Were They Kitchen Patriots? : The American Woman and World War II Food Rationing
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During World War II, the United States Government implemented a widespread, successful rationing program on the home front which enabled it to have ample supplies to send to American troops overseas. The marketing of this program targeted primarily women on the home front who were the homemakers and were thus in charge of the family’s food consumption. Through large-scale campaigns via various media outlets, the government tried to enforce the idea that using food rations well was a political statement. A woman who knew how the point system worked and made the best with her rations was a true Kitchen Patriot. Historians have researched rationing during WWII regarding women for decades. However, none have also considered the now recorded oral histories from the women who were homemakers during World War II. Studying the oral histories of these women is vital to understanding what they actually felt, thought, and understood about rationing. This work includes research about the government and media’s involvement in the advertising of the rationing program but also involves oral histories from the Kitchen Patriots of World War II to uncover what was and wasn’t a success of the United States’ rationing program. It was found that when these oral histories are reviewed, the women did not feel that they were Kitchen Patriots. Food rationing was not a strong, patriotic act; it was simply what had to be done.
World War, 1939-1945