On behalf of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center (UWDCC), I’d like to share with you one of our digital collections that complements some of the key issues and themes raised in this year’s Go Big Read selection, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, by Michael Pollan.
Created from materials housed at Steenbock library and selected by Information Services Librarian Barbara Hamel, Recipe for Victory: Food and Cooking in Wartime (http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/HumanEcol.WWIHomeCook) presents books and government publications documenting our national effort to promote and implement a plan to make food the key to winning World War I.
This online collection contains materials that explain the world food situation, the nutritional value of foods, how to grow productive gardens in less than ideal conditions, and cookbooks with recipes for dealing with scarcity of various commodities such as meat and wheat. Many of the materials in this collection were published by the University of Wisconsin, Agricultural Extension Service between 1917 and 1919.
As head of the U. S. Food Administration, Herbert Hoover launched a campaign to conserve food at the onset of World War I. Americans were urged to cut food waste, substitute scarce for plentiful ingredients and participate in a food-conservation program popularly known as “Hooverizing,” which included wheatless Mondays and Wednesdays, meatless Tuesdays, and porkless Thursdays and Saturdays.
While circumstances for this particular attention to our nation’s food and consumption issues may differ from those inspiring Pollan’s recent works, titles such as Vernon Kellogg’s The Food Problem (1918) and Edmund Spriggs’ Food and How to Save it (1918) provide historical context for better understanding nutrition, conservation, food industry and economics and Americans’ eating habits, in general, during that period.
And, nearly 100 years later, the lessons ring oddly familiar. In her forward to Wheatless and Meatless Days (1918), Pauline Dunwell Partridge advises readers to “more extensively use vegetables and fruits, eliminate waste and consume more freely, locally grown perishable foods.”
For a complete list of titles included in this online library collection, visit:
Recipe for Victory: Food and Cooking in Wartime
For more information about the UWDCC, visit our Web site at http://uwdc.library.wisc.edu