• "Save the products of the land. Eat more fish -- they feed themselves," 1918. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    Save the products of the land. Eat more fish -- they feed themselves
    • Date
    • 1918
    • Creator
    • Bull, Charles Livingston, 1874-1932
    • Description
    • Image of swimming fish, a preferred wartime food staple. Americans were encouraged to increase their consumption of fish since they did not require precious grains to feed them, as did livestock. Poultry was also urged to appear on the dining table, ... more
      Image of swimming fish, a preferred wartime food staple. Americans were encouraged to increase their consumption of fish since they did not require precious grains to feed them, as did livestock. Poultry was also urged to appear on the dining table, and "Meatless Mondays" took place in many American's homes as they strove to conserve food. less
    • Rights
    • No known copyright restrictions. No known restrictions on use.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

  • "U. S. Food Administration, Ration Poster, World War I," 1917. Courtesy of the Perkins School for the Blind via Digital Commonwealth.

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    U. S. Food Administration, Ration Poster, World War I
    • Date
    • 1917
    • Description
    • White poster with red and black lettering featuring the message "Food, don't waste it". Text from item: Food, don't waste it. 1. buy it with thought. 2. Cook it with care. 3. Use less wheat & meat. 4. Buy local foods. 5. Serve just enough. 6. Use wha... more
      White poster with red and black lettering featuring the message "Food, don't waste it". Text from item: Food, don't waste it. 1. buy it with thought. 2. Cook it with care. 3. Use less wheat & meat. 4. Buy local foods. 5. Serve just enough. 6. Use what is left. U. S. Food Administration. less
    • Rights
    • Samuel P. Hayes Research Library, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA. Contact host institution for more information.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Perkins School for the Blind

  • "The woman's land army of America. Women enlist now and help the farmer fight the food famine," 1918. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth.

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    The woman's land army of America. Women enlist now and help the farmer fight the food famine
    • Date
    • 1918
    • Creator
    • Paus, Herbert Andrew, 1880-1946
    • Description
    • Image of two female wartime farm laborers. A third woman follows on horseback, holding an American flag. The creation of the Woman's Land Army of America in WW I enabled nearly 20,000 urban women to enter America's agricultural sector to work as ordi... more
      Image of two female wartime farm laborers. A third woman follows on horseback, holding an American flag. The creation of the Woman's Land Army of America in WW I enabled nearly 20,000 urban women to enter America's agricultural sector to work as ordinary wage laborers between 1917 and 1921. The active recruitment of urban women into a government-sanctioned, formally organized, and larely female-managed workforce, to labor in physically demanding tasks such as sowing and harvesting, was a revolutionary idea. less
    • Rights
    • No known copyright restrictions. No known restrictions on use.
    • Partner
    • Digital Commonwealth
    • Contributing Institution
    • Boston Public Library

Herbert Hoover’s colorful campaign to save food was directed primarily at housewives. He suggested catchy traditions such as “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” to encourage those on the home front to be mindful of limiting their food consumption during the war.

Government nutritionists provided housewives with sample menus that offered suggestions about how to cook with less wheat, meat, and dairykey commodities during the conflict. Seafood was encouraged as a suitable replacement because “fish... feed themselves.”

Established in 1917, the Woman’s Land Army of America (WLAA) was inspired by Britain’s Women's Land Army or “Land Lassies.” The WLAA recruited more than 20,000 urban women to work on farms and help increase food production during the conflict.

Well before the war, poor families in the United States were accustomed to “rationing” and not wasting food. For this reason, Hoover’s movement did not target them as actively as it did middle- and upper-class households. To make matters worse for impoverished families, labor rules and regulations were relaxed at home during the war, allowing companies to demand longer and harder hours on the job in factories.