This is about coping with shortages, when World War I began. Since our own government is taking us down, learn what you can, while you can. Time grows shorter, with each passing day. Please click the link to see the complete article.
by Marc Benedict of J.R. 120,
edited by Rudi Weiß
Ersatz: an inferior substitute or imitation.
With the outbreak of WWI in August 1914, the press and government in the Entente countries were sure that Germany and Austro-Hungary could be reduced by hunger in some six months. It was a small wonder, then, that by September it was being asserted that the elephants of the Berlin Zoo had been butchered for their meat. It was also asserted that the Germans had brought all the food they had in the empire?s interior to their border towns so that agents and spies would be fooled into believing that there was plenty of food on hand. However, the famine theories were not progressing rapidly enough, for hunger was expected to do a great deal of fighting for the Allies. The German spirit was very strong and resented the assertion of their enemies that they would be defeated by their stomachs, as some famine-boosting university economics professor was insisting. There would, however, come a time when waists would shrink. As prices rapidly moved upward on meat, dairy products and delicacies, more people increased the consumption of food staples, especially bread; something would have to be done to meet these new demands. German scientists and researchers prepared to find solutions for not only the shortages of food but also of clothing–as well as strategic materials that were no longer available from overseas.
The area of food substitution was the most interesting. When stretching the food supply became necessary, the German pure-food laws were thrown on the scrap heap by the government . It really was remarkable what coal-tar would do for the Germans and their allies. It provided the base for their explosives, made their dyes, and from one period of the war by actual count provided 446 distinct and separate chemical products used in medicine, sanitation, and food substitution. Theoretically humans could be fed chemically by food in tablet form, but in practice, it would ruin the health of the populace. A diet of inorganic elements will not sustain organic life. The chemical food experts began to see that substitution would have to take the place of inventions and innovation.