A writer declares in The New York Times that Americans eat far too many animal products; he advises that if we do as the French do and limit our intake of meat, we will be healthier and spend less money on food. Michael Pollan, in this month’s food issue of the Times Magazine? No, a reader with the initials A.B.C., writing to the paper—in 1856. Instead of bacon and eggs, A.B.C. suggests Americans begin their mornings with café au lait, defined as a “decoction” of coffee with boiled milk—still a popular breakfast choice, as the lines at any Starbucks will attest.