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World War One - Canadian Homefront

Questions and Answers

The Canadian Homefront
Food on the Homefront
Questions and Answers
Pictures of Life on the Homefront

1) Food Consumption


Q: What foods did the government wish to encourage Canadians to eat less of? Explain         the choices.


A: Government didn’t want people eating can or beet sugar because it was unpatriotic. In any candy the sugar must be reduced by 50%. The confectioners are prohibited from make French pastries (Government regulation)


Q: List the government policies and proposals to reduce food consumption.


A: If there has been waster of foodstuffs, investigation is made and if resulted from carelessness the offender is prosecuted.


-         The consumption (weekly) of food for a family of 5 in the food controller’s point of view is 10 lbs. of meat and substitutes, 20lbs of cereal, 20 lbs. of potatoes, 28 lbs. of fruits and vegetables, 31 lbs. of fat products and 4 quartz of milk.

-         In November 1917, the dominion government, as a war measure, forbade it to use foodstuffs in the distillation of liquors.

Q: What advice to the housewife would be easy and what advice would be difficult to follow?


A: There were 13 rules that housewives were expected to follow.


Some of the easier rules included:


1)      Eat as little cake and pastry as you can

2)      To use nut- butter or margarine

3)      Remake leftover bread into new bread, cake, or pudding

4)      Use ham and pork bones in other dishes

5)      Chew you food thoroughly- you will be satisfied with less.

6)      All kinds of cold cereal can be saved and when not enough to roll into balls to fry, they can be used in batter cakes and corn breads

7)      Cut each slice of bread as required.

8)      Do not display the joint of meat on the table. It is an inducement to have more than you need.

9)      Do both eat both butter and jam bread.


More difficult rules to follow include:


1)      Instead of one beefless day, why not try for six to make up for people who are less patriotic.

2)      Use oats, corn, barley, and rye instead of wheat.

3)      Mix your own cleanser

4)      Fifty million dollars is thrown out in the garbage cans daily.(don’t waste so much- reuse what you can.)

Q: How did the meals during the First World War differ from the meals of today? Explain why.


A: The average breakfast during WW1 didn’t include ones with eggs, and such as we know now.


The average dinner (lunch was called dinner and was very filling like our dinners) included something from each food group.


The average supper was very small and only included tea, milk, cookies, sliced banana’s, and corn muffins.


Q: Which meals would be easier to prepare?


A: The easiest meal to prepare was supper. The hardest was lunch/ dinner because of all the variety in it, which took more time and effort to prepare.


Q: When was the main meal of the day?


A: The main meal of the day was at lunchtime but was called dinner.


Q: During a major war, if it is proven necessary, should the government have the right to control a person’s eating habits? Defend your answer.


A: It is, if necessary, acceptable for the government to control eating habits of citizens but to a certain degree, keeping in mind different allergies and other serious health issues.


Q: What measures could have been adopted to persuade the people to change their eating habits?


A: By telling people what they will gain by eating what meaning encouraging people to eat foods that will put nutrients, vitamins, calcium, etc. in their body.


Q: In addition to food, what other materials would have been used sparingly during WW1?


A: People on the home front during WW1 were told to limit the amount of water, energy, and other resources that they used.


2) Food production


a. Calculate the percentage increase of eggs, wheat, bacon, and beef between 1913 and 1918.

1913                                      1918                 Percentage increase   


EGGS (dozens)        158 217               4 896 793                 3.23%

WHEAT (bushels)    92 686 291        150 342 037                61.7%

BACON (pounds)    40 000 000         200 000 000                   20%

BEEF (pounds)        5 000 000            87 000 000                5.75%



b. How could a nation increase its food production so rapidly in 5 years?


If farmers and people who produce food for their nation worked together to increase the quantity of the products and assured a greater outcome then it is possibly to increase the food production over 5 years. Weather, Climate, Soils, and Vegetation also contributes to these numbers too.




Q: Would the fact that there are millions of people starving all over the world justify measures governing people’s food consumption?


A: If people who were trying to reduce their food during the war and maybe staying hungry some days knew that people were hungry every day of their lives in other countries and dying because of the lack of food they eat, they might be a little more grateful and appreciative of the food the do end up with at the end of the day. People are luckier than they think- even during the war and if measures need to be made so that maybe something could go to those people I think the people who are eating every day would understand.


Q: How could you enforce measures?


A: By telling people and making them aware of what is going on in other area’s of the world- beyond their homes and communities they may just agree to follow the rules of their government and give up some more food for those who have none.


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By Michelle, Deidra, and Maria