Page images

Chairman HATCH. We have been favored this morning with the presence of some ladies, and we would very much like to have them indicate their views on matters under consideration.

Miss VERA MCCREA (Dairymen's League, New York City). I have been very much interested in this discussion. I would like to say that I think, as extension workers, we sometimes fail to take the time, perhaps, to get over the real purpose of our work. I think sometimes we become so absorbed in finding the bacterial count in milk that we fail to see the real purpose of all the educational work that we are doing.

I think the problem is with us, as everywhere, how to make the consumer understand the value of the higher standards which we are trying to establish with the producer, and I certainly would be very glad to know how that is being worked out in some of the other States.

Chairman HATCH. What is your further pleasure?
Professor MORTENSEN. I move that we adjourn.


Chairman, J. H. FRANDSEN, editor in chief, The Journal of Dairy Science, and dairy editor, Capper Farm Press.


Syracuse, N. Y., Friday, October 5, 1923—1.30 p.m.

An informal meeting was called by the chairman for the purpose of devising some method for the systematic exchange of abstracts of scientific work between publications of the United States and those of foreign countries. The discussions centered largely around the methods of preparing abstracts and research papers. Professor Porcher, of France, outlined very completely his idea of the material which should be included in an abstract, and discussed the difficulty encountered by editors of scientific journals in endeavoring to have the papers published in a uniform manner and in limiting them to the necessary length. It often becomes necessary for him to send papers back to the authors with instructions to reduce them to a certain number of pages. He admired the American method of presenting a summary or conclusions at the end of a paper, but cautioned against drawing conclusions that were not justified by the results. He expressed a willingness to exchange abstracts, but desired that they be prepared in the same conscientious manner in which he prepares them. The length of abstracts should, in general, be governed by the importance of the paper. He suggested summarizing the paper in preparing the abstract and then having the abstractor give his personal opinion of the article. The editor, or his collaborators, would prepare the abstract and the editor himself would finally be responsible for the material contained in it.

Those participating in the discussion generally agreed with Professor Porcher's suggestions, but also mentioned some of the difficulties involved in carrying out the suggestions.



The following persons attended the conference: Prof. Dr. Ch. Porcher, editor in chief, Le Lait, Lyons, France; Prof. L. Landre. Syracuse University; Mrs. Moore, National Health Magazine. Chicago, Ill.; A. W. Hopkins, agricultural editor, University of Wis consin, Madison, Wis.; Prof. R. C. Fisher, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Storrs, Conn.; C. E. Williams, Williams & Wilkins, publishers, Baltimore, Md.; R. C. Hibben, Ice Cream Trade Journal, New York City; J. H. Frandsen, Journal of Dairy Science and Capper Farm Press, Lincoln, Nebr.; Dr. C. Longobardi, International Institute of Agriculture, Rome, Italy; H. E. O. Heinemann. Creamery and Milk Plant Monthly, Chicago, Ill.; G. Haines, Experiment Station Record, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.


Honorary chairman, Dr. J. M. HAMILL, medical officer, Ministry of Health. London.

Chairman, Dr. H. S. CUMMING, Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service.

Secretary, GEORGE C. WHITE, professor of dairy husbandry, Connecticut Agricultural College.


Syracuse, N. Y., Saturday, October 6, 1923-9.30 a. m. Chairman CUMMING. I am intensely interested in this movement, which is one of the greatest aids to public health, not only in the United States but in the world. While there is a difference of opinion as to just what particular factors improve the public health of the Nation, there is no doubt that food is absolutely essential. The Public Health Service has for many years been studying milk particularly. First we began studying the effect of Pasteurization. Later we began to teach the public of the South to use milk as one of the principal factors in eliminating pellagra. So I am particularly grateful for the opportunity of meeting with you to-day.

I want, first, to introduce the honorary chairman, Dr. J. M. Hamill, of the Public Health Service, of London, who has been carrying on this work for many years. As I recollect, he first began to study the use of bread and later studied milk.

The first speaker to-day is one who hardly needs any introduction here or abroad, Dr. E. V. McCollum, of Johns Hopkins University, I think it is particularly appropriate that he should speak here this morning, because my recollection is that he began his work with the study of the proper food for cattle. Later on, as you know, he took up his work at Johns Hopkins University. [Applause.]


ELMER VERNER MCCOLLUM, Ph. D., Sc. D., professor, School of Hygiene, Johns Hopkins University, with HELEN T. PARSONS and ETHEL KALMBACH Collaborating, Baltimore.

In utilizing the results of nutrition studies on animals in interpreting human nutrition problems and their solution, the question of how far the results obtained with animals are applicable to the human being is a serious one. The period of growth in the human species is extraordinarily long as compared with that of the young of any mammals among the lower animals. This long period of youth doubtless is a factor of safety, since the opportunity for recovery from faulty nutrition at any time during early life is relatively great, because of the long time interval during which growth is possible.

