Stirring the Pot With Franklin
Benjamin Franklin experimented with vegetarianism as a youth.
Walter Isaacson (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, 2003) wrote …
“But Franklin was a reasonable soul, so wedded to being rational that he became adroit at rationalizing. During his voyage from Boston to New York, when his boat lay becalmed off Block Island, the crew caught and cooked some cod. Franklin at first refused any, until the aroma from the frying pan became too enticing. With droll self-awareness, he later recalled what happened:
“I balanced some time between principle and inclination until I recollected that when the fish were opened, I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs. “Then,” thought I, “If you eat one another, I don’t see why we may not eat you.” So I dined upon cod very heartily and have since continued to eat as other people, returning only now and then occasionally to a vegetable diet.’
“From this he drew a wry, perhaps even a bit cynical, lesson that he expressed in a maxim: ‘So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.'”
Incidentally, cod is low in omega 3 fatty acids (DHA, EPA, etc.).
Cod and other white fish, in contrast to oily fish, store their highly unsaturated fatty acids in the liver.
Stick to cod’s white meat, and you’ll avoid Yellow Fat Disease.
Think White to Avoid Yellow.
Rae Katherine Eighmey (Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin: A Founding Father’s Culinary Adventures: With 62 Authentic Recipes Updated for the Modern Kitchen, 2018) wrote …
“[Jacques] Finck [Franklin’s maître d’hôtel] helpfully provided sample menus for Franklin’s simple daily fare. He agreed to supply a lunch, a dinner — the main meal of the day served in the middle of the afternoon — and an evening supper. The early meal consisted of porridge, bread and butter, sugar and honey, with coffee and unsweetened chocolate as beverages. For dinner, the invitations Franklin sent and received suggest that it was served at two-thirty or three o’clock, Finck specified hors d’oeuvres of butter, radishes, and cornichons — pickles; a large entrée of beef, veal, or mutton; followed by a poultry course; a small ‘in-between’ course, two ‘plats d-entrements’; then two vegetable dishes. For dessert the menu suggested two plates of fresh fruit in the winter, four in the summer, two compotes — cooked fruit frequently served warm in a sugar syrup; a selection of cheeses, cookie-like biscuits, and bonbons. Finally, a frozen dessert was to be served twice a week in the summer and once in the winter. So it appears that Benjamin Franklin ate ice cream, a popular eigheenth-century Parisian treat, less well-known in America or England.”
Incidentally (and nothing to do with what Franklin put in his mouth, but about what came out of his mind), before the American Revolutionary War, the Colonies were supposed to be part of and ruled by the Manor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent.
Benjamin Franklin found this so ridiculous that he wrote …
“I have read that the whale swallowed Jonah; and as that is in Holy Writ, to be sure I ought to believe it. But if I were told, that, in fact, it was Jonah that swallowed the whale, I’d fancy I could myself as easily swallow the whale as the story.”