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June 2, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(22):1702. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510490048012

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A Norwegian authority, Dr. Hansteen of the agricultural school at Aas, according to the London dispatches, has made the discovery that moss, probably of the succulent Arctic variety, is a palatable and nutritious food for man and that it will become an important addition to our food resources. It has long been known that certain forms of mosses or lichens can serve as dietary adjuncts or as food in emergencies, but any very extensive dependence on them has not been ordinarily thought possible. The human species is not even claimed by the vegetarians to be a strictly herbivorous or grazing animal, but Dr. Hansteen's alleged discovery would very nearly make him such. If Hansteen is correct, the Arctic plains will become regions of plenty and the almost annual starvation periods of the dwellers in those regions have been needless. The discovery is one that can be taken with some allowances.

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