I can’t remember where I hear this, but I was always told that War drives invention throughout time. Whether that is through bigger, better war machines, that in turn, we as a people, figure other cool new technology from as well as how we just learn to survive.
World War I was 1914 through 1919, and like every War, there are problems. “Foods That Will Win The War And How To Cook Them” (1918) by Goudiss and Goudiss (available for free download over here) has a glimpse into what life was like back then. The entire book explains why everything needs to be saved. It’s a grim reminder of what was going on nearly 100 years ago.
The Forward explains quite a bit:
Food will win the war, and the nation whose food resources are best conserved will be the victor. This is the truth that our government is trying to drive home to every man, woman and child in America. We have always been happy in the fact that ours was the richest nation in the world, possessing unlimited supplies of food, fuel, energy and ability; but rich as these resources are they will not meet the present food shortage unless every family and every individual enthusiastically co-operates in the national saving campaign as outlined by the United States Food Administration.
The regulations prescribed for this saving campaign are simple and
easy of application. Our government does not ask us to give up three square meals a day–nor even one. All it asks is that we substitute as far as possible corn and other cereals for wheat, reduce a little our meat consumption and save sugar and fats by careful utilization of these products.
There are few housekeepers who are not eager to help in this saving campaign, and there are few indeed who do not feel the need of conserving family resources. But just how is sometimes a difficult task.
This book is planned to solve the housekeeper’s problem. It shows how to substitute cereals and other grains for wheat, how to cut down the meat bill by the use of meat extension and meat substitute dishes which supply equivalent nutrition at much less cost; it shows the use of syrup and other products that save sugar, and it explains how to utilize all kinds of fats. It contains 47 recipes for the making of war breads; 64 recipes on low-cost meat dishes and meat substitutes; 54 recipes for sugarless desserts; menus for meatless and wheatless days, methods of purchasing–in all some two hundred ways of meeting present food conditions at minimum cost and without the sacrifice of
Not only have its authors planned to help the woman in the home,
conserve the family income, but to encourage those saving habits which must be acquired by this nation if we are to secure a permanent peace that will insure the world against another onslaught by the Prussian military powers.
A little bit of saving in food means a tremendous aggregate total,
when 100,000,000 people are doing the saving. One wheatless meal a day would not mean hardship; there are always corn and other products to be used. Yet one wheatless meal a day in every family would mean a saving of 90,000,000 bushels of wheat, which totals 5,400,000,000 lbs. Two meatless days a week would mean a saving of 2,200,000 lbs. of meat per annum. One teaspoonful of sugar per person saved each day would insure a supply ample to take care of our soldiers and our Allies. These quantities mean but a small individual sacrifice, but when multiplied by our vast population they will immeasurably aid and encourage the men who are giving their lives to the noble cause of humanity on which our nation has embarked.