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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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Rio de Janeiro is generally rightly regarded as one of the least healthy cities in Brazil. The climate is hot and humid, which is largely due to its position, as a high, overgrown mountain covers the narrow entrance to the bay, and the many islands of the bay hinder the free course of alternating winds; however, temperature changes are not so rapid as to impair health. Cold, humid winds, which give rise to slight rheumatisms, are not uncommon here. Although in the marshy lowlands, by the sea, the unbearable stench spreads during the ebb and flow, they have been discovered as the culprit, to the delight of the residents of these beaches, so they avoid the putrid exhalations which produce endemic fevers.

Also the diet of the lower classes of the people is little cause for diseases. Cassava, corn meal and black beans, usually cooked with bacon and sun-dried and salted meat, form the main part of the heavy and coarse food, but healthy for those who imbibe a lot of Portuguese wine or cachaca. Fish are not as prized as they are on European coasts. In hot countries, where food is most rapidly corrupted, it seems that fish use is increasing or is always in relation to laziness, poverty, and the sickness of the people; At least throughout our trip there was greater misery, where the inhabitants fed exclusively on fish. In the middle class of the bourgeoisie of Rio, which has not yet fully adopted the customs of Portugal, nutrition is not so much animal protein, as they are satisfied with the delicious fruits and cheese imported from Minas, which, with bananas, are never lacking. Even the wheat bread is eaten by the Brazilian moderately as he prefers his white flour. Wheat flour, imported from North America and Europe, is kept here for five to six months. Even the fine species of European vegetables, all of which can be easily grown, are not, however, an important part of people's nutrition; However, oranges, guavas, watermelons and potatoes are preferred.

In addition to the simplicity of Brazilian cuisine, sobriety in meals is also worthy of consideration, which favors the health of the people of such warm countries. The Brazilian does not drink much with his few dishes, hardly drinks any water, and enjoys, moreover, all these things with the greatest regularity, thus following the severe order noted here among the tropics.

At night he takes almost nothing prudently; at most, he drinks a cup of tea or coffee, the tea in short supply, and deprives himself, especially at night, of fresh fruit. Only

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