most part is ignorant of many of the essentials of the great mission assigned her. This ignorance is not strange, since in our educational system she receives slight preparation for this her real life's work. As has been said before, all the aid she has are home traditions and the home magazine, and in the majority of instances she is ignorant of the noteworthy investigations along her own line of work.

Ignorance of right living being so apparent in the face of these statistics, it has thus been shown how woman's specialized work in the home in charge of the food supply can hinder the harmonious development of efficient personality through her inability primarily to maintain and increase the vitality of those intrusted to her.

On the other hand, in order to fulfill the further purpose of this paper and to show something of the manner in which woman's work in the home in providing food for her family may help their harmonious mental, moral and social development, and to show if possible the importance of greater knowledge of what is best for individual welfare on the part of the homemakers, three divisions of the subject are made.

1. Since by results woman is shown so ignorant of proper methods of nutrition which will prevent disease and death, methods of improv-