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Turning Points Features

A dinner plate full of patriotism

Could you live without wheat, beef, pork, dairy products, and sugar? While this may sound like fightin' words in a dairy and agricultural state, during World War I, Wisconsin citizens were encouraged to do just that--and this booklet, produced by the Women Students' War Work Council and the UW Home Economics Department, contained recipes to show you how.

Although most people associate food rationing with World War II, state and federal ration programs were actually first implemented as a show of homefront patriotism during the first World War. In fact, Wisconsin pioneered many of the programs that formed the foundation for federal Food Administration policies. Wisconsin became the first state to organize both state and county-level Councils of Defense which helped to educate citizens about wartime sacrifices. As an agricultural state, Wisconsin's State Council of Defense was particularly interested in the national food crisis that developed once the U.S. entered the war in 1917. Council chairman Magnus Swenson began vigorously promoting food conservation through the cultivation of home gardens and the institution of meatless and wheatless days. Anyone for some steamed barley pudding?

Posted October 06, 2005
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