Tuesday, Dec. 29, 1942
Stretch the butter with peanut butter, advised Mary Meade today. And don’t forget dates. Her Crusty Top Date Bars were an inventive dessert using both nutritious, inexpensive, and readily available ingredients. As for coffee, now in short supply, she reminded Americans that the Swedes were suffering even more even though they were “theoretically” not at war. With one pound per person, “they have comforted themselves with substitutes made from rye, acorns, and dandelion roots. The average Swede carries about with him 25 ration cards and has to turn in coupons even for food eaten in a restaurant.” Compared with almost everywhere else in the world, Americans were still feasting, a fact underlined by secretary of agriculture Claude R. Wickard who said, “Food will win the war and write the peace.” George R. Rector of Wilson Certified Meats added, “You women control our destiny – with food.” Calling on American women to conserve even more in 1943, he proclaimed, “Food is our secret weapon – mightier than any that Hitler can bring forth – mightier than Nazi brutality or Japanese treachery.”
Americans of certain age (mine) will remember being admonished to clean our plates because “people are starving in Europe.” They were.