Saturday, February 21, 2004

enchanting salads

Reading Blainey I came across a reference to Dr Philip E Muskett, surgeon superintendant in Sydney, "the evangelist for healthy food' who advocated salads, wine, tea-lessness and walking. The name rang a bell and I recalled seeing his The Art of Living in Australia of 1909 among the treasures at Harvest Fields (via J Walk)

See Chapter XI On Salads; Salad Plants and Herbs; And Salad Making

The late gifted George Dallas did not go too far when he asserted that a salad was not merely food, but that it had also an exhilarating effect and a distinct action upon the nervous system, which was immensely agreeable and acted like a spell.

As well as enchanting, proper regard for salads might raise the consciousness:

...I must disclaim any desire to pose as a "faddist."... Instead, therefore... I shall content myself with a few remarks on the art of living. By far the greater number of people pay too little attention to the present, and imperil their happiness with the hope that at some future period, when they will have put a little together, they will be enabled to thoroughly lay themselves out for enjoyment. But in the vast majority of cases these halcyon days never arrive, or, if they do, it is more than probable the health is undermined by the neglect of those very matters which should form part and parcel of one's daily existence. It is the exact parallel to a man hurrying through many fields and parks and gardens for the purpose of enjoying, from some high eminence, the scene through which he has passed. In his desperate haste to attain his object he disregards all that is beautiful and interesting, only to find that his travelling is nearly over, and that his steps cannot be retraced. On the other hand, a far more philosophic frame of mind belongs to him who, as he proceeds onwards through life's journey, gets a rational enjoyment out of his existence, so that his days pass pleasantly and his health receives the consideration it deserves. It will appear somewhat mundane in this connection to assert that the latter and, therefore, happiness are to a great extent dependent upon the mode of living, but nevertheless it is absolutely true, and thus it is that I come back to the quotation at the beginning of this chapter-- "A salad is a delicacy which the poorest of us ought always to command

Just off for a saunter up to Coles to acquire a lettuce and a bottle of wine. That should kill 1 km off my daily 10 km walking requirement in these vegetative tealess non-salad days.

Comments: enchanting salads

Absolutely! But I have to disagree with the tealess aspect. Tea, it has recently been pointed out, contains antioxidants. How else do you explain all these octogenarians who grew up in the 20s onwards, with all the crap they ate -- dripping, puddings, meat with everything?
Posted by Helen at February 21, 2004 08:12 PM

Yes I agree and I lament my recent tea-lessness, given the undoubted health benefits.
Strangely Dr. M had it in for tea though,and it does seem to be the only flaw in his otherwise quite modern outlook on nutrition.

"The gentler sex are greatly given to extravagant tea-drinking, exceeding all bounds of moderation in this respect."
and -
"Now, if there is anything of which I am certain, it is that tea in the middle of the day, say from ten o'clock to three, is a deadly destructive fluid"
That gives me six minutes to make a quick brew - a six minute swill. ;)
Posted by boynton at February 22, 2004 09:53 AM

It's an old Greek insight that has been forgotten.
'Happiness depends upon the mode of living.'

However, many are re-discoverering it.
The big seachange thing is a rejection of the market mode of life:
---its too stressful;
----playing hard as a way to unwind from working hard is not very fulfilling;
--acquiring lots of material goods does not equal happiness.

Then again, it all depends on what we mean by happiness.

The old Greek insight that it is a flourishing life has been lost as happiness now means the satisfactions of one's desires--'maximising ones utility' as the economists put it.

And away we go again
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at February 22, 2004 08:34 PM

Just saw 'Compass' on "down-sizing" which profiled four examples of people who have tried to resist that market mode. Was rather uplifting.
I've never had much to downsize, but I did enjoy the moment tonight walking the dogs through the park. The colours were incredibly sharp.
Posted by boynton at February 22, 2004 11:21 PM

No comments: