Our friend Kirsten Bourne, marketing director for San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Market, was at a British-themed party recently and came across the tome to the right. She kindly sent me a passage from these instructions for US personnel headed to Britain during World War II.
As you can see in the text below, the manual has some explicit advice for American Servicemen regarding waste. In short, “…when you destroy or waste food you have wasted the life of another sailor.”
The instructions are also enlightening on what food and fuel meant in wartime Britain. In contrast to the food-rich US, Britain relied upon imported food (and fuel). During World War II, when the German navy threatened all shipments, British sailors risked their lives to secure such supplies. In addition to the need to feed soldiers, this risk provided all the more reason not to waste food.
I’ve never seen stronger anti-waste words. And I’d never heard such a direct correlation between food waste and ‘the ultimate sacrifice.’ Hopefully the below passage reminds us how fortunate most of us are and inspires us to avoid waste in honor of those past sacrifices.