29 August 2010

When beans were bullets

I've previously written about wasting food a number of times.

There is a National Agricultural Library (US Department of Agriculture, USDA) exhibition until 10 September 2010 of war-time food posters at 10301 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville MD curated by Cory Bernat. The exhibit then moves to USDA at 1400 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC.
The exhibit examines the evolution of poster styles, propaganda messages and advertising history during the two time periods.

Viewers will recognize familiar wartime messages about food conservation, rationing and home canning. But today's audience might be surprised by government messaging during World War I encouraging home front populations to eat locally, healthfully and conscientiously in order to put the nation's interest first and contribute to distant war efforts. The exhibit also retraces the advent of modern consumer culture, including the far-reaching influence of both the Advertising Council of World War II and the dawn of the advertising industry in the 1920s and '30s.

Combining the eye of a graphic designer with the research skills of a historian, curator Cory Bernat highlights the dramatic differences in style and content that emerged between the two wars. She displays copies of over seventy posters on fence panels instead of in frames to highlight their mass-produced quality. She uncovered the educational and patriotic gems over the last two years among unprocessed posters within NAL’s Special Collections, where the originals are still held.

(picture via treehugger)

(picture from Beans are Bullets)

More of the posters can be viewed at the Beans are Bullets website. See also treehugger.

There may be a message somewhere that is relevant to today's over-consumption and obesity problem. Even during today's 'times of plenty', we owe it to those who faced tough times (and indeed many continue to do so through out the world) to treat food with respect and not be so wasteful.

No comments: