World War I brought many changes to the American home front, not the least of which was conservation of food stuffs.  Sugar and meat were among the items that were rationed and the Bossier Banner reported in its July 11, 1918 issue how they were to be restricted in homes as well as in restaurants.

“New rules were recently adopted in New Orleans by the hotels and restaurants, at the request of the State Food Administrator, to further conserve sugar and meat.  The open sugar bowl will no longer be seen on public tables, and the coffee drinker is limited to one spoon for each cup.  The order reads as follows:”

The great general rule for catering resorts, which include boarding
Houses and commissaries, is the abolition of the open sugar bowl.
The resolutions were adopted at a meeting of hotel and restaurant
men in New Orleans.  John M. Parker, Food Administrator, declares
that the rules will be strictly enforced, even if he has to take command
of the inspectors in the field.

The sugar plan for eating places is the same as for families, the
allowance being based upon three pounds per person per month.
One teaspoonful is allowed for a small cup, two for a large cup,
and three for a pot of coffee or tea.  Two teaspoonfuls [sic] is the
measure for cereal or fruit orders.  A lump of sugar is counted as
equivalent to a teaspoon.  Cane and beet sugar are barred from
bakery and kitchen.  Meat saving is to be accomplished by using
only eight or nine pounds for each ninety meals served.  Roast
meat is limited to Monday’s mid-day meal.  Stewed, boiled or
beef hash to Wednesday’s and Saturday’s mid-day meals, and
steaks in any form, including hamburger, to Thursday’s mid-day
meal.    Byproducts, such as tongues, livers, etc., may be used as
substitutes.  Further substitutes are fish, crabs, shrimp, sea foods
of all kinds, rabbits and wild game.  There will be plenty to eat
and there will be a reserve built up for the soldiers.  The latter
duty leaves this country with only a threedays’ [sic] supply
ahead and conservation is wisdom.

The United States Food Administration has already tied up the coming
Louisiana crop of sugar by ordering that no deals ahead be made
without permits.  The Sugar Control Committee is still
confident that Louisiana will receive about a cent per pound
more for her crop than last year.

The United States Food Administration has issued similar orders
with regard to the sale of clean rice, and it is evidently the intent to
take the full supply needed by the Government before the product is
made available to the public.  Rice has been greatly popularized as a
food through the broad advertising given by the Government and
the price has virtually been fixed with all branches of rice
production and selling.

All of the sacrifices made by Americans led the country to victory in the “war to end all wars.”

Learn more about Bossier Parish’s participation in World War I by visiting the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or amiddlet@state.lib.la.us.

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