Food and Foodways

How WWI History Changed My Views about Peanut Butter

I hate peanut butter. As a kid, I wouldn’t touch a PB‘n’J, PB & banana, or PB & anything sandwich. The legume spread had no redeeming traits, I thought, until historical research in American World War I cookbooks broadened my mind.

Food is central to the history of American involvement in World War I. The war disrupted Europeans’ ability to import, produce, and distribute food. Well before the United States entered the war in 1917, Americans were providing humanitarian assistance, including food aid, to European civilians, who would have gone hungry without assistance.

November 19, 2014