Ninety-six years later, these “food rules” from World War I are more relevant than ever. Thanks to the UM FLAT (University of Montana Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology) for sharing this on their blog.


Michael Pollan, famous for The Omnivore’s Dilemma among many other books, wrote Food Rules to provide a primer for people who want to eat in a way that is more sustainable – personally, environmentally, socially, and even economically. But believe it or not, the United States government had beat him to it nearly a century earlier!

The Food and Fuel Control Act of 1917 was a wartime emergency measure that President Wilson pushed for in the midst of World War I. It intended to conserve resources at home so that more supplies could be sent to troops in Europe. Along with cultivating home “victory gardens,” the nation’s citizens were encouraged to practice “meatless Tuesdays,” “sweetless Saturdays,” and “wheatless” Mondays and Wednesdays. The act was repealed in 1921.

It’s interesting, though, and a little eerie that what the government was proposing in 1917 should so closely echo what many parts of…

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