1880 article about food adulteration

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1880 article about food adulteration - OUR FOOD AND DRINK. The Dangers of...
OUR FOOD AND DRINK. The Dangers of AdulterationThe Basiness It Gives to the Doctors and Undertakers. flow to Detect and Prevent Adulteration of Food and Drink. A Sketch of a Proper LawBy Dn. O. W. Wight, of LIUwaukee. 'sleuth, like a torch. the more Its shook it libelee" hi discussiug adulteration of food and drink. the best way is to tell the truth about the subieets or so much of the trutleas one happens to know. Any exaggeration of statement, with the mistaken view of arousing public attention to an Increasing evil, only alarms the innocent, while it produces no effect upon the guilty. An attempt to atlas public fear, by making light of a reel danger, only Increasee the apathy of the many, while giving prolouged security to the avarice Of a few. It cannot be expected that a mere essay will add anytbing to the knowledge already stored up for us by HaFsall, Letheby, Myth, Cameron, es, Edward Smith, Naquet, Soubeiran, HueWanklyn, Thudichum, anti Dupre, Fox, eormandv, Parkee, and others, whose works are within reach of all who wish to give especiai attention to the subject. Tile thing is to ait t ou a way whereby, .with the powerful aid pn of the governing agency, the evil may be arrested. VSUAL ADULTERATIONS Olt FOOD AND DRINK. Donerreus AdidterationsLead in canned yegetabies and meat; corrosive sublimate in the rind of cheese (used to destroy " skippers"); poisonous colors (such as arscnite of copper and caroteate of lead) in candy and confectionery or caustic lime in lard; analine colors in fruit jellies, preserves. sausage, and wine; salts of Milli sugar; CoCCUltiti indicus anti tobacco in beer and ale; salts of copper in pickles; and sulphuric acid in vinegar, are adulterations of food and drink in this country, which are even dangerous to life. Their use should be prohibited under severe penalties. Deleterious AdalterationsAll of the adulterations mentioned above, even when in too small quantities to be dangerous, are also deleterious orinjurious to health. Alum in bread and in belong-Powder; copper in butter; artificial esseaces in candy and confectionery; oxide of Iron in cocoa and chocolate; alum in flour; red lead in cayenne pepper; spirits of turpentine In gin; chromate of lead in mustard; water in milk by depriving infants of nutrition); crude brandy and " platrage " in wine: red ferruginous earths in annotto; red lead in currie powder; 'sulphuric acid in glucose simple lead in citier;., Pruselan blue, black lead, and salts of copper in tea; sulphuric acid, alum. aloes, and picric acid in beer; and some other deleterious adulterations of the food and drink of man, are wet with in this country more or less frequently. It is an impossibility to measure the amount of injury thereby caused to the public health. Doubtless some of them turn the scales of life and death against delicate infants and invalids, which fact might be a suflicient reaeon for transferring them to the list of dangerous. Fraudulent Adetterntiona--The object of dangerous and deleterious adulterations is gain, sad they may therefore be reckoned also among the fraudulent- Sago. tapioca, potato. and other fecula In arrowroot; soap, sulphate of lime. and all sortsof starch in annotto; mustard husks in allspice; water. burnt sugar, etc., in brandy; potatoes, inferior hour. etc:. in bread; lard, tallow, water, starch, and oleomargarine in butter; vermilion, venetian red. ground rice, and tumeric in cayenne; excess of water in canned vegetables and meat; annottce other coloring matters, oleomargarine, and "vacuity of cream," in cheese; glucose in candy and confectionery; corn starch, sago, tapioca. animal matter. and cheaper rinds of arrowroot in cocoa and cimeolate; chicory, burnt sugar. and roasted peas in coffee; ground rice in currie powder; salt and sugar in gelatine; tumeric, cayenne, and mustard in wround ginger; flour. glucose, and cane sugar in honey ; gelatine in isinglass; starch, stearinte salt, and potato in lard; flour, turmeric, cayenne, and yellow lakes in mustard; turnip in horse-radish; apples, pumpkins, and moliteseti in preserves; linseed meal. different flours, ship bread, and mustard husks in pepper; potato starch in sago: water, cayenne, burnt sugar, see., in rum; rice flour, sand. and glucose in sugar; molasses, cochineal, armentan bole, and Other coloring matters in various sauces; tour and starch in spices; sand, magnetic oxide of iron, spent leaves. and foreign leaves in tea; arrowroot and clove stalks in cloves; ship bread In pimento; spent bark in cinnamon: water and burnt sugar in vinegar; molasses, water, and salt In porter and stout; glycerine in beer; and things Innumerable in liquors and wines, are adulterations that touch the economy of every house- hold. if they do not bring a visitation of the doctor, and involve the services of an undertaker. MC meeker OP THESE ADULTERATIONS ON . HEALTH AND TRADE. On HealthFrom dangerous adulteration a few die. Deleterious adulterations cause or intensify the ill-health of many. It is not necesvary to translate into popular language long Chapters from the National