chapter  21
10 Pages

Food and American Wars

ByKELLEN BACKER

The importance of food to the practice of warfare is certainly one element of historical inquiry, but historians can – and also have – started to examine the ways that warfare shapes food. Supplying armies can lead to shifts in food production. Wars also mean food shortages, which forces civilians and soldiers to change their diets. Resources become scarce during wars, and governments often find new ways to impose regulations on food systems to keep supplies readily available. All of these changes are at their most intense during wars, and such short-terms shifts can lead to long-term changes in food systems. Food and warfare are certainly linked, but in the scope of American food history, how important are wars?