What statistics I have received go to show that all over India except in the Punjab, the articles of diet the masses live on are deficient in nutritive value.
The most helpful pamphlet on the minimum diet scale is the one prepared by
Dr. H.V. Tilak, on behalf of the Bombay Presidency Baby and Health Week
Association (Delisle Road, Bombay-11). It is called Balanced Diets. Its
price is 4 annas. It has been translated in Marathi and Gujarati. The
diet recommended by the pamphlet, containing a variety of whole grain
(some of which is sprouted) including soya beans, dried skim milk and
vegetables, increases a white rat to 55 grammes in weight from 13
grammes when fed on a diet containing an excess of highly polished rice
with very little vegetables and milk. The diet scale recommended in the
pamphlet has been prepared after careful experimentation. It costs in
Bombay Rs. 5/- per month. I have my doubts about the possibility of
introducing soya beans and dried skim milk in the poor man's diet even
in a place like Bombay. The sprouting of pulses and malting of jowari
recommended by Dr. Tilak is also very difficult of enforcement in
private households. It is almost impossible of introduction in villages.
Skim milk is unobtainable in the villages, and I know that in hundreds
of them not a drop of fresh milk or good ghee is to be had. I mention
these difficulties in order that taking Dr. Tilak's carefully prepared
scale as a basis, experts may work out a scale more suited to the
villages in their provinces and yet produce the results that Dr. Tilak's
diet is claimed to have achieved.