Thanks to Susan Schneider for bringing attention to these wonderful historical reminders.
I was simply delighted to find the National Agricultural Library (NAL) collection of War-era Food Posters available online. The physical collection was on display a couple years ago. Beans Were Bullets was an exhibit that “examined the evolution of poster styles, propaganda messages, and advertising history” from the World War I and II periods.
On the website, NAL has the posters divided chronologically and based on the theme of the period, with a helpful Introduction provided.
“Wartime posters in this collection conveyed messages about the vital need for food conservation, rationed goods, meatless and wheatless days, home gardening and canning.
For farmers, who performed a distinct role on the homefront, posters called attention to the need for increased agricultural output and proper storage methods of surplus grain. Posters also instructed farmers to grow crops in their specific regions to best serve a nation at war.
In addition to these wartime subjects, many of the posters presage food-focused conversations taking place in our culture today. Posters created nearly a century ago suggested food’s global significance, recommended eating locally and encouraged personally responsible consumption.”
The sections, with direct links are as follows. Each section has a written analysis and a link to the posters.
Whether for historical purposes, for humor, or to further the call to revisit a more local food culture, I encourage all to visit this collection. NAL performs a great service in cataloguing, protecting, and preserving our food and agricultural heritage.