Stop Hoarding Food

Written by Dick Perue

With World War I raging in Europe and the USA entering the fighting during the winter of 1917, Americans were asked to conserve food. Most Wyoming newspapers joined the effort, including “The Buffalo Bulletin,” which ran the following story, under the headline “Stop Hoarding Food” in its Dec. 6, 1917 issue:

Immediately after the war started in England, there arose a hysterical panic when people began hoarding of food of all description and hiding it for fear the government would confiscate it later. The result was an alarming rise in prices. After a time, when sanity was restored, the government worked out a rigid system of food control, took the profiteers by the scruff of the neck, regulated prices and generally employed methods so effective that living in England became cheaper months after the war than in the beginning.

There are reasons for believing that our own people have been both foolish and selfish in the fear of higher prices and that many of them, by hoarding food, have been doing the very thing that would bring about disaster. The government is very active just now in uncovering stores of food hoarded by profiteers, but for consumers to buy larger quantities of food than they need under normal conditions is to invite disaster in the same line.

A serious shortage in which there would be much suffering and deprivation can easily result from the policy of a comparatively small number of people in buying a six mouth’s supply of food for their future consumption. The nearer we get to living normal lives, the more effective will be our warfare on Germany.

During these war times, it is the duty of every American to conserve the wheat and sugar supplies. In fact, it is your duty to conserve all products and necessaries of life, but your attention is particularly called to the above mentioned articles of food.

There has been received at the public library a series of bulletins which deal directly with the uses of substitutes for wheat and sugar. In these bulletins may be found many and varied recipes for using corn, rye, graham, etc., and every cereal that is being urged on the people to use in place of wheat. There also may be found the recipes for the use of syrups and honey in place of sugar. Everyone is urged to save sugar. The new supply will not be received from the West Indies until sometime in January, and in the interim, all housewives are urged and invited to get in touch with the information that may be found in the library relating to the uses of the various substitutes for wheat and sugar.

Local merchants joined the effort with such advertisements as:

By planning meals so that you can observe the wheat-less and meatless days. Get down your cook book, hunt up the receipt for corn bread or graham bread and save flour. Use more canned goods, dried goods, fruits and vegetables.

Another merchant advertised:

Log Cabin Ready Spread is a delicious maple flavored frosting for cakes. You may save your sugar by using Log Cabin Ready Spread. We have fresh honey in the comb, and our supply of fresh fruit is of the best quality.