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 Featured Title
Food Will Win the War
The Politics, Culture, and Science of Food on Canada's Home Front
Ian Mosby  

$95.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 5/21/2014
ISBN: 9780774827614    

$32.95 Paperback
Release Date: 1/15/2015
ISBN: 9780774827621    

288 Pages


About the Book

Co-winner, Political History Group Book Prize, Canadian Historical Association

During the Second World War, as Canada struggled to provide its allies with food, public health officials warned that malnutrition could derail the war effort. In response, the state asked citizens to put their diets on a war footing through food rationing, menu substitutions, and household production. Posters asked women and children to "Eat Right, Feel Right" because "Canada Needs You Strong" while cookbooks helped ordinary housewives become "housoldiers."

Food Will Win the War explores both the symbolic and material transformations that food and eating underwent on the home front and the profound social, political, and cultural changes that took place in Canada during the 1940s. Through the development of nutritional policies and official food rules and guides, the state took unprecedented steps into the kitchens of the nation, transforming the way women shopped and cooked, what their families ate, and how people thought about food. Canadians, in turn, rallied around food and nutrition to articulate different visions of citizenship.

By focusing not only on the production, consumption, distribution, and regulation of food but also on its symbolic and cultural meaning, this incisive account of the formative years of nutrition in Canada links the gendered politics of home life to the wartime policies of the state.

About the Author(s)

Ian Mosby is a historian of food, health, and nutrition in Canada who received his PhD from York University.

Table of Contents


1 "Eat Right, Feel Right -- Canada Needs You Strong": Food Rules and the Transformation of Canada's Wartime Nutritional State

2 The Kitchen and the State: Food Rationing, Price Control, and the Gender Politics of Consumption

3 Mobilizing Canada's "Housoldiers" and "Kitchen Commandos" for War: Food, Volunteers, and the Making of Canada's Home Front

4 Tealess Teas, Meatless Days, and Recipes for Victory: Transforming Food Culture and Culinary Practice in Wartime

5 The Politics of Malnutrition: Nutrition Experts and the Making of Canada's Postwar Welfare State

Conclusion; Notes; Index


"This significant new work offers readers a taste of life on the home front during the war years by giving us a glimpse into the shopping baskets and a general sense of the day's routine of Canada's home food providers -- the volunteer home housoldiers."
-- Nathalie Cooke, founding editor of CuiZine and professor, McGill University

"Equal parts social, political, gender, and intellectual history, Food Will Win the War is an exceptional book that documents the history of WWII through the history of food. It is engaging, beautifully crafted, and convincingly argued."
-- Lara Campbell, author of Respectable Citizens: Gender and Family in the Great Depression

Sample Chapter

Sample Chapter [PDF]

Related Topics

History > Canada
History > Military
Women's Studies

Other Ways To Order

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