Plzeňské sympozia

Martin Franc

What is to be done in times of famine? A lesson from 1817

pp. 134–145 (Czech), Summary 144 (English), 145 (Deutsch)

This paper deals with the food crisis of 1817, which was interpreted by Čeněk Zíbrt in his book Česká kuchyně za dob nedostatku před sto lety (Czech Cuisine in times of Want a Century Ago, 1917). Zíbrt's conclusions make it clear that the burgeoning scientific resources at the time were being broadly mobilized, as reflected in the edicts and recommendations issued by the authorities at that time. The Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences also aimed to prevent famine by repeatedly organizing scientific competitions (initially in 1804) to develop food substitutes. In the early 19th century these shortages were primarily in grain, so the search was basically on for a cheap substitute for bread flour. It was not until the First World War that severe meat shortages made themselves felt, but thanks to recommendations made by the state and the authorities, the cultivation of profitable substitute crops, as in the case to this day of potatoes, had been successfully promoted throughout the 19th century.

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