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From the introduction: “Thus far but extremely little has been done in the United States by way of exact experimental inquiry regarding the laws of human nutrition. But the growth of the preliminary forms of investigation points to a speedy development of research of a high character in this direction also.

It is a very gratifying fact that already a considerable amount of investigation regarding the composition of our food materials and the economy of their use has accumulated, and, what is more to the point, earnest and capable investigators are addressing themselves to the still more extended and thorough study of the subject…

In order to facilitate such investigations, not only by investigators in experiment stations, but by those associated with the colleges and other institutions for research and instruction, it has seemed desirable to prepare a statement of the results of inquiries already reached, questions which now demand attention, and the best methods for their

Investigations on the Chemistry and Economy of Food by Wilbur O. Atwater (1895)(full text)