Lorenzo the Llama thought the cabbage would have to be soaked in rum;
Maalie thought the ships surgeon explained in graphic detail the effects of not eating the vitamin laden vegetable;
And Merisi suggested sauerkraut was delicious enough for anyone to clamour for a plate-full
Sorry Merisi, but the majority of sailors of the time didn't think eating sauerkraut was their idea of a good time. Captain James Cook did though.
He was pretty well known in nautical circles for coming home from months and months at sea without losing a single crew-member to scurvy. Quite a feat when you consider the food with all the vitamins (fruit) is the food that goes off and is therefore not worth carrying on a ship as you sail the seven seas.
Sauerkraut was the answer - preserved with all its natural goodness (if not delectable flavour) it would keep his men healthy and fit for duty.
But is telling the crew enough? We tell people every day that cigarettes are bad for your health, and yet people still smoke. New Zealand puts a lot of money into advertising 5+ a Day as the best way to keep healthy (at least 5 servings of fruit and veg a day). Yet still people don't. I know I don't, and that's probably why I have a head cold right now. Weak.
And on the subject of rum? A good solution and probably one I'd try, but lets be honest - the crew would mutiny as soon as they found out you'd been puring their precious rations all over sour cabbage!
Now after all this hype I bet you are thinking "The real answer had better be good! or we'll mutiny!"
Well I think the answer is a good one. It's not spectacular, and it's not frightening or violent or wicked. But it is incredibly intelligent and I think it says a great deal about Captain Cook and how well he knew human nature.
To get his sailors to want to eat sauerkraut, he first restricted it to the officers mess.
Nothing else could have made it quite so popular, don't you think?