Will Rationing and Victory Gardens Return?

President Joe Biden has said America will not engage Russia militarily in connection with its invasion of Ukraine.

But what if Russia’s ambitions go beyond Ukraine? What if President Vladimir Putin attacks a neighboring NATO nation? In that case, Biden said the U.S. will come to its aid.

The situation in Eastern Europe has many Americans on edge. We haven’t had to worry much about military conflicts in recent years. Especially with a country such as Russia. But now it’s top of mind for many people.

It’s also bringing to memory a few things that occurred while America was involved in World Wars I and II. Namely, food rationing and victory gardens.

‘Meatless Tuesdays’ & ‘Wheatless Wednesdays’

The first major example of food rationing in the U.S. was in 1917 after World War I began. President Woodrow Wilson established the U.S. Food Administration. In order to provide U.S. troops with the sustenance they needed to fight overseas.

Future President Herbert Hoover was tasked with overseeing this voluntary program. Americans’ compassion and patriotism would determine the initiative’s success.

The goal of this new administration was to manage the wartime supply. As well as the conservation, distribution and transportation of food. 

American citizens were asked to reduce consumption of meat. Plus wheat, fats and sugar. They were encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables. Because they were difficult to keep fresh when transported overseas.

Among the slogans people saw on billboards and heard on radios were, “Food will win the war.” Promotions included “Meatless Tuesdays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays.”

The plan works

Local food boards were established. In order to help American families prepare meals without meat and wheat.

These boards offered guidance, recipes with suitable replacements and canning demonstrations. 

So, did the plan work? Yes. Within a year, food shipments to our troops in Europe doubled.

Between 1918 and 1919, food consumption in America was reduced by 15 percent. Following the war, Hoover organized shipments of food to millions in Europe. They were starving due to the effects of the war.

Mandatory restrictions

Fast forward to World War II. It was obvious U.S. involvement in this global conflict would last longer than in World War I.

Voluntary conservation wasn’t going to be enough. So, the U.S. government put restrictions on imported foods. And placed limitations on the transportation of goods, due to a shortage of rubber tires.

In early 1942, the Emergency Price Control Act was established. Price limits were set and food rationing began.

Soon Americans couldn’t purchase sugar without government-issued food coupons. Additional rationed foods included meat and cheese. Plus canned fish, canned milk and other processed foods.

Victory gardens save the day

During World War II, the slogan changed from “Food will win the war” to “Do with less so they’ll have enough.”

Many people planted “victory gardens” to supplement supplies they bought at stores. Even First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted a victory garden on the White House lawn in 1943.

Victory gardens were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at homes and in public parks. The goal was to reduce pressure on the public food supply so more food could be sent to troops overseas.

In addition, victory gardens were designed to boost citizens’ morale. Ideally people would feel empowered by their contribution of labor and be rewarded by the produce they grew.

Less than 18 months after the U.S. entered World War II, there were 18 million victory gardens in the country. Two-thirds were in cities, with the remainder on farms. One-third of the vegetables produced in the U.S. came from victory gardens.

Rationing could make a comeback

It’s been a long time since food and other items were legally rationed in America. But that doesn’t mean it will never happen again. In fact, it could occur sooner than we think.

And even if it doesn’t, stores could limit purchases of some products including food due to war.

Backyard survival gardens allow us to feed ourselves and our families indefinitely.

Today I want to give you what I believe are the top five standard, must-have plants for most backyard gardens. You may want to grow more, but I wouldn’t neglect these five.

The 5 standards

Everyone will make different choices, depending on a variety of factors. Including personal tastes, the type of soil you’re working with, weather conditions and so forth. But I don’t think most people could go wrong with these choices.

Tomatoes might be the single most popular food to grow in backyard gardens. I don’t have to tell you how delicious they are, especially when fresh. You can eat them plain or cut them up and add them to salads and stews. They’re easy to grow and they ripen on the vine. Sun-dry them, freeze them or can them.

Carrots provide crunchiness and sweetness in every bite. A good source of fiber and antioxidants – plus minerals and nutrients for eye health – these bright orange vegetables can be used in any blend. They taste great raw or cooked, and are perfect for dipping and snacking. They’re simple to can, freeze and store.

Lettuce is the bedrock of salads. It’s the constant in just about every salad, and is part of many lunches and dinners. Because it contains so much water, it can help keep you hydrated. And its Vitamin K supports healthy bones. Especially as we age. It’s also a good source of fiber, iron, folate and Vitamin C. 

Beets grow quickly and the plants can grow large, so give them plenty of room in your garden. They may end up weighing several pounds. Packed with vitamins, beets taste sweet and store well. The leaves can also be consumed, although some people consider them a little too bitter.

Zucchini is an easy plant to grow and tastes delicious. There are a variety of ways to prepare its seeds, fruit and skins. They have deep root systems, so they can draw nutrients from deeper levels of soil than most.  Even before your zucchinis are ready to pick, you can eat their leaves and flowers.

2 Victory Garden Seed Vaults for the price of one

Now, you could go out and search for the best tomato seeds, the best carrot seeds, the best lettuce seeds, etc.

And eventually you’ll probably find some good ones. Or, you could place one order from the comfort of your home and get a great variety of non-GMO seeds passed down from our forefathers.

And best of all, one-half of those seeds will be free. That’s right. For a limited time, you can get two Victory Garden Seed Vaults from 4Patriots for the price of one.

That means between approximately 15,000 to 20,000 seeds from five popular varieties (tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, beets and zucchini). For one low price. And you can plant the seeds from your crops next year, so you never have to buy seeds again.

That, my friend, is called self-reliance.


  • theresa needle - April 03, 2022

    I agree with libby. make them red baby potatoes and green onions.

  • constance j Anderson - April 03, 2022

    Good information.

  • Libby Mullens - April 01, 2022

    I would have included potatoes and onions. Both store well and are super useful.

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