“. . . and there shall also be allowed one-half pint of distilled spirits per day, or in lieu thereof, one quart of beer per day to each ration. . .”—(Act of March 27, 1794.)
Although at that time there may have been some opinion to the contrary, the above allowance in the Navy ration of 1794 was a very desirable feature of the meager ration of that period. The ration itself resembled a bill-of-fare rather than a ration schedule as it prescribed the particular items for issue each day of the week. For instance, on Sunday, it was directed that the total issues for the entire day to each man would consist of one pound of bread, one and one-half pounds of beef, and one-half pound of rice. The week-day allowances were even less attractive. Surprising as it may seem, this ration had less ill-effects on personnel of that day than the thoughts of such a variety of food would have on present-day dietitians. Apparently, physical hardships stimulate the digestive apparatus of man.