Food Conservation

“Conservation” is a word we hear a lot these days, as Nebraskans join others worldwide in efforts to preserve the earth and its resources. “Conservation” was a frequently-heard term some seventy years ago, as Nebraskans joined others in efforts to win the First World War. Food was the principal weapon on the home front during this global conflict. Nebraskans eager to conserve the food needed to feed the Allied army were given these guidelines by the Federal Food Administration:

“The Food Administration asks every loyal American to help win the war by maintaining rigidly, as a minimum of saving, the following program:

“Have Two Wheatless Days (Monday and Wednesday) in every week, and one wheatless meal in every day. On these days use no crackers, pastry, macaroni, breakfast food or other cereal food containing wheat. As to bread, if you bake it at home, use other cereals than wheat, and if you buy it buy only war bread.


“Have One Meatless Day (Tuesday) in every week and one meatless meal in every day. Have Two Porkless Days (Tuesday and Saturday) in every week. ‘Meatless’ means without any cattle, hog or sheep products. On other days use mutton and lamb in preference to beef or pork. ‘Porkless’ means without pork, bacon, ham, lard or pork products, fresh or preserved. Use fish, poultry and eggs.


“Make every day a Fat-Saving Day. Fry less; bake, broil, boil or stew foods instead. Save meat drippings; use these and vegetable oils for cooking instead of butter. Waste no soap; it is made from fat.


“Make every day a Sugar-Saving Day. As a nation we use twice as much sugar as we need.


“Use Fruits, Vegetables and Potatoes abundantly. These foods are healthful and plentiful, and at the same time, partly take the place of other foods which we must save. Raise all you can for home use.


“Use milk wisely. Waste no part of it. Use sour and skim milk in cooking and for cottage cheese.”


These suggestions must have been followed voluntarily, because rationing was not required. That kind of enforced food conservation was reserved for the next “war to end all wars” 

— World War II.

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