Food Conservation During WWI

The United States Food Administration, created in 1917 and headed by Herbert Hoover, campaigned to convince Americans to voluntarily change their eating habits in order to have enough food to feed our military and starving civilians in Europe. This included conserving wheat, meat, sugar, and fats, so those items could be sent overseas.

The Administration advocated using alternatives like honey or molasses for sugar and corn or barley for wheat. They educated with memorable slogans, such as “when in doubt, eat potatoes” and “help us observe the Gospel of the clean plate” and invented “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays.” To free up transportation for war supplies, they encouraged buying locally produced food, or better still, growing liberty gardens.

“Together We Win: The Philadelphia Homefront During the First World War,” a 2016-2017 exhibition on The Library Company of Philadelphia website