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World War I poster. "Waste not, want not. Prepare for winter. Save perishable foods by preserving now." Source Wikimedia Commons

Queueing for food became a daily chore for many women which, coupled with the challenge of feeding the family in the absence of basic foodstuffs, made life hard. Food shortages were common. Supplies of wheat were limit ed because of difficulties importing the cereal and the large number of ships sunk by German U-boat s. The government urged the nation's housewives to cut waste to a minimum and to eat less bread.

Potato flour was often used to supplement wheat in the making of bread. The resulting bread was a darker colour and unpalatable. Many items were eventually rationed eg sugar and meat although initially the government's preferred option was a drive to encourage voluntary rationing and reduce waste. People were encouraged to grow their own vegetables and be creative in their use of ingredients!


Source © IWM (Art.IWM PST 4470)


Source © IWM (Art.IWM PST 6541)

A glance at the "Win the War Cookery Book" makes for a bit of interesting reading! The Bacon Soup uses the water in which bacon has been boiled to create a tasty soup without using any of the meat. We're advised to use a pinch of bicarbonate of soda to reduce acidity and lessen the need for sugar when stewing fruit and to harvest and stew nutritious nettles. Perhaps some of the advice wouldn't be a miss a century later.....

Looking back, many women ran the home, cared for the children and often worked as well. Women were often not paid as well as men but by 1918 there were 5 million women working in jobs outside the home.

Waste not.....Want not......!

St John's Churchyard

St John with St Philip Church
Barkerhouse Road
Nelson, Lancashire

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