Pharmacoptela, from a treatise on mated ia medica and therapeutics, from a standard work on toxicology, or from an autherative system of medicine, in a vain attempt to estimate, even approximately, the Dumber of deaths and the amount of sickness caused by adulterations of food and drink. The articloe used in adulteration are known, and the effects of such articles when taken into the human body are known. Other essential factors, quantity employed, percentage of admixture, chemical modifications by culinary processes, liable) of individuals, etc., are unknown, and tontletive generalizations become Impossible. Speculation in the midst of Such chaos tends, on the one band. to sonde Lionel exaggeration, and, on the other band, to belittle a real public danger. Here, as elsewhere, the true scientist awaits facts an avoids alike the creation of a public panic or the infusion of a false sense of public security. 04 Trades-it is not necessary that mankind should eat and drink things dangerous to life and injurious to health that trade may flourish. In fact, trade flourishes best under a policy of honesty. Tradesmen and the community are mutually responsible for the evils of adulteration. The people greedily ask for cheap and attractive goods. The supply adapts itself with measureless cunning to the demand. One more enscrupulous than the rest attracts customers by colors that do not reveal to ignorance the Poison lurking within. Others must follow hia example or retire from the field. A daring deal- triantates the flavor of a genuine article by a th eaper mixture, and his neighbors must follow suit although they may know that they are scattering the seeds of sicknesa among the uneon- SCou find s The greater part of mankind the rl uggle to obtain the necessities of life so hard that any apparent Opportunity to economize is al Rerly seized. Purveyors of food and drink uteuPete with each other, not only by reduction ojerolit, but by cheapening quality. He who re- du ces quality most in reality and least in appear- on (can win in the great battle of the "survival of tannest." Human ingenuity is taxed to the est; the whole earth is explored to obtain and Put to use the means of success. Men have to raine to look upon fraudulent adulteration as et mendable enterprise. injurious adultera- Lnadieda winked an at by most. Necessity of trade is n excuse for dangerous adulteration. even when its prevalence is deplored. The Mutual concealments and deceptions of produc- t te aiand consumers tend to educate the public in dishonest neighbor The heart of man is hardened timber weom be cheats, and the eonscience is deadened wheu gain is secured at the .i.atienseot another's health or life. As the t of w el om merlie would not be diminished by lu Venation, it Is very evident that the net residue of the practice is to corrupt and tie erase trade, without increasing its profits. ansildicmh merchants g:(.1):ister portion of the manufacturers of food and drink would prefer to make and handle genuine goods, if they were not driven to an opposit course by the unscru- liellousnesa of a,ears a few. When people learn that a worth of a pure article is more valu btu than three-fourths of the same quantity ween mixed with ever so much useless) Iniuriouleor densterous foreign material, me s t producers are restrained by the iii t;euea may of well administered and just law, expect to see trade become the l'n'us ote ee r something better than material civ- za le eon. Repu 0. twuOti for integrity is even now ueqou thusl value with capital in trade. And the honest tis first establishes a character for will reap a rich harvest of profit le the worla's au? Ili commerce. OF DFTECTING AND PREVENTING ADULTIERATLONS. 13dectin0Severa1 means of detecting adul- zirtios nseihould be combined. (1) The People ,,7Ye wisely instructed as to the existence, ""dc'tuyTood and extent of the adulterations of their and drink. The wise way of instructing the People is to tell them the exact truth, the whole truth, alad nothing but the truth. Ille Press of this country is ever ready to pub- illibtite,iroluteresting facts without price. There are , at Individuals in every community who nue facts to give to local newspa- reell e and Periodicals for the public. e. taggerations of sicioliste and charlatan -'cicinuers, and of constitutional alarmists, are Fee avoided if possible; also, the denials of ad erestee 00Parties, and the vemtl pleading of the s treuv a tee of corrupt commerce. With the nutso of the people as a disinterested jury D'uo Mee twe forces will finally neutralize each t; bases.. interest of truth. Valuable " tb Uta subieot of adulteration of food and drink have already been written, and are in the bands of a large number of co-workers. Popular books. by well-informed and sober-minded teachers of the people, written so its to attract as wed as to instruct the rnasses, are greatly needed. (2) The medical profession, already aroused to the importance cif preveutitive mediciee, are beginning to impart needed information on this subject to the people in a multitanie of homes. Their teaching is daily becoining wiser, being grounded in more ample knowledge. The profession, whose words are authoritative in so many households, will in time break the