This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham
Dr. James M. Salisbury was studying the art of therapeutics, looking specifically at how nutrition affects the body. He wanted to know, for instance, whether the body could subsist on a dish of baked beans alone. So he tested it on himself and found something intriguing.
Beans don’t digest well and tend to ferment inside the body. He tested this theory on six men, ordering them to eat nothing but baked beans and came up with similar results. He continued on various diets, using hogs to test his theories. A thirty day diet of oats was just as poorly digested.
He also discovered that broiled beef steak and coffee cut incidents of diarrhea among Union soldiers, so the North asked him to devise a kit of rations for the army. Before he could complete his work, the war was over. But he discovered that well digested food had more beneficial effects on one’s health.
With that in mind, he set out to create the ultimate meal. The recipe he settled on to give the greatest benefit included a hamburger patty mixed with spices and pork that was named after him. He advocated a diet of three pounds of meat per day, lean of course, with six pints of hot water.
A far cry from the Lindora fad, but nutritionists thrive on taking contradictory stances. Salisbury never published the ideal or original recipe for the steak, so there are many variations that still exist. Some even use gravy on the side to enhance flavor.