Neman: Food is Ammunition: Recipes from World War I – STLtoday.com

“Food is ammunition,” says the poster from World War I. “Don’t waste it.”

One hundred years ago this year, the war ended. It was so horrifying, so unlike anything mankind had seen before, that the universal hope and expectation was that there would never be another war. Civilization could not handle it.

We all know how that turned out.

It wasn’t just the boys who went overseas — and a few women who served as switchboard operators and the like — who made a sacrifice; much of the country got behind them to do their part on the homefront.

The Weatherbirds from 1918 front pages give a glimpse into the news of 100 years ago.

During World War I, that meant cooking meals without wheat, meat, sugar and fats. Wheat, meat and sugar helped to keep the soldiers, sailors and Marines in fighting shape.

Food is ammunition.

Some fats were actually used to manufacture explosives.

As part of a television series of documentaries about the war (or the War, as it was then known), the folks at PBS have researched the foods that Americans ate during the war. They found several examples of what were called Victory Cookbooks, full of recipes designed to help people do without.

Some 14 million American households pledged to eat no wheat two days a week, to eat no meat on Tuesdays and no pork on Saturdays, and to cut back on sugar and fats every day of the week.

The recipes, which were sometimes conceived in haste, give us a good idea of just what this sacrifice entailed. Take, for instance, something called War Cake, which was

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