America’s independence is about more than brats and burgers on the backyard grills. Learn more about the food that fueled the American revolution.
 
As we enter the July 4 holiday weekend and festivities begin, we need to continue to remember those who fought for our county’s independence from 1775 to 1783. Many do not grasp exactly what our founding fathers were up against. The odds were heavily in favