How did women overcome the shortage of wheat in wars?  |  OVERVIEW

How did women overcome the shortage of wheat in wars? | OVERVIEW

Shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in a televised speech on Russian state television last Wednesday, the sound of explosions shattered the calm of dawn in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

The Russian military operation in Ukraine was met with US and European sanctions and promises of more sanctions, prompting strategic experts to expect a worsening of supply risks for grain exports to the global market, whose prices are already increased since early February, coinciding with Russian-Ukrainian tensions.

Russia and wheat

What is happening today on the global stage is the rise in the price of wheat and the growth is expected to continue with the decline in exports, given that Russia and Ukraine represent about 29% of global grain exports, especially since Russia is the largest exporter of wheat in the world, according to CNBC; It brings to mind what happened in the First and Second World Wars.

Analysts expect wheat prices to rise by 30%, and if sanctions are still in place by next July, when future wheat production will be harvested, sanctions will reduce global grain availability.

During World War I, the United States – the world’s second largest exporter of wheat – sent all available wheat in the form of white flour to Europe to feed its forces there, according to the State University Library. North Carolina “, and American citizens rarely. had to eat meals without wheat, It was worse in other parts of the world.

Gluten is not found in various types of cereals, such as wheat and barley, and only foods made from them.  It can also be hidden in thick sauces, for example, in soups, or spice mixes.  (Publication is free for dpa clients "dpa".  The image can only be used with the above text and provided the source is indicated.) Lens: dpa
Women not only made oatmeal bread, but created foods that were available to them to replace traditional foods (German News Agency)

the bread of war

Wheat means flour (flour), and flour means bread, which put mothers in World War I dilemma to feed their children and they neglected meat, fruits and sugar, but wheat was something else.

After several attempts by women at the time, they made the so-called “war bread”, using any alternative flour they could find, including rice, barley, rye, oats, potatoes or buckwheat.

During World War I, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration encouraged its citizens not to eat wheat and to replace it with potatoes whenever possible, according to ToGether WeWin.

The “bread of war” was widespread in America, Britain, Germany and other countries, with different ingredients available in each country.

Within two years of the outbreak of World War I, Britain had not yet provided food supplies for its military and its citizens, and as the war continued, the British Wheat Commission adjusted the rate at which wheat flour was extracted and limited bakery ingredients. . cakes and pastries with flour.

The purpose was to provide an adequate supply of bread and was called “bread of war”.

The rate of wheat flour extraction increased from 76% in 1916 to 81% in 1917, with a mixture of barley, oats or rye flour and with the addition of soybean or potato flour.

The bread was dark in color and had a different taste, so the women made the bread themselves indoors using the remaining flour available and mixed it with rice or pre-cooked potatoes, as well as beans or barley to make a special bread, according to the “History Press.”

At the time of World War I, after several attempts by women; They made the so-called “bread of war” (Pixels)

Baked goods with corn and oats

After the US Food Administration – during World War I and World War II – promoted cornmeal as an alternative to white flour, especially since the fat in cornmeal is more than wheat flour, women for the first time – then – prepared fresh corn cake. cornbread with “sour” milk and muffins. .

Just as women found new recipes in cornmeal, they sought to try another alternative to white flour that was also promoted during the war, oats, according to North Carolina State University Libraries.

Women not only made bread with oats, but created foods that were available to them to replace traditional foods. Among these innovations:

Coffee pudding: two cups of boiled oats, half a cup of sugar, half a cup of raisins, mix these ingredients and bake for half an hour, then serve hot.

Fruit oats: Women made this breakfast meal using two cups of oats, small grated apples, raisins, half a cup of sugar, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, and they were mixed together and baked for half an hour and women used fruit dried or fresh, dates or peanuts Crushed instead of apples if not available.

Oatmeal Soup: With a few traditional hot meals on war nights, women in World War I made what became known as “oatmeal soup” using oats, chopped onions, salt and bay leaves and boiling the mixture in water for an hour. then add milk and spices and half a spoon of butter when cooked.


In World War I and World War II, potatoes were available compared to flour, and responsible authorities in some countries promoted potatoes as a substitute for wheat, and that a medium-sized potato gives the body the same amount of nutritional value found in two slices. of bread.

According to Lavender And LovAge, one of the original meals invented by women in 1915 was the Sabbath pie.

Saturday pie: The women used the potatoes after boiling and mashing them, and placed a layer of them at the bottom of the pot with a layer of protein residue available after chopping and arranging it with the onions, then placing another layer of potatoes on top of the mixture. , except a little gravy and cook it in the oven and call it Saturday pie.

Potato Biscuits: To keep the family entertained in time of war, women made cookies using potatoes, a recipe that has survived to this day. A cup of mashed potatoes, a cup of flour, baking powder, salt, a tablespoon of butter and half a cup of milk. Mix the ingredients together, adding the milk gradually to make a smooth dough.

Open on a floured board and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a hot oven.

Women do not stop offering suitable alternatives to food in times of crisis (Pixels)

Potato cake: With the lack of flour, the women used the same recipe for the usual dessert and replaced the flour with a cup of mashed potatoes and half a cup of milk, provided the potatoes were well ground and mixed with the milk until it became very light and convenient. to make cake.

Women never surrendered in times of war and epidemics, and created the dishes and foods that were available to them, perhaps closest to these epidemics of the Corona epidemic, where women created a variety of foods, including “10-minute cookies.”

Even if grain is scarce, due to the Russian occupation of Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on Moscow, women will always try to find an alternative and innovate to feed their families in times of hardship before prosperity.


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