Enough money for food

Physiologist Carl Tigerstedt (1882–1930) was among the first scholars specialising in the nutritional status of the population in Finland. He contributed especially to the development of nutrition counselling and food services. Tigerstedt was appointed Professor of Physiology in 1920.

The First World War and the Civil War led to a lack of food in Finland. Food prices increased, which affected the nutrition of, in particular, the impoverished. To alleviate the situation, the government established a home economics committee (1917–1921) to educate people and ease the food shortage. Tigerstedt was named as the committee’s nutritional physiologist. 

The committee published articles on emergency bread, the nutritional values of food substitutes and food prices. It examined which foods contained the most energy in relation to price. The most affordable options proved to be rye flour, rye bread and potatoes. It was advised to replace meat with legumes and to buy and preserve vegetables and fruits in season. 

Tigerstedt published books on nutrition guidelines and inexpensive food. He published the first Finnish nutrition textbook, in 1927, and investigated meals served at various institutions. Tigerstedt passed away in a sailing accident at the age of just 48.