Foods of the foreign-born in relation to health
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Feeding America: the Historic American Cookbook Project
- Copyright Status
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Wood, Bertha M.
Emigration and immigration
Cooking, Latin American
Cooking, Middle Eastern
- Material Type
- ix, 98 pages
The introductory texts reproduced here were written by the original Feeding America team to contextualize the books that were selected for inclusion as part of the 2001 digitization project.
Foods Of The Foreign-Born In Relation To Health, By Bertha M. Wood...With A Foreword By Michael M. Davis, Jr.
Boston, Whitcomb & Barrows, 1922.
As the waves of immigrants from Europe and elsewhere poured into the great cities of America at the end of the 19th century, earnest American social workers, medical personal, home economists, educators and others became increasingly concerned with the newcomers' diets and health. Numerous studies were undertaken to learn about the immigrant's foodways, mostly in an attempt to change them.
Today we might cringe as we read about some of the condescending comments and methods to be found in books such as this one. However, the authors truly felt they were attempting to help the immigrant adopt what was then considered a "healthier" diet and to adapt to the American way of life. Often, the authors were trying to introduce the newest methods of eating, complete with all the new scientific advances then being propagandized.
This book was a bit better than most of its genre. Ms Wood felt that those who wished to change the eating habits of the immigrants first needed to know and understand the culture and the people they were dealing with. Thus, the food habits of the following groups are investigated: Mexican, Portuguese, Italian, Hungarian, Poles and other Slavic peoples, Armenians, Syrians, Turks, Greeks and Jews. Each chapter contains suggested recipes, taking each specific group into account.
The book derives from a study, undertaken in connection with the Americanization Study supported by the Carnegie Coroporation. It had the support of many members of the various foreign groups who worked with these reformers for the betterment of their own people.
Thus, this volume represents not only specific immigrant and ethnic contributions to American cooking but also the various scientific, welfare, social, home economics and diet and health aspects which were then permeating American foodways.