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Homemaking during wartime

The Story

Not all Canadian women spend the anxious war years in uniform or in coveralls. Most spend them in aprons - tackling the traditional job of homemaker. It's an unusually difficult job in wartime, with the stress of seeing sons and husbands sent overseas compounded by shortages and rationing at home. In this clip from CBC Radio's Food Facts and Food Fashions, Edith Elliott of the Dominion Department of Agriculture tells women how they can make do with less. 

Medium: Radio
Program: Food Facts and Food Fashions
Broadcast Date: June 12, 1942
Guest(s): Edith Elliott
Duration: 6:44

Did You know?

• Beginning in 1942, food and gasoline were rationed in Canada to ensure each family received a fair share of items in short supply. Imported items like sugar and tea were particularly hard to obtain. Coupons were issued, to be turned in when items were purchased.
• Homemakers were encouraged to can their own food, though this became difficult as metal was diverted to wartime production. Consumers were told to "Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do or Do Without."

• B1 was the first vitamin to be discovered (in 1929, Christiaan Eijkman and Frederick Hopkins received a Nobel Prize for the discovery.)
• Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is a small organic molecule called a coenzyme used in cellular respiration (turning food into carbon dioxide and water). A shortage of B1 can lead to beriberi, a disease that damages the heart and nervous system.
• During the Second World War strains of yeast rich in vitamin B1 were developed, allowing white bread to be "enriched."


On Every Front: Canadian Women in the Second World War more