An essay about world war i

Ultimately, the language of sacrifice, austerity, and thrift that dominated much of the wartime discussions of food contradicted the reality of many Canadians' wartime diets: that they were typically eating more, and better, than they had for more than a decade. This was particularly true for the more than one million Canadians who saw some form of military service during the war. While the food was not always as good as many soldiers had hoped, there was plenty of it. In 1943, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s standard ration scale allowed for nearly 3900 calories per day and – thanks to the efforts of some of the country’s leading nutrition experts – included far more fruits, vegetables, and milk than it ever had before. 19  Yet the same was often true of those who stayed home, as well. Statistics showed that the per capita consumption of nearly every nutrient had increased during the war. Even as late as 1945, per capita consumption of dairy products, fruit, and meat were each up 23 percent over 1939 levels, while poultry and egg consumption was up 12 percent. While rationing did typically require the average Canadian to eat less butter, sugar, and tea, the approximately two pounds of meat per person per week promised under meat rationing – in combination with access to off-ration meats in restaurants and elsewhere – actually assured a level of consumption from legal sources that was in excess of what most Canadians were eating during the Depression. In fact, per capita food consumption declined significantly after 1945 and it was not until the late 1950s that Canadians’ average food consumption levels would again reach their wartime highs. 20  It is perhaps not surprising, then, that many Canadians looked back on their wartime eating experience on the home front with fondness and nostalgia. Although most Canadians put away their recipes for “Canada War Cake” for good after the end of the war, rationing and the wartime mobilization of food provided them with something approaching a truly national eating experience that, for many, would remain one of their most positive memories of a period generally characterized by much more profound sacrifices in the lives of their family, friends, and neighbours.

An essay about world war i

an essay about world war i

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