As today's menu was selected by me with some careful thought, and especially with a view to the needs of village workers, I must speak to you about it at some length. The idea was to provide you with food, nourishing and yet within the means of an average villager and within the possibility of an eight hours' minimum wage as we have fixed it, i.e., 3 annas.
We were 98 diners today and the total cost of our food was Rs. 9-14-3, which means that each meal cost slightly more than 6 pice. Here are the details:
|36||lb. Wheat Flour||1||8||0|
|24||„ Red Gourd||0||7||6|
|6||„ Linseed Oil||1||2||0|
|4||„ Soya Beans||.0||6||0|
|Tamarind & Salt.||0||2||3|
Milk is an essential article of diet. Your menu contained half a pound of milk, but you must have seen that I gave you no ghee. I hope, however, that you did not miss it. For I gave you soya beans and oil. Soya beans are rich in oil (20 per cent) and proteins (40 per cent). Groundnuts also are rich in oil, but they have the disadvantage of containing too much starch from which soya beans are comparatively free. Milk with soya beans gives us almost all that we need in the shape of fats and there is no need for ghee at all. Why then go to all the wasteful trouble of making ghee? And where procuring good ghee is a doubtful proposition, why have spurious ghee? But milk or butter-milk we ought to have, no matter how little. Medical men say that it helps in the assimilation of the vegetable fats and proteins. Therefore ghee you can omit with impunity. I had recently two little children under my care whose diet I carefully regulated. I cut out ghee from it and found that they were none the worse for the cutting out of ghee. Of course I gave them as much milk as they wanted.
Our menu has cost us a little more than 6 pice. It was a full meal and the other meals need not be so heavy as this. They, therefore, need not cost more than an anna or so. Milk may be omitted for the other meals. Wheat bhakhari, soya beans and chatni should be quite enough.