Jeffrey Garcia, HW#2: Food and Coffee in the Civil War

What I find the most fascinating about a Civil War soldiers diet is how they were able to live on such a lack of nutrition. Since the Civil War took place during a time period where men relied on their wives or a female slave to cook, they had no experience on how to cook a meal correctly. Since there were about 2 million people in the Civil War there needed to be a source of food that would feed the soldiers and supply nutriments. The soldiers ate hardtacks as a main source of food since it was able to be produced in large quantities and was able to be stored for a long period of time. These hardtacks often contained mold or insects on them, but the soldiers would simply scrape the mold off and dip the hardtack into get rid of the insects. Many of the food that they ate was unsanitary and poorly cooked foods, which eventually led to illnesses and deaths. Although the hardtack contained nutrition, I find it fascinating how a person who wastes more energy then they are able to receive is able to live off of crackers and coffee.

One food that can’t live without is rice because it plays a major role in my culture, I often eat rice about four times out of the week and it is a food that goes great as a companion with other foods.


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