Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Coping With Food Shortage Caused by War, 1917

“Food Emergency Problem for All,” from the High Point Review, June 7, 1917
Raleigh—John Paul Lucas, executive secretary of the North Carolina Food Conservation Commission, in reviewing the food situation in this state gave out a lot of good advice in his suggestions of ways every person can help improve the food situation.
Mr. Lucas wrote as follows:
Too many of our people are regarding the food emergency, which is really just in its incipiency, as a problem for the farmer, the trucker, their neighbor or someone else more or less remote from themselves. There is something of the spirit of “Let George do it.” Fortunately, this spirit has been rapidly disappearing and it is not too much to hope that all the people of North Carolina will quickly realize that, while the farmers’ responsibility and opportunity are greatest possibly, each person has an individual duty and responsibility.
A large number of people who realize their individual responsibility have asked themselves and others, “What can I do?” In answer to this question and for the information of others who may have given the matter no thought I am giving below a list of recommendations that are being made to farmer, housewife, gardener and citizen generally. I can think of no one in any position or condition to whom some of these suggestions are not applicable. Here they are:
Cultivate and fertilize every available foot of tillable land that you can possibly take care of. Cultivate more carefully and fertilize more heavily than under normal circumstances.
Put stubble land in corn, soy beans, peas, potatoes, or sorghum as soon as the grain is off. Here lies one of our greatest opportunities for increasing the acreage of food and feed crops.
Where there is a poor stand of cotton, replant with soy beans or peas. Also plant these crops in corn.
Save all the clover and vetch seed possible. Both are going to be unusually scarce and high priced. Vetch can e threshed with oats or by themselves. If you don’t know how to harvest clover seed, write the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Farmers’ Bulletin No. 656.
Breed all sows and gilts for fall pigs and be sure to raise sufficient feed for them—in the form of pastures principally. Raise meat not only for your own demands but for the market. Prices are sky-high.
Raise all the chickens you can, whether you live in the country or in town. Shut up the cocks and cockerels and preserve your surplus eggs in water glass solution.
Raise and eat all the fresh vegetables you can and can all the surplus you can’t eat. See that every glass jar is filled with vegetables and fruits and if you still have surplus, buy more jars and cans.
Don’t throw away scraps of meat and fat. Use meat in soup, hash, croquets, and fats for frying and shortening.
Cook potatoes in the peel. Tests have shown that 20 per cent is lost when potatoes are peeled before cooking.
Don’t waste bits of bread. Use them in puddings or in dressings for meat.
Don’t despise skim milk and buttermilk. They have a high food value and are generally cheap. Use them largely, especially for children.
See that all labor as well as foodstuffs is properly used. The farmers are handicapped for lack of labor. The people of town and city must see that available labor of men and boys is offered to the farmers. This service is just as patriotic and effective as that of the boys who don their uniforms and shoulder their rifles.

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