We may reasonably set as our standard of optimal well-being in animals, uninterrupted growth to the full adult size, high fertility. low infant mortality, perfection of the bones and teeth, and the ability to resist infections and to reach advanced chronological age before senile characters appear. With such standards as a basis of judgment regarding quality of foods, we are justified in the generalization, on the basis of very numerous experimental results from many sources, that, for domestic animals, such as swine or rats, it is not possible to obtain optimal nutrition on any diet, the selection of which is restricted to cereal grains, such as wheat, corn, rice, etc.: the legume seeds, such as peas and beans; tubers and roots, such as the potato, sweet potato, radish, turnip, beet, and carrot; and muscle meats, such as beefsteak. With any diet, restricted to these sources, in which highly refined cereal products, sugar, molasses, or other nearly pure carbohydrates, find a prominent place, the results to be expected in animal experiments will be less satisfactory than where these manufactured foods are replaced by their equivalent in whole cereals, and other vegetables of the types enumerated.

An inspection of the types of diets on which mankind has long subsisted in various parts of the world seems to justify laying special emphasis upon two types of human dietaries. One is employed by approximately half of the human race in the wettest parts of the world, where rice is the cereal grain and where, owing to the great density of human population, animal industry can scarcely be said to exist. I refer to southern and eastern Asia. Here the diet differs from the typical American diet of the present day mainly in two respects. These people never had in historical times appreciable amounts of dairy products. They do. however, eat very large amounts, as compared with the people of the United States, of that class of vegetables of which the leaves are eatable. The other type of diet referred to is that of people in the more arid regions of the world where farming yields little return, but where human beings can subsist in great measure through conversion of the pasturage into human food through the agency of domestic animals. Such people subsist in great measure upon sour milk, curds, butter, and meat. with moderate amounts of vegetable food. In both of these regions physical perfection appears to be distinctly greater than that which is achieved by people in the United States of the present generation. Animal experimental studies have shown that milk and leaves of plants occupy a unique position among our available foodstuffs, in that they are so constituted as to correct, when suitable amounts are included in the diet, the defects of cereals, tubers, roots, and meats. For this reason it was suggested five years ago that they be distinguished by the term "protective foods."

It is unnecessary to dwell upon the specific nature of the deficiencies of each of our more important natural foods, but it may be said that in general there is a marked tendency of the diet of the average American of to-day to be deficient in the element calcium, to be somewhat overrich in phosphorus in proportion to the amount of calcium it contains, to be deficient in the vitamin A, and in some cases in the vitamin C, as well as the antirachitic principle associated with certain fats, the vitamin D. Numerous experimental studies with animals have established the remarkable value as supplementary

foods of either milk or leaves. This is one of the well-established facts in animal husbandry.

With such information available we sought five years ago an opportunity to test on human beings how far the principles established in animal experiments would apply to the nutrition of children. With that end in view, we visited a considerable number of institutions where young children were being cared for, in order to discover if possible a group of children who, because of poverty or lack of knowledge on the part of those responsible for their care, were being fed a diet which I suspected to be inadequate for the promotion of growth or the maintenance of well-being. This search was rewarded. by the discovery of an institution in which there were 236 negro children ranging in age from early infancy to 12 years, whose environment and food supply left little to be desired in relation to our objective. They were housed in a building of as good construction as one could desire. It was well ventilated, had good toilet facilities, sun porches where the children were instructed in bad weather, and about 10 acres of ground, partly woodland, where they could play out of doors in pleasant weather. Those in charge of the institution had the best possible attitude toward the welfare of the children, but the financial resources of the institution were meager. A casual inspection of the children in this orphanage showed that severe malnutrition existed in most of them. It appeared that if these children were actually suffering from malnutrition, the cause was probably due to the quality of their diet. Accordingly an opportunity was sought to improve the quality of the diet of these children in order to observe the extent to which they would respond in growth and well-being. Happily this opportunity was granted, and a demonstration was undertaken with such funds as could be secured.

On ethical grounds it is not permissible deliberately to subject children to diets whose quality is suspected of being unsatisfactory, but it is not only permissible but commendable to improve the dietary of children who are, for reasons of poverty or lack of knowledge, being subjected to conditions inimical to their development. The demonstration which it was desired to make involved a considerable expenditure of funds. It was also desirable not to interfere to any considerable extent with the daily routine of the institution. These were both factors of great importance in determining upon the measures which should be taken to gain the information desired.

In 1919, 84 children between the ages of 4 and 10 years were selected for the study. The only basis of rejection was the obvious presence of syphilis. A considerable number of the children were believed to be tubercular. Many showed deformities characteristic of rickets. Since it was of the utmost importance to interfere with the daily routine of the institution as little as possible, and because of inadequate facilities in the kitchen, it was deemed inadvisable to attempt any additional cookery in connection with the demonstration. These 84 children were weighed, measured, and photographed without their clothing. Their ages were in practically all cases accurately known. This examination confirmed the conclusion that malnutrition of severe grade was widespread among the children. 77612-24 -28

« PreviousContinue »