Wanted: Recruits for an Army of Kitchen Soldiers!

Source: Good Housekeeping (December, 1917)

A hundred years ago, the United States (and many other countries) were engaged in World War I. Much food was being shipped to Europe to feed the troops, and women were being encouraged to support the effort.  Good Housekeeping magazine was even encouraging its readers to join the effort by becoming “Kitchen Soldiers.” Here’s a few excerpts:

Wanted: Recruits for an Army of Kitchen Soldiers!

Women of America, this is a call to you to enlist in an army of food conservation. It is an opportunity to fight a battle that is being waged as earnestly, as bravely, and as skillfully as any battle overseas. It is a call to put your heart and soul into winning this war — to be a Kitchen Soldier!

For Washington the Government is working with a giant’s strength. But the first official request is for cooperation. The Food Administration can make us think, can lay down great, broad, general plans, can tell us what our country and our Allies need. But then the burden comes to us–to work out for ourselves the details of the ways in which each one can serve best.

And that is where Good Housekeeping knows that it can aid you as a central point of contact, a clearinghouse of ways and means, a vast recruiting station for the women of this country.

If you are willing to play an active, vital part of saving food and making every meal a blow for freedom, send us your name to be enlisted in the Kitchen Soldiers’ Army. As a symbol of your devotion to the cause in which the Allied nations are engaged, you will receive from us a richly printed certificate. Hang it upon your kitchen wall to remind you of your pledge!

Good Housekeeping (December, 1917)

15 thoughts on “Wanted: Recruits for an Army of Kitchen Soldiers!

  1. It is so hard to imagine how much my grandparents and parents had to give up. I have to say, much of that thriftiness has trickled down to me and I can never waste food and if I do, I feel really bad about it. The joke in our house is that our refrigerator is always empty…everything is used.

    1. 🙂 I think that my ancestors’ thriftiness has also trickled down to me. If I buy something, and only use half of it in a recipe, I always try to find another recipe where I can use the rest.

  2. So interesting! And I have my mother’s booklet from WWII entitled “100 Ways to Save and Serve.” There is a whole lot in that one about making food stretch too. Seems war makes us all conservationists. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Given the statisics about wasted food in this country today, it seems we could use a refresher course. I remember how long that Thanksgiving turkey could last — right down to the soup made with its bones.

    1. I recently was thinking that I should try making soup from the turkey carcass at Thanksgiving – though I’ll probably get busy and won’t actually do it.

    1. I also found it interesting. It’s fascinating how the magazine sought to engage their readers in feeling like they are part of the war effort while they were cooking in their kitchens.

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