World War I in Lawrence: Food-conservation efforts continue in Lawrence

Food-conservation efforts continued in Lawrence throughout the fall, as volunteers canvassed the town asking citizens, especially housewives and cooks, to sign a pledge card promising their best efforts in waste-free cooking. According to the Lawrence Journal-World in November 1917, Chancellor Strong addressed KU students this month “urging the gravity of the food conservation” and advising them, “Don’t complain of the food.” In a short talk to students, Strong said, “‘Boarding house keepers and boarding house stewards […] must depend on the good will of students to hold their jobs and if students complain because of war economies they necessarily will force non-observance of economy, which is a duty. Eat rarely between meals and eat sparingly of fats, sugar and ice cream. Observe wheatless days.'” The article continued, “Already boarding clubs, fraternities and sororities at the University have adopted effective economies. The fraternity apportions the sugar and is using many wheat substitutes. Another has desserts only on Sundays and observes three meatless days and five wheatless days each week. One sorority serves corn bread at least once a day and at another sorority pies have become such a rarity the students gave nine rahs when it was served recently.”

Two popular student eateries also pledged their commitment to the cause, as reported the following week: “The two college restaurants at the University of Kansas, Lee’s Inn and Oread Cafe, will serve foods to aid in the conservation of food movement if the students who make the greater part of their trade will help in insisting on having certain foods. Meatless and wheatless days will be put on if the trade demands it. These two cafes try to give the student a chance to fulfill his food pledges by serving some kind of fish and cornbread on most of the days in the week.”