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Foods Of The Foreign Born In Relation To Health, By Bertha M. Cooke

1273 words - 5 pages

Foods of the Foreign Born in Relation to Health is a cookbook written by dietician Bertha M. Cooke. It was written as a guide for people that immigrated from Europe and other countries into the United States during the 19th Century. Derived from an Americanization study done by The Carnegie Corporation, Cooke dives into the world of understanding foreign cultures through, “studying people in relation to their diets.” Foods of the Foreign Born does draw attention to the cultural differences of immigrants moving into the United States during the 1920s while also focusing on the dietary needs and social characteristics associated with the integration of these immigrants into American society.
It was often difficult for immigrants to adjust to a new American way of life. Cooke talks about how much easier it was for American dietitians, medical personnel, etc. to learn foreign foods and adapt, then for foreigners to adjust their finances and lives overall for a new diet. American teachers and physicians, and others agreed with this concept of “Americanization”, or the unification of new with native-born Americans. On the other hand at another point when still talking about the dietary backgrounds Author Cooke says, “There is no one to tell them which of theirs to keep, and which of this country’s to adopt, or how to prepare them. They are probably more willing on their arrival than they will be at any later time to accept American help and suggestions.” Even foreigners themselves may have felt like they needed help fitting in as a new citizen in the United States. Shown by the way the authors assumed that at the time when people were newest to the United States, is when they would be willing to accept the most help. The point of this cookbook is to influence people of different cultures and to help them assimilate into American society, and with American help new-foreigners realized they were able to be even more successful in doing that.
As author Cooke continues to speak about dietary backgrounds she says, “If they have come from countries in which the climate is very different from this, they make no change in diet; or if their occupation here is more strenuous or less taxing, they do not take this into consideration. They have always eaten certain kinds of foods, prepared in certain ways. Why change?” Because they are foreign it was of course troubling for people immigrating into the United States in the 19th century. Just because they moved their “home” to a whole new country, it didn’t seem like it was as important to foreigners to change a lot of their lifestyle, including what they ate. The main reason why this cookbook was written, basically as manual to improve the eating habits of immigrants, was at one point not seen as a necessary change by immigrants themselves in order to be able to assimilate into American society. At another point in the cookbook the topic of the influenza epidemic of 1918 is addressed, “ Gallons of American...

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