Medicine: Sans Taste, Sans Everything

If man's diet were determined by strictly scientific considerations, what would it cost him to live? Brown University researchers fed the problem to an IBM 650 electronic computer, last week reported the answer: 21¢ a day. Caring nothing for variety or any other of life's spices, the computer solemnly accepted the facts that a man must have certain minimum quantities of protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus and five vitamins. Then its nerve cells went to work, concluded that only four foods are needed to sustain life: lard, beef liver, orange juice and soybean meal.

With less culinary than mathematical skill, the researchers could...

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