Reference numberMS/527
Previous numbersMS 527, MS 528, MS 529, MS 530
TitleLetters and Papers of the Food (War) Committee
DescriptionCorrespondence, agendas, memos, drafts and printed reports on topics investigated by the Food (War) Committee of the Royal Society, and the day to day committee business.

Notes: the Food (War) Committee was founded in 1915 to act as a scientific advisory body to government bodies regulating food policy, trade and distribution, and rationing schemes in the food shortage of WWI. Composed of eminent biochemists, physiologists, agricultural scientists and economists, headed by William B Hardy, Secretary of the Royal Society. Prominent members include physiologists A D Waller, D Noel Paton, E P Cathcart, F G Hopkins, and W M Bayliss; agriculturalists T H Middleton, and T B Wood, and economist William J Ashley.

The Committee undertook pioneering work in researching dietary requirements, arriving at the minimum calorie needs to maintain a body at rest, and investigating the calorie requirements of different classes of workers. They advised against rationing of bread and developed distribution schemes based on sound science. Most of the correspondence deals with these research interests and policy advice.

Topics addressed include diet and mental work, scurvy and beriberi, nitrogen in the diet, early work on vitamins, and investigation of alternate food sources such as soya beans, cocoa butter, banana chips, and saccharine [MS/527/2]. The most successful scheme involved a public campaign to collect horse chestnuts to use in producing acetone for munitions manufacture, so that cereals usually used for this purpose could be saved to increase the nation's supply. See also the Committee minute books, CMB/72 and CMB/73.
Extent8 boxes [84 folders], (Bay 61) MS Box Large; 1 volume, MS Large (Bay 64)
Access statusOpen
Related materialCMB/72, CMB/73
Fellows associated with this archive
NA8234Hardy; Sir; William Bate (1864 - 1934)1864 - 1934
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    Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.

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