Despite the fact that some foods were scarce and others were rationed, World War II eating patterns resulted in a more balanced diet, better nutrition, lower cholesterol, and reduction in weight.
The Kitchen Front was an integral part of the War effort, mobilized by propaganda from government agencies as well as radio broadcasts, magazines, educational organizations and newspapers. Everyone was challenged to use their ingenuity and imagination to extend the food supply. And they did–nothing was wasted.
- Mashed potatoes were substituted for flour whenever possible
- Equal parts of melted butter or margarine and mashed potatoes were mixed together to make a spread for sandwiches
- Syrup was made from sugar beets to sweeten drinks and puddings
- Edible weeds such as dandelions and nettles supplemented vegetables
- Drippings from roasts were used as fat
- Apple peelings were not thrown away–they were boiled in water to make a lemon-flavored liquid
- Heavy cream was churned into butter
- Grated potatoes were soaked in water and allowed to ferment to substitute for yeast
- Stale bread was dipped in and out of cold water or milk, placed on a greased tin and baked in a moderate oven until crisp
- Dried eggs reconstituted with water replaced whole eggs whenever possible; dried skim milk was sprinkled on stewed fruit as a sweetener
- Restaurants served meatless meals such as vegetable cutlets, nut burgers, cheese-less macaroni and cheese, tripe creole or organ meats like kidney stew
Author and former TV reporter Anupy Singla has made inroads in the American culinary market by promoting DIY Indian cooking.
Anupy Singla is hoping to turn Indian cuisine into the next Mexican food.
Well, not exactly, but this best-selling cookbook author, mom and former broadcast journalist sees a real need for what she has to offer — expertise as a self-trained cook informed by emigrating from India at just age three.
Yet, her business, Indian as Apple Pie, is more than just a cute concept: it’s spices, recipes, cookbooks, a blog and, with any luck, the inspiration for a TV show.
Spices the Indian way
Singla, who lives in Chicago with her husband and two young daughters, says her business fills a niche, and she is shattering preconceptions.
That’s because many Americans just don’t get what Indian food is about, she claims; for example, we frequently confuse a curry with curry the spice, or douse dishes with the spice as a “Saturday Night Fever” character would his cologne.
“Some think curry powder is the essence of Indian cooking. I grew up never using curry powder, only for some specialized non-Indian [foods],” she says.
The average American will eat 130 lbs of sugar every year during his or her lifetime. That’s a 650% increase over the 20 lbs per year that was consumed, on average, back in 1820. And while we all know that processed sugar is linked to a long list of health issues like diabetes, hypertension, headaches and depression it also contributes to a sort of dumbing down of our taste buds. The more sugar we eat, the more conditioned we become to it, and the less of it we actually taste.
Kenton Whitman has a lot to say on the subject of processed sugar and its stealthy partners, salt and fat. Whitman is the man behind ReWild University, a Wisconsin-based school for re-integrating human hunter-gatherer wisdom and “learning to live consciously in the world.” He’s one of a handful of people leading a movement to awaken some of our latent wild instincts and to develop an appreciation for our place in the natural world. One step in the process is rewilding how we appreciate flavor.
“Sugar actually decreases the pleasure we get from food,” Whitman says. “In very tiny amounts, it can enhance flavors, but it’s easily overused to the extent where it masks the true flavors of food. Instead of tasting the actual food, we just taste the sugar, and find ourselves craving more.”