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Old 31-07-2016, 10:56   #16
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

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Originally Posted by woodguy View Post
One of the three main food groups
Liquid carbohydrates.
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Old 31-07-2016, 11:53   #17
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Red face Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
On the diet: 6 pounds/3kgs of meet per week is more than many get on the current western diets.

Apart from the biscuit, wheat, its not a bad diet.
The biscuits added protein in the form of weevils, and probably other critters as well. The quote assumes the flour somehow ain't good for you, even as a calorie source for hard working sailors. Humans are reasonably adaptive, and can survive some fairly harsh and limited diets, even modern ones, at least for a time. BTW, when was the Golden Age of Sailing, and when did British sailors become "Limeys" as a result of the prevention of scurvy even if the cause was not known?
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Old 31-07-2016, 14:36   #18
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

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Originally Posted by SV DestinyAscen View Post
According to Stephen Bown's Scurvy: how a surgeon, a mariner and gentlemen solved the greatest medical mystery:

1 lb biscuit daily
2 lb salt beef twice weekly
1 lb salt pork twice weekly
2 Oz dried fish thrice weekly
2 oz butter thrice weekly
4 oz cheese thrice weekly
8 oz dried peas four days a week
1 gal beer daily

Except for the beer and cheese ration, my kidneys and intestines weep for the millions that died at sea..

i don't know. except for the dried fish, it's not far off of my normal diet. a little more bead products than i normally eat, though.
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Old 31-07-2016, 14:51   #19
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

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Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
I think you are right on the beer.

But Im wondering about that 2oz fish? Perhaps pickled kipper?
But did no one catch fish?
he is right about the beer. beer before commercial mass production, like home brewed beer, is actually good for you.


your question. certainly, on pirate ships they might have. compared to merchant ships, pirate ships were very overstaffed. i am sure the account is for legal shipping. merchant ships were usually crewed to the minimum amount. everyone had their duties and there were just enough men, sometimes not really enough, to get the tasks done. i doubt they could count on enough free time on a regular basis to consider fresh fish a dietary staple.

that's one reason piracy became so popular. most pirates were originally from merchant ships.

pirate ships functioned as a democracy. crew didn't just vote for their leader. they even voted for the rules (and punishments) they followed. military and merchant ships were extremely brutal and inhumane.

pirate ships also had a much, much more equitable method of payment.

because pirates needed to be a good fighting force, pirate ships had a lot more crew. this meant much lighter work loads for everyone. so, maybe they did fish on a regular basis. if you can't just sail into the local port, getting food from the environment makes sense. (pirates also introduced pigs to certain islands to have a food source, but that has nothing to do with your question)
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Old 31-07-2016, 15:20   #20
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

I think Hollywood, Alexander Kent etc and et al plus extreme cases have perverted history.

Arrrgh all the biscuit has weavils...
What ballderdash!

I bet on the 'normal' England-Spice Islands, India or Australia runs the food was good and in good supply. Yes the fresh would have run out by Cape Town, a replenishment base. Yes, salt pork in the cask is not fun, but soaked till the salt is gone is quite ok.

The survey thing was early days, Capt Cook etc, and only hit a % of the crew. Eradicated by 1800 I think.

You couldn't stiff the crew or they would stiff you, either by dying and leaving you shorthanded or by simply killing you. But less dramatically, just by not joining tour ship because of the talk in town.

Hollywood, novels etc must up the drama. They have been doing it since Long John Silver was about. So everything we think we know is probably bullshit. A la Westerns. The OK Coral happened but it was over in 20 seconds and was a VERY isolated incident.

Now, some punk has walked into this saloon smelling of cigarette smoke...
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Old 31-07-2016, 15:45   #21
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

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I believe the beer was pretty weak, and essentially that was their water source as it was safe?
I've also read that in days gone by that beer was a staple food source?


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Was at least up to the 1960s. When i lived there, a pint of beer was considered a meal. Mostly dark, warm, uncarbonated beer. Even the bus drivers had their pints at lunch. Basically liquid bread.
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Old 31-07-2016, 15:47   #22
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

Fresh meat is better for avoiding scurvy, no?

I like the menu even though I am a 'vegetarian'. I like the 1 gal beer part best, now can see why all old time sailors were nonanonymous.

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Old 31-07-2016, 15:51   #23
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

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i don't know. except for the dried fish, it's not far off of my normal diet. a little more bead products than i normally eat, though.
You can drink a gallon of beer per day? Today's version of salted meat has nitrates, they're cumulative, ie. you got them forever. How old are you?
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Old 31-07-2016, 16:03   #24
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

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You can drink a gallon of beer per day? Today's version of salted meat has nitrates, they're cumulative, ie. you got them forever. How old are you?
And nitrites(very bad for you). Lots of them. You can get scurvy from just a meat diet. You need vitamin C and that is from fruits, veggies, and to a limited degree dairy products. Pluis when you cook anything with vitamin C it tends to destroy the vitamin. Or just take a Vitamin C supplement. Rare today to find scurvy.
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Old 31-07-2016, 16:07   #25
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

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he is right about the beer. beer before commercial mass production, like home brewed beer, is actually good for you.
This reminds me of the beer my friends would brew in college, which definitely had, uhhm, 'texture'.

I would also note to all you prissy foody types, that it would take 60 insect pieces or more per 100 grams of chocolate to be rejected by the FDA. Or, if you really want to get gross, 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams. Seriously Look it up. Defect Levels Handbook
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Old 31-07-2016, 16:14   #26
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

I believe Narwal is chock full of Vitamin C. A little North of where I want to cruise though.
I am a firm believer in Vitamin C myself, I believe we primates and Guinea pigs are the only two mammals that don't manufacture it in our bodies.


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Old 31-07-2016, 17:43   #27
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

Scurvy was continuously solved as a problem but forgotten then rediscovered until the 1800s. Millions died at sea. Fresh fruit and raw beef provided vitamin C, but the customary cooking vessel was copper and basically destroyed any trace vitamin C by compound reactions. Lemons were found to be great, but then the cost was prohibitive when France and Spain cut English supplies and the admiralty sought to find alternatives. The limes were cheaper but less effective, and some prepared concentrates were found to be worthless due to copper reactions.

It wasn't as much of a problem merchantmen, as they were lightly crewed, replenished stocks and took prevailing winds. But in discovery and naval operations, horrible death rates occurred.

If you seriously eat like the aforementioned diet... I really worry for you. Salt beef and pork was washed in sea in a bag tossed overboard for a day, and cooked in seawater. The salt concentration was so high it'll precipitate out and form a crusty layer if it was on a plate and left unconsumed.
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Old 01-08-2016, 17:42   #28
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

Cook and Nelson introduced major changes

At present, I find wonderful long lasting products like cereals, dry fruit, condensed milk, butter, honey....and
Onions
Cauliflower
Yellow Mellon

FreshFruit is a mess...
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Old 01-08-2016, 18:25   #29
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

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Originally Posted by SV DestinyAscen View Post
According to Stephen Bown's Scurvy: how a surgeon, a mariner and gentlemen solved the greatest medical mystery:

1 lb biscuit daily
2 lb salt beef twice weekly
1 lb salt pork twice weekly
2 Oz dried fish thrice weekly
2 oz butter thrice weekly
4 oz cheese thrice weekly
8 oz dried peas four days a week
1 gal beer daily

Except for the beer and cheese ration, my kidneys and intestines weep for the millions that died at sea..
This was a per man, per mess, ration, correct? As in the sailors were organized into messes and each man got this ration, but it allocated to the mess, not the individual sailor, correct?

I'm interested in seeing what some of the recipes might have been. I know we ate a lot better than than when everyone brought pot luck for the Thursday night beer can races.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:10   #30
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Re: Typical weekly menu for sailor in the golden age of sail

Most folks need variety in foods. Big problem in long distance voyaging. If all the same day after day, you will not eat; and can literally medically speaking starve. Its wired into our brains. Alcohol sparks appetite as well as acting as a sedative. Kept the crew eating same old stuff. We use to buy a variety of tinned meats from an English purveyor and also had old k ration packs to help mix things up a bit. Also lots of spices and sugar. Do not forget the sugar. A little bit added to the pot really helps bring out flavors. Same with sherry and brandy.
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