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This recipe for peanut butter soup was created by the Food Conservation Committee of Maine in the midst of WW1. The recipe allowed frequent substitutions to account for various shortages while it simultaneously attempted to popularize unpopular foods.
The Food Conservation Committee was the Maine branch of the Food Administration responsible for the dissemination of conservatory materials, like recipes, throughout WWI in Maine.
Although food conservation began as early as 1914, the United States Food Administration was created in 1917, by executive order from president Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), to incorporate those individual efforts and ensure that important resources like wheat were readily available to starving Europeans and the soldiers fighting on the front lines. Headed by Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), the Food Administration and their programs were largely voluntary, allowing states to opt in to programs, Each state had a volunteer 'Food Administrator.'
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