One of the themes throughout our “What’s Cooking Wednesday” posts has been war and food rationing. American citizens were asked to grow their own food, ration sugar, and eat less meat so that there would be more supplies for soldiers fighting overseas and for people with little food left in their war-torn country.
As a result, the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library has one of the largest collections of flour sacks in the world.
But these are no ordinary flour sacks. These cotton bags have been stenciled, embroidered, painted, and remade. They were turned into pillows, clothing, and accessories to be sold in England and the United States to raise funds for food relief and to help prisoners of war. They have been decorated with red, yellow, and black for Belgium as well as red, white, and blue for the United States. Lions, eagles, symbols of peace, and Belgian lace decorate the humble cotton from American mills.
Why did hungry Belgium citizens decorate empty flour sacks?
During World War I, Herbert Hoover was chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB). Through donated money and voluntary contributions of food, this commission fed over 11,000 Belgiums. Between 1914 and 1919, about 697,116,000 pounds of flour was shipped to Belgium.
But once empty, the flour sack was a dangerous commodity during World War I. The German military could use them … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on November 30, 2011, under - Great Depression, - Presidents, - World War I, Uncategorized, Uncle Sam, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: Belgium, Commission for Relief in Belgium, flour sacks, herbert hoover, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, world war i, WWI
“Do you know that the money spent in the United States for candy in one year is double the amount required to feed Belgium for one year?” This statement is not from a modern anti-obesity polemic, but rather from the World War I pamphlet A Sugar Program: Household Conservation Policy to Meet the Sugar Situation for the Summer of 1918.
Why was there a sugar situation? When the United States entered World War I, ships were needed to transport soldiers and supplies across the ocean. Since much of the U.S. supply of sugar was imported, the war interrupted the supply chain of sugar.
Ships crossing over to the United Kingdom with supplies also faced the dreaded German U-boats, which sank large numbers of the Allied merchant fleet when Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917. This danger threatened to worsen the Allied food situation in Europe, which was already severe. The woman in the poster above is literally draining away resources that the Allies need to win the war.
To inform U.S. citizens on why they were being asked to ration sugar (2 pounds per month or 6 teaspoons per day) and to provide them with information on how to manage without sugar, the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on June 22, 2011, under - World War I, Recipes, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: Allied troops, Belgium, blockade, candy, conservation, herbert hoover, rations, submarines, sugar problem, U-boats, unrestriced submarine warfare, USFA, woodrow wilson, world war i