The Skidmore News asked its readers to share their wheatless, meatless, rationing-friendly recipes in 1918. It also helped the town remember why such cooking was necessary (as if the town could forget) by printing pieces from the U. S. Food Administration. Here’s one from the May 23, 1918 edition:
One and One-Half Pounds.
If we are to furnish the Allies with the necessary proportion of wheat to maintain their war bread from now until the next harvest — and this is a military necessity — we must reduce our monthly consumption to 21,000,000 bushels a month, as against our normal consumption of about 42,000,000 bushels. In other words, we must reduce our normal consumption by 50 per cent. Reserving a margin for distribution to the army and navy and for special cases leaves for general consumption approximately one and one-half pounds of wheat products weekly for each person.
Our wheat supply is short; our supply of potatoes is abundant. Decrease your consumption of wheat by increasing your consumption of potatoes. There is no limit on the amount of potatoes that may be used, while every person is asked to limit his use of wheat to one and one half pounds a week.
A chain of hotels in London has established the practice of serving baked potatoes at the tables to guests free, provided no bread is eaten. This substitution has proved entirely satisfactory. Do this in your own home. Let the baked potato take the place of bread.
The conservation of wheat is the most important duty of the nation for the next 60 days. Do your share.
It is a military necessity.