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The Problem of Changing Food Habits: Report of the Committee on Food Habits 1941-1943 (1943)

Chapter: Local Food Sufficiency, September 26, 1942 and November 21, 1942

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Suggested Citation:"Local Food Sufficiency, September 26, 1942 and November 21, 1942." National Research Council. 1943. The Problem of Changing Food Habits: Report of the Committee on Food Habits 1941-1943. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9566.
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Page 159

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LOCAL FOOD SUFFICIENCY * SEPTEMBER 26, 1942-NOVEMBER HI, I94 The first of these two meetings was a discussion of the background ma- terial presented by Mr. Frank ~ and was devoted primarily to the problem of ways in which local food sufficiency for high vitamin vegetables could be developed to meet probable shortages. Mr. David Meeker of the Food Requirements Committee explained that on the average only ~o-~5%o of the vegetable supply is grown in areas adjacent to the cities, and that in addition to the transportation problem there would also be the problems created by serious shortages of labor, both in the production and processing of food. He emphasized the importance of providing labor to maintain essential production in commercial market and truck gardening areas and of finding ways to adjust the diet to maintain health if smaller supplies of certain crops were available. Some of the difficulties in finding a successful solution were discussed. Victory gardens, or cooperative community gardens, constitute a partial solution to the problem and were thought likely to increase in numbers in Ugly. Greatly increased production from local commercial market gardens was not anticipated due to increased labor shortage and, although the use of youth might do much to alleviate the labor shortage, the success of such a program requires the close cooperation of the schools, many of which con- sider it a threat to the regular educational plan and consequently as some- thing which would have to be incidental. It was emphasized that the people need to be made aware of the seriousness of the situation and to understand the problems of food shortage, of farm labor, of the farmer himself, and of ways of attaining good nutrition, as well as to realize that cooperation is required to feed each community. At the second meeting, Mr. E. M. Lloyd of the British Food Mission described the British experience in handling local gardening problems. He explained that a great deal of propaganda was used to stimulate the raising of gardens, that the cultivation of vegetables with high vitamin A and C content was stressed, and luxury crops of low nutritional value were reduced. It was shown through demonstration plots that an average plot of ground would supply sufficient vegetables for a family throughout the year, and that was made the goal for all rural families. People paid rent for their plots. England did not find that gardening projects diverted manpower from com- mercial projects nor that it was impossible to get city people back into gardening habits. * See minutes of the Liaison Sessions of the Committee on Food Habits, under same title. f A memorandum on "Local Food Sufficiency for Improving Nutrition in Wartime," prepared by Mr. L. K. Frank, served as background material for the first.meeting, held September 26, ~942. ~59

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