The Philosophy of Eating

Published in New York in 1870, this volume in the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection is fascinating and sophisticated, a scientific treatise on eating correctly to maintain a healthy body by a pioneer in the field of nutritional science and homeopathic medicine. 

In this fascinating volume, which contains material from his second book, How Not to Be Sick, Bellows presents the argument that science has supplied practical treatises on agriculture and horticulture so that every intelligent farmer or gardener can cultivate his fruits, vegetables, and grains to supply high nutritional content in foods. But the general public is ignorant of the laws of nature and which foods will supply the correct ingredients for a healthy body and to prevent illness. He asserts that people give their pigs the food that children need to develop muscle and brain, and they give their children what pigs need to develop fat. The Philosopy of Eating was written to inform people about the practical science of eating well and to correct erroneous and dangerous habits of society related to food. A largely vegetarian diet, Bellows’s book lays out in great detail which foods are good for various categories of people (a “thinking” man’s diet vs. a laborer’s diet) and which are poison or dangerous to all.


This edition of The Philosophy of Eating was reproduced by permission from the volume in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1812 by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot and successful printer and publisher, the society is a research library documenting the lives of Americans from the colonial era through 1876. The society collects, preserves, and makes available as complete a record as possible of the printed materials from the early American experience. The cookbook collection comprises approximately 1,100 volumes.

About the Author

 Albert Bellows, descendant of Pilgrim settlers of Massachusetts, graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1829 and later became an enthusiastic homeopathist and pioneer in the field of scientific dietetics. The Philosophy of Eating was still in print and selling in the 1920s.

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