Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Great War: May 11, 1917

On Monday, Gossips published an editorial from the Hudson Evening Register that explained why short foodages were a cause for concern in the early days of U.S. involvement in World War I. Today's offering is an article from the Evening Register for May 11, 1917, which addresses the shortage of wheat and the consequent high cost of bread.

The price of wheat has gone to over $3 a bushel in the markets. The Government May forecast indicated a winter wheat crop of only 366,116,000 bushels, as compared with a yield of 481,000,000 bushels last year. Should the harvest reach the figure named in the forecast, there will be a shortage of some 80,000,000 bushels of winter wheat. . . .
Flour may be expected to soar to unusual heights, unless the government stops the exportation of wheat to such neutral countries as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, etc., whence, it is more than hinted, large quantities have found their way into Germany to the very great enrichment of the Scandinavians.
The shortage and the high price attending it ought to impress upon everybody the necessity for eliminating every crumb of waste. Not a crust or scrap of bread should be thrown away. In the 20,000,000 homes in this country a vast quantity of bread is wasted every day.
Bread has been so cheap that we have grown very careless indeed in its use. We have come to consume larger quantities of it than need be, and we have wasted it with a carelessness and prodigality that is shocking.
Perhaps the advancing prices and the actual scarcity of wheat and bread will teach the nation a lesson that is sorely needed.  

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