Thursday, December 18, 2008


Michael sez: This ain't my idea of a fun diet but it could keep you alive. We don't ever want to look askance at the things that will keep us alive. I got this off of MSNBC.

LONDON - Oliver Twist wouldn't have needed any more gruel in real life, scientists said on Thursday.

The picture painted by Charles Dickens of starvation rations in an 1830s workhouse north of London is wide of mark, according to an analysis of menus and other historical evidence.
Dickens' eponymous hero famously asked for more of the "thin gruel" doled out three times daily in the grim institution for the poor where he grew up.

In fact, contemporary recipes suggest such workhouse gruel was substantial, with each pint containing 1.25 ounces of best oatmeal, and servings supplemented by wholesome coarse bread.
Historical data also shows large quantities of beef and mutton were delivered to workhouses, pediatric dietician Sue Thornton of Northampton General Hospital and colleagues wrote in the British Medical Journal.

Such a diet, comprising three pints of gruel a day, would sustain growth in a nine-year-old child like Oliver, unless he was exceptionally active.

"Given the limited number of food staples used, the workhouse diet was certainly dreary, but it was adequate," they concluded.


Anonymous said...

Well I'm glad it is British tax payer money funding such a highly necessary research program..

And we wonder why an alternative to oil hasn't been found. At least we know that a fictional character might have actually been well fed

Patricia said...

Gruff Lord: You might consider that while all that good stuff was *delivered* to the work house or poorhouse, that none or very little of the good stuff actually got to the kids. That is how corruption usually works, you know. According to the "records" the officials will keep, all the good stuff was delivered and then fed to the kids. According to reality, all the good stuff was delivered to the place, and the officials sold it on the black market for a profit and put the money in their pockets. Which makes sense to you? The rosy glasses version, or the much more 21st (or 17th or 18th) century version. Nothing's changed. Same pigs masquerading as "officials" doing the same old shit. Hmmmmphn.
Dickens knew what he was talking about.