Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Israelis Eat Well

Yesterday there was an item in Haaretz about the papers of Dov Joseph, one of Israel's early leaders, which are currently on sale on eBay. The story, sadly, is true, and it would be better if Israeli politicians and high civil servants wouldn't take official papers home when they retire.

The lost papers may not necessarly be lost. For all we know, what Dov Joseph took home may (or may not) have been copies of documents he also left on file. We'd need to have them to compare with what the archives have. What we can say with certainty is that there's quite a bit of documentation from Joseph's various offices, still in the archives.

Here's one such document, in English this time. It's a letter from a certain Lord Boyd Orr, from Scotland, on July 10, 1950. Joseph was at the time the minister in charge of rationing, and he'd asked Lord Boyd Orr, apparently of the Commonwealth Bureau of Animal Nutrition, Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, to figure out if Israelis were eating well enough.

Boyd Orr's answer: Yes. About as well as in Americans, actually, which, just between you and me, I find faintly surprising, given that the Israelis were living under rationing and the Americans - not. Moreover, using the parameter of infant mortality as a way of measuring nutrition of young mothers, Orr thought Israeli nutrition could be even better than in the UK.

The Right Honorable Lord then signed off by sending regards to Ben Gurion and Weizman. Either he was well-connected, or they were.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like one of these exercises in averaging.