Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/677

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
659
SCIENTIFIC COOKING.

the probable for her to save a member of her family from even the possibility of any form of insanity, would not devote months, even years, to the study of those principles and conditions of life by which robust health may be maintained? It should not be understood that I would imply that bad food is the cause of insanity, but it can be said that we have sufficient proof to lead us to believe that many cases of insanity might have been prevented had the individuals been properly nourished; of course, it must be borne in mind that this means not only the eating of proper food, but its proper and normal assimilation in the body.

It is woman's province to control and manage the household. Whether she does it wisely or unwisely rests with herself. No one else can absolutely fill her place. She should, therefore, study the phases of home affairs with the same application and assiduity that she would give to a difficult problem, which may require weeks, months, even years, to work out, but which in the end must be solved.

A man enters the arena of business with the full purpose of being master of whatever he undertakes. He knows that he must succeed. Reputation, social position, comfort, progress, the happiness of his family, even life itself, may depend upon his efforts. If woman would feel the same responsibility in regard to her home—that she must succeed in making it a peaceable, healthgiving, moral-giving abode, and would never waver until she had accomplished it—we should reach a state of advancement in the understanding of life which, except among some in the cultured classes, is not general to-day. I do not maintain that the study of household science will enable woman to do all this, but such study will help greatly, perhaps more than anything else, toward that end. It is one of the important factors in that result, and if for no other reason than that it will make life for women in the performance of their household duties pleasanter, more satisfactory, sweeter, easier, it is more than worth trying. To work in the dark is ever perplexing; to work in the light of intelligent understanding is one form of happiness.

The study of household science, taken in its full and broad sense, leads into boundless fields of research. The phenomenon of heat, the currents of the air, the life and chemical nature of the products of the earth, the mysterious and complex processes of nutrition, fall almost without mention into such work; the sciences of chemistry, physiology, and bacteriology are its foundation stones; in fact, whatever bears upon the physical life of man is included in it.

Now let us consider by what means the women of to-day and of the future may obtain a scientific education in household af-