National Treasure #90: Pablum

Now, why should something that can mean “bland, mushy, unappetizing, or infantile” be a national treasure?

“In 1930, a group of three Canadian pediatricians — Dr. Frederick Tisdall, Dr. Theodore Drake, and Dr. Alan Brown — in concert with Ruth Herbert, a nutrition laboratory technician, and the aforementioned Harry Engel, co-developed Pablum. Everyone except for Mr. Engel was then working for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. The name for the formula, taken from the Latin “pabulum”, basically means “foodstuff”. Well, this particular foodstuff was a major breakthrough in nutritional science. By ensuring children would have enough vitamin D in their diets, Pablum helped prevent rickets, a terrible childhood disease.” – Canadiana Connection

For short bios on the three Canadian doctors, check this out in readiness for the pop-quiz questions:

  • Which of these doctors was more feared than loved, due to his autocratic style?
  • Which doctor is credited with reducing the Hospital for Sick Kids mortality rate by 50% in just one year?
  • Why is it always the same guy?


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