Food Shortages During & After World War II

In 1943, women on 175 Daviess County farms were doing more work than ever. Many were going to work in the fields in addition to carrying on what had always been the women’s share of the farm work such as milking, taking care of the chickens and gardening.

In 1943, women on 175 Daviess County farms were doing more work than ever. Many were going to work in the fields in addition to carrying on what had always been the women’s share of the farm work such as milking, taking care of the chickens and gardening.

They started a plan as to what other things they could do such as:

1. To grow a garden that would produce enough food to feed the family the year around.

2. To can 100 to 200 quarts of food and store six to 10 bushels of potatoes and other storable food.

3. To use home-produced foods in well-prepared meals which met the requirement for good health.

4. To buy as little as possible from commercial food supplies, leaving it for the armed forces and those that couldn’t produce their own.

5. To take care of equipment and supplies to extend their usefulness and prevent need for replacement.

6. To adjust homemaking practices and the use of time and energy so the family’s welfare wasn’t neglected while at the same time making possible the production of more of the foods essential to war needs.

There were drawbacks in regard to the canning, as sugar was rationed at five pounds, but a new ration stamp for an extra 10 pounds would soon be sent to those who would do the extra canning.

After World War II had ended, there was still a food shortage at home and abroad. Mrs. Truman’s instructions at the White House were: wheatless day every Monday; use wheat food only at breakfast on other days; no bread served at dinner.

There were nine ways in which Daviess County homemakers could save critically needed foods, including:

1. Cutting down on the waste of bread in every way possible. Estimates indicated one slice out of every loaf of bread went into the garbage can.

2. Reducing the amount of bread used at each meal through substitutes such as potatoes and oat cereals. Fruit could be used instead of cake and pastries for desserts.

3. Using alternate foods and using less wheat cereals for breakfast.

4. Saving cooking fats by making more extensive use of meat drippings for cooking and seasoning food.

5. Holding down the number of fried foods that were served.

6. Saving and reusing fats and oils for cooking purposes.

7. Holding bacon grease for cooking and rendering out excess fats or meats.

8. All fats that couldn’t be reused could be salvaged and turned in at the butcher’s shop or grocery store.

9. Using less oil and salad dressing.

— researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin