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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Waste No Food. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, ca. 1917. Broadside. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (066.00.00)
Harris and Ewing. Store interior with Waste No Food poster displayed, 1917 or 1918. Copyprint. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (067.00.00)

Waste No Food

The U.S. Food Administration distributed, through its various state organizations, this broadside and others like it to stem the waste of food. Volunteers, most often clubwomen, posted the broadsides "in every place where numbers of people will see them," including schools, libraries, groceries, and public transit. The 1917 Official U.S. Bulletin reported, "Waste in any individual household may seem insignificant, but if only a single ounce of edible food, on the average, is allowed to spoil or be thrown away in each of our 20,000,000 homes, over 1,300,000 pounds of material would be wasted each day. The housewife must learn to plan economical and properly balanced meals, which, while nourishing each member of the family, do not encourage overeating."