Both War Breads and the Preservation of Food were published in 1917 by the Ontario Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Ontario Women’s Institute (WI). Established in 1888, the ODA endeavoured to “improve the quantity and quality of agriculture” by providing guidance and instruction for production methods, farm management, and marketing. The ODA was an important surveyor of wartime food consumption and preservation, advising Ontarians through the publication of cooking pamphlets how to adjust their menus and favourite recipes.
The Women’s Institute was also a key component in the campaign to cut back. Initially founded by domestic science crusader Adelaide Hoodless in 1897, the WI had become a popular organization for rural and farm women by 1917. Most WIs and their members wholeheartedly supported the war effort, engaging in a variety of patriotic work such as sending supplies overseas and raising money for the Red Cross. They continued their pre-war agenda of rural home improvement by offering Ontarians instructions and guidance for the growing of “Victory Gardens” and canning and preserving their home-grown produce.
Chapman, Ethel. The Preservation of Food:Home Canning. Toronto: Ontario Department of Agriculture. 1917. Gift of Una Abrahamson. Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library.