“Much Garbage Can Waste” (even in 1918!)

Daniel from the WhoFarm sent this gem of an old article my way and made my Sunday.

The 1918 article details The Federal Food Board’s quest to get to the bottom of how much food households were wasting. The stakes were high, of course, as America in the middle of World War I.

The article doesn’t give too many specifics from the report by a Miss Margaret Butler. But it does note that…

Lamb chops and bacon which should have been eaten were also found in the garbage in great amounts.

The war timeframe explains the use of the term “enemy alien servants,” who we can assume were from the nations not aligned with the U.S. in WWI. We’ll never know for sure whether this hired help was deliberately wasting food as a form of sabotage, but it seems like an odd tactic.

Another fascinating part of the article is the sacrifice on display, even at high end hotels. After a call for donations of flour reserves, several hotels donated all of their flour. In the last decade, with two wars on, what have average Americans been asked to sacrifice?

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