bread of sanitary life to such a number as will constitute an all-powerful peblie opinion. (3) National. State, and municipal Boards of Health are nut only giving sober information on this subject to the People. but are training communities to cooperate in the administration of sanitary law. The work of such Boards is lull of promise for the future. (a) Detection of nitulteration in special cases must depend upon skilled chemists and trained microectipista. Of course it is not neceesary to repeat here processea and methods found in every text-book. Spectrum analysis will aiso in time play an important part. ife Government has already done something incidentally for the detection of aduiterauon by providing for the organization of Beards of Health, and by appropriations for special investigations. Sustained by enlightened etiblic opinion, it will do more in the future. (6) The tide, once turned, trade - itsel; will turn detective and contribute its exDerience in exposing adulterations that have brought reproach upon it and stand in the way of its higher progress. PreventingThe preceding paragraph indicates the Illeat14 of preventing, as well us detecting, adulteretions. Enlightenment of the people on the subject is likely to increase the demand for pure articles of food and drink. Increased supply is sure to follow. Iletuthy puelic Opinion thus formed will also sustain comprehensive measures of legislation. In time, the adulteration of the daily bread" of man will become infamous. and the practice will cease. except as an oceasional crime. against the organic coinnntni y. called the State, to be punishai by law. Hand in band with the healthy growth of public Opinion, Government must do its part by the en- actinent and execution ot appropriate statutes. DRAFT OF A FOOD-ADULTERATION ACT. Accompanying this essay are two bills to prevent adulteration of food and drink: - one for Congress, the other for State Legislatures. The two bills are identical in substance. They may be regarded as one measure. This measure has been designed as ideal in character, but as embodying the views herein expressed. As Aristotle long ago said, It is not the duty of the legislator to enact the absolutely good, but so much of the good as men can be induced to accept." Lord Macaulay expressed nearly the same thing in his crisp phrase: "Statesmanship is the science of exigencies." The people will sustain a measure to prevent manufacturers and dealers from robbing them by putting things useless, injurious, or dangerous in their food and drink. The proposed measure is not at all in the nature of a sumptuary law. It would deprive no man of personal liberty. It is not inquisitoey in its provisions.- It does not propose to interfere with any legitimate business. No special machinery is provided for its execution. Existing courts and prosecuting officers would suffice for its enforcement. It is sufficiently general to reach any case needing prosecution. The penalty for causing death by poisonous adulteration is properly severe. The penalty for endangering life by poisonorts adulteration is meant to be adequate. Serious injury to, or eudangering of, the health of a human being is construed as a crime, for which an adequate penalty is provided. Swindling by adulterations to enhance price, but not injurious to health or dangerous to life, is provided against by requiring trade to label its spurious goods. The punishment is madowholly pecuniary and sufficiently strong to prevent the ordinary profits of fraud from " buying out the law " by voluntary payments of lines. Additional sateguards are provided by outlawing, as it were, poisoned goods, and making them -contraband of commerce." A provision lor the contiscatiou of distestiest goods is designed to prevent combinations to override the law by the magnitude of transactions. In short. the measure attempts to carry the recognized principles of the crim' inal law into the realm of adulteration of food and drink. If public opinion is ripe to sustain the law, there wilt be no more difficulty in executing it than is now experienced in prosecutbag murder, arson, burglary, theft. etc. A very few just convictions under it, a few seizures and destruction of contraband goods, would make adulterations of food and drink things of the past. Honest manufacturers and merchants would rejoice in the removal of the greatest barrier to honorable trade. Increased productive energy would be developed among the people by increased health. The Nation would be exalted, and merchandise shipped from her ports would everywhere bear an inviting guarantee of genuineuess. EARLY DAYS. TILE The Flabing and Hunting In Chicago Forty-five Years Ago. To the Editor of The Chicago Tribune. Cameo, Dec. 1.I am so frequently asked about the fishing and hunting around Chicago at an early day that I will write down a few notes for general information. The fishing in both branches of the river was very rood, better than in the main branch, from the forks to the lake, owing probably to the " settlement " along it. Among the noted fish 1- spearers " in 1833-'4-'5 were Capt. Luther Nichols, who came here as a soldier from Fort Niagara with Scott's army In 18;,P2, and who " still lives " at 106 South Peoria street. He was very fond of going up the North Branch at night to spear fish with a jack " in the bow of the boat to light the way and the bottom of the river, which was much shallower than the South Branch, and up which the fish swarmed on the way to their spawning beds far up the stream. There was an obstruction or dam some distance up. about two feet in bight. below which the tish would collect,preparatory to a jump over. This was a great place for spearing all kinds of fish. Muscalonge of from twenty-live to torty pounds were not infrequent. The Captain tells me that the largest be ever caught -weighed forty-two pounds. Charles Cleaver, of Cleaverville, also was an adept at the sport in 1833-4-'5. His largest weighed thirty-eight pounds. David McKee also was very successful. 1 have not interviewed him (as he lives in the country), but will endeavor so to do. In company with Dock John T. Scruple (father-in-law of the lion. Thomas Hoyne) and Edward W. Casey, a prominent lawyer of the village in 1834, I used frequently to go up the North Branch fishing. It was simply immense when the signs were right,that is. never go "a-angling" in any water, salt or fresh. when there is an east wind. South-southwest to northwest are the best breezes,the opposit the worst. Pickerel, pike, silver, black, and rock bass, sun and cat fish were the most common varieties; perch also at an early day. There were very few perch in the lake, as there were no piers to shelter them. Now. almost everybody knows just bow it is themselves. "The garrison" had a seine, and caught "lots et fish' just inside the mouth of the river, which then emptied into the lake at the foot of Madison street. Dexter Graves (father of Henry and Mrs. E. Ii. Hadduck) had the next seine that 1 remember, and used to draw it north of the North Pier, for whitefish, very successfully at times. They keep farther. off , shore now than formerly all around the lake, owing to being disturbed by passing vesseLin noitse on shore, and unclean water being carried along it from the deferent cities. A famous place for hauling the seine was opposit the Fort, across the River on the North Side. In cornmencing the North Pier it was begun at the edge of the lake. A crib filled with looae stone was thrown across the river from the main shore to the sand-bar on the South Side, and this forced most of the water between the baby piers into the lake. On this bar the " hauls " at times were prodigious. In the Chicago Democrat in the spring of 1836 mention is made of Mr.Graves catching two sturgeon at the forks of the river, among other fish. weighing nearly 100 pounds each. Fishing was also good up the South Branch at Hardscrabble" (Bridgeport now) and in that vicinity, both with net and line. The next net that I remember was owned by D. B. Heartt, called Pop Corn Heartt.' as be peddled a superior article of that grain calcined by himself, and divided his time between the two employments. Ezra L. Sherman, Esq. ' now of Riverside, was a joint owner In this net, furnishing the twine, Mr. Heartt and boys netting it by hand into meshes. Mr. Sherman, however, did not long remain a partner, having been appointed Teller in the Branch of the Illinois State Bank at Chicago. The foregoing conveys a slight idea of the fishing in Chicago at an early day. I will write it out together with the hunting in book form in detail early in the winter, as I have the notes fully prepared from which 1 have published some thirty articles in various papers at different times. THE IttitTista was equally as good as the fishing far within the present limits of the city. We used to begin shooting prairie chickens igrouse) about where Halsted street now is, and by taking one road Out as tar as "the Widow Barry's " (who kept a tavern on the ridge), and following another in, about a half a mile apart,we could always in the season in the fall wet a supply, say from thirty to sixty the trip,two of us in a buggy, with a "smelling dog, a8 the Hoosiers used to call them, and for whom they bad a supreme contempt, as well as the "setter curs." They used the rule alone themselves. We had some excellent dogs at an early day. Few of them, it is true, as there were but few sportsmen, indeed few people ot any kind except " the garrison " and the Indians. Mind you, reinter, that there were few or no turkeys or chickens for sale in those days. and living all the time on fried pork and beefsteak, potatoes, and hot biscuit became monotonous and unhealthy, and for chickens we substituted grouse, and for turkeys sand-hill cranes, a much better bird when in season. Ask Uncle Jimmy Couch if he remembers ever serving up at the first Tremont a new kind of turkey discovered upon the prairie? Our dogs generally came from England via Canada. The English were the first foreigners that came to Chicago in any number after the French. Later the Irish. then the Germans, Scandinavians. etc. Some of our clergymen hunted in those days. The Rev. Isaac W. - Hallam, the first Episcopal clergyman oL Chicago, was fond of shooting prairie chicken& and equally fond of

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  1. Chicago Tribune,
  2. 11 Dec 1880, Sat,
  3. Page 11

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