Saturday, July 5, 2014

"A daily diet providing 5000 calories or more...."

In May 1610, after blaming Captain Davis for keeping Algernon Fort’s abundant food a secret whlle Jamestown’s residents starved, President Percy proposed an illogical rescue plan: he would “bring half of our men (what about the women?) from James Towne to be there relieved.” (“Half” by that time would have been about thirty, or all that one of Davis’s pinnaces would hold.) Then, as if Percy feared to impose too many hungry visitors at one time on Captain Davis, Percy said he would  “Return them back again [to Jamestown] and bring the rest to be sustayned there [at Algernon Fort] also.”
How long did Percy think it took for starving people to be “relieved”? One or two hearty meals?
Neither George Percy nor anyone else knew what modern medicine knows about the cure for starvation:

If the degree of malnutrition is severe, the intestines may not tolerate a fully balanced diet. They may, in fact, not be able to absorb adequate nutrition at all. . . . The treatment back to health is long and first begins with liquids. Gradually, solid foods are introduced and a daily diet providing 5,000 calories or more is instituted. (

         No colonist would see 5,000 calories in a day at Jamestown for at least a decade.

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