nutritionists and onion gruel

The shifts and strategems of nutrition experts have provided one of the recurring amusements of the past thirty or so years:

 

  We ought to take more vitamins, We’re taking too many vitamins. Milk is the aqua vitae. Milk is a killer. Potatoes are good for you. No they’re bad. No, they’re good after all. Why bother with food – we can nourish you better and more scientifically (whatever that means) by pills and tonics. Tonics are unnecessary, pills are harmful, what you need is natural food.
Well, no claims for beef tea of onion gruel have been made for a long time, but I will risk saying that, when you feel wan and peevish about food, beef tea will go down agreeably. If you are are suffering from a feverish cold, a boil in an awkward spot, pink eye or any other of those minor ailments that together with the awful weather make you wish you were dead, onion gruel will warm, console and affirm your status as a martyr. Neither can harm you.’

Georgina Horley, Good Food on a Budget

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