From the 1903 Archive: What’s Left to Eat?

When a member of the U.S. Senate denounced gravy as unhealthy, Post editors wondered where the list of unhealthy foods would end.


Weekly Newsletter

The best of The Saturday Evening Post in your inbox!


—From “The Prudent Jack-Rabbit,” An editorial in the December 19, 1903, issue of The Saturday Evening Post

Gravy holds a place in the American heart very near to that occupied by pie and to that occupied by buckwheat cakes with molasses. The Senator says that “gravy” is hurrying us to ruin, and that worse even than its common and humble form is its fashionable disguise as a “sauce.”

Coffee gone and tea going; milk under suspicion and water in dispute; bread proclaimed the stuff of death, cakes banished, pastry proclaimed; most meats forbidden and most vegetables posted as more or less poisonous — clearly, we shall soon be living, like the jack-rabbit, on an occasional bit of dry grass, boxed and sold as “health food.”

Well, the jack-rabbit manages to keep alive and to keep moving. And what more can anyone ask?


Read the entire editorial “The Prudent Jack-Rabbit” from the December 19, 1903 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

This article is featured in the November/December 2023 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now


  1. This 1903 editorial appears to be mocking what apparently was a bias against the various foods and drinks mentioned, shortly after the turn of the 20th. While seeming to go overboard, its most positive contribution may be questioning their sources, contents, and what amounts of them is or isn’t healthy to consume.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *