The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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FORT WORTH, Texas, Friday—A call has gone out from the government to every housewife in this Nation. If she does not actually run her own kitchen, then she should see that whoever holds sway there understands the importance of her particular war job—the salvaging of fat for the use of the government. Fats contain glycerine, glycerine makes gun powder, explosives and medicine.

The Japanese occupation of the Far East has cut off much of our former imports of oils and fats. Our need and the needs of our Allies have greatly increased, and the place where we must meet them is in our own kitchens.

We should get a minimum of 200,000,000 pounds annually. The continental U.S. Army camps are salvaging about 60,000,000 pounds of waste fat a year. The Navy Department reports another 11,400,000, but so far our household fat salvage collections are only running at the rate of 90,000,000 pounds a year. This still leaves some distance to go in our households, and yet that is the place where this whole balance must come from.

It is more difficult, of course for the smaller households to make a real contribution, and many a woman feels that half a cup of fat is not worth saving. But it is the multiplication of half cups which counts in the long run. We shall only reach our goal with the cooperation of the small households as well as the large ones, to turn in whatever they do not need for personal use.

A recent consumer study made by the Office of War Information reveals the astounding fact that 9 out of 10 women know that the country has a fat salvage program, but only 6 out of 10 are saving their kitchen fat. Only 3 out of 10 have turned over any of these fats to be made into glycerine.

One pound of used cooking fat will produce enough glycerine to make a pound and a half of smokeless powder. It is estimated that American women throw away a billion pounds of waste kitchen fat every year. That means that we are throwing away a billion and a half pounds of smokeless powder. We cannot afford to do that. Our boys fighting in every corner of the globe need that powder and this is one of the ways in which every woman can contribute to the fighting of the war.

I have heard many a woman ask how she could do her bit when her days were filled to overflowing with housework and the care of the family. Here is one very important way, and don't let's forget it.



About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 24, 1943

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.