Minnesota Local History

Minnesota Local History Blog.

Minnesota Local History Blog.

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The Minnesota Historical Society’s Local History Services helps Minnesotans preserve and share their history. This blog is a resource of best practices on the wide variety of museum, preservation, conservation, funding, and non-profit management topics. We’re here to help.

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Information Sought for a Book on World War I Food Conservation

By: admin | March 15, 2006
From Rae Eighmey

I am looking for direct, contemporary information on what really happened in the farm fields, back yards, homes, and restaurants as Minnesotans changed their farming practices and eating habits during the 18 months from April 1917 to November 1918. There are scores of printed recipes and menu suggestions for wheatless, meatless and reduced fat and sugar dishes.

The question is: what did people really eat? Restaurant menus, program notices from womens clubs, church socials and other civic events could be most helpful. I am also looking for first person descriptions from: town men who volunteered to harvest small grains in the fall of 1918 (more than 3,402 men acting as twilight shock troops donated more than 4,200 man days of labor harvesting at least 37,425 acres); farmers who used these men on their farms; Boys or Girls club members who baked, canned, dried, raised chickens, hogs or gardens for Uncle Sam; homemakers; demonstration agents who gave classes in food conservation (journals, diaries or collected oral histories would be of value here).

I am in the process of reading local papers and government files and reports for this information, but would deeply appreciate any additional sources or even pointing me to an article I might overlook on the newspaper microfilms. Please respond by June 15, 2006 to Rae K. Eighmey 2058 Lincoln Ave., St. Paul, MN 55105; e-mail raekatherine@netins.net.