Via Slate: Fried, Fatty & Sugary Are Hurting Our Armed Forces

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Two years into the Revolutionary War, a surgeon general in the Continental Army issued a pamphlet on nutrition. "The diet of soldiers should consist chiefly of vegetables," Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote in Directions for Preserving the Health of Soldiers. "The nature of their duty, as well as their former habits of life, require it." Directions' counsel sounds thoroughly modern, like advice from good-food crusaders, Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman—and it probably fell on deaf ears. It was routine, in Rush's time, for soldiers to consume a "pound or two of flesh in a day."

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Taylor Harkey