Food Conservation in Lowell: 1917

Food Conservation in Lowell (PIP #13)

By Louise Peloquin

As we gobble the holiday goodies filling our refrigerators, cupboards, cookie platters and candy dishes, let’s peek at a throwback on food management during World War I. The recommendations below, published without commentary, made L’Etoile’s front page on November 14, 1917.

Did Lowell’s Franco-Americans – brought up with hearty home cooking including ingredients like lard, salt pork, cream, maple products and more –  comply with the federal food administrator’s instructions? Consuming generous platefuls and accepting second helpings have usually been the best ways to honor the cook, nest-ce pas?

One thing is sure – French-Canadians wasted nothing. Leftovers and scraps have always magically turned into scrumptious pot luck meals. Every time Franco chefs have winged it, palates have taken off with delight.


L’Etoile front page, November 14, 1917

Food Conservation in Lowell


Miss Crossbill gives instructions to the public. —- Fourteen rules our population is called to follow —— The necessity of economizing


A campaign in the interest of economizing food will be launched shortly in Lowell, under the direction of the committee in charge of this service.

Miss Gladys Crosskill, who has been in Lowell for a couple of weeks to give conferences on home economics, will be in charge of conferences and demonstrations in various locations in the city.

Here are a few recommendations from the federal food administrator.

1) Before throwing away food of any type, ask: Could this not be used?

2) Prepare meals in sufficient quantities, not more.

3) Choose, in just proportions, the most nourishing food.

4) Cure yourself of whims.

5) Take only one serving.

6) Cease to eat between meals.

7) Eliminate afternoon snacks.

8) Do not serve refreshments at parties, clubs, etc.

9) Do without meat once a week.

10) Do without wheat products once a week.

11) Do not eat young lamb, veal, suckling pigs or young chickens or ducks.

12) Omit butter while cooking.

13) Bake simple cakes without icing.

14) Choose the groceries oneself rather than ordering by telephone.

One Response to Food Conservation in Lowell: 1917

  1. Malcolm Sharps says:

    Governments asking us to be sparing; it is all so familiar in Britain. Though in two wars some of those personal restraints were made easy by the non-availability of many of the things mentioned. The water shortages of hotter than expected summers also brought about pleas for restraint, the number of showers and the depth of water in a bath. But the government hit on something that was potentially popular as well as effective: it recommended, ‘Bath with a Friend’. Who said politicians are grey, unimaginative people?

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