Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pledge of the American Housewife

It's been just over a year since we posted the first entry about the rationing project, and our year-long journey will be over in roughly two months and some change. It's time to start thinking about life after rationing.

What do we keep? What do we throw aside? What changes stick and what changes slide away?

We are certain that we want to continuing eating a healthy, ethical diet. What this means has yet to be determined.

In the last post I grumbled about life after rationing c. 1940s. But, as I mentioned, there was a determined group of individuals who encourage Americans to avoid gluttony so that others in poverty abroad could receive our exports. The Famine Emergency Committee put together a pledge to solidify promises against food waste, and it seems like a good place to start for our own post-rationing ideas:

"This is my sincere and voluntary pledge to assist in saving the lives of millions of starvation victims throughout the world."

1. I will do my utmost to conserve any and all foodstuffs which the starving millions of the world need today so desperately.

2. I will buy only the food my family actually needs for its proper nourishment and health.

3. I will neither waste nor hoard...nor discard any article of cooking or in serving...and will ask my family for the fullest possible cooperation.

4. I will be particularly watchful in the use of wheat and cereals...and fats and oils...and will try to make certain that not a scrap of bread is wasted in my home.

5. I will make these little sacrifices gladly...for the sake of those who cannot enjoy my God-given right to live...and an American. [ellipses in original]

How many of us buy that extra bag of lettuce or fruit "just in case" and then watch it rot before it has a chance to be consumed? Or let containers of leftovers mold in the fridge while we do take-out instead?

These are the kinds of things we'll be pondering as we think about life after December 25, 2010.

--Rational Mama


  1. On the issue of not wasting, where does the rational household stand on mechanically separated meat and poultry? Pictures of MSP have been widely circulated around the internet recently, and Snopes has this to say about the process:

  2. I've tried to avoid the stuff for years. Does it use, in theory, the last usable parts of the animal? Yes. Does it expend a lot of time and resources to do so? Yes. So I'm not sure that the efficient use of the animal is outweighed by the inefficancy of the process (not to mention the poor nutritional profile of the final product).