Minnesota Historical Society

Food Will Win the War: Minnesota Crops, Cooks, and Conservation during World War I

$ 19.95


This engaging case study of food, conservation, and life during World War I brings alive the unparalleled, mostly voluntary efforts made by everyday Minnesotans to help win the war.

"For those who have a sense of curiosity or are concerned about the crisis in conventional modern food, it [Food Will Win the War] also offers some intriguing insight into how a society can adapt to challenging conditions by doing more with less." Gastronomica

Meatless Mondays, Wheatless Wednesdays, vegetable gardens and chickens in every empty lot. When the United States entered World War I, Minnesotans responded to appeals for personal sacrifice and changed the way they cooked and ate in order to conserve food for the boys “over there.” Baking with corn and rye, eating simple meals based on locally grown food, consuming fewer calories, and wasting nothing in the kitchen became civic acts. High-energy foods and calories unconsumed on the American home front could help the food-starved, war-torn American Allies eat another day and fight another battle.

Food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey engages readers with wide research and recipes drawn from rarely viewed letters, diaries, recipe books, newspaper accounts, government pamphlets, and public service fliers. She brings alive the unknown but unparalleled efforts to win the war made by ordinary “Citizen Soldiers”—farmers and city dwellers, lumberjacks and homemakers—who rolled up their sleeves to apply “can-do” ingenuity coupled with “must-do” drive. Their remarkable efforts transformed everyday life and set the stage for the United States’ postwar economic and political ascendance.


  • By: Rae Katherine Eighmey
  • Format: Paperback book, 272 pp., 6x9, 50 b&w illustrations, 60 recipes, notes, index, bibliography
  • Publisher: MHS Press (February 2010)
  • Product ##: 9780873517188
Rae Katherine Eighmey is a food historian who has written several historical recipe books and coauthored Potluck Paradise: Favorite Fare from Church and Community Cookbooks. An avid foodie, she tested all the recipes in this book for modern kitchens.



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