Slices loaf of bread topped with seeds
Why Sliced Bread Was Banned In World War II
During World War II, sliced bread was banned in the United States. This seemingly odd decision stemmed from the need to conserve vital resources for the war effort.
Wheat and materials used to make the bread, like steel for industrial slicing machines, were deemed crucial for military endeavors. Wax packaging paper was also in short supply.
Despite its relatively short time on the market prior to the wartime ban, sliced bread had become wildly popular, bringing convenience and revolutionizing American eating habits.
The prohibition was met with dismay, with many lamenting the return to slicing bread by hand. Additionally, the resources it aimed to conserve weren't in dire shortage.
Secretary of Agriculture Claude R. Wickard, who initiated the ban, acknowledged its minimal impact on resource conservation. The decision was reversed after less than two months.