Essay on Foods of the Foreign Born in Relation to Health, by Bertha M. Cooke

Essay on Foods of the Foreign Born in Relation to Health, by Bertha M. Cooke

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Foods of the Foreign Born in Relation to Health is a cookbook written by dietician Bertha M. Cooke. It was written as a guide for people that immigrated from Europe and other countries into the United States during the 19th Century. Derived from an Americanization study done by The Carnegie Corporation, Cooke dives into the world of understanding foreign cultures through, “studying people in relation to their diets.” Foods of the Foreign Born does draw attention to the cultural differences of immigrants moving into the United States during the 1920s while also focusing on the dietary needs and social characteristics associated with the integration of these immigrants into American society.
It was often difficult for immigrants to adjust to a new American way of life. Cooke talks about how much easier it was for American dietitians, medical personnel, etc. to learn foreign foods and adapt, then for foreigners to adjust their finances and lives overall for a new diet. American teachers and physicians, and others agreed with this concept of “Americanization”, or the unification of new with native-born Americans. On the other hand at another point when still talking about the dietary backgrounds Author Cooke says, “There is no one to tell them which of theirs to keep, and which of this country’s to adopt, or how to prepare them. They are probably more willing on their arrival than they will be at any later time to accept American help and suggestions.” Even foreigners themselves may have felt like they needed help fitting in as a new citizen in the United States. Shown by the way the authors assumed that at the time when people were newest to the United States, is when they would be willing to accept the most help. The point of th...


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... be effective in drawing attention to the different lifestyles of American citizens and those immigrating into America during the 19th century. Through the concept of “Americanization” we learned about the importance of combining new with native- born American citizens. Through Cooke’s many different points on diets, health risks, and society in general we see how she used her cookbook to connect the many different cultures together. It was written as a means of aquainting foreigners with a new life in a new country. It has been proven that this cookbook does more than just simply compare the foods of other peoples with that of the Americans in relation to health.



Works Cited

Brackmyre, Ted. "Immigrants, Cities, and Disease: Immigration and Health Concerns in Late Nineteenth Century America." US History Scene. U.S. History Scene, 13 Aug. 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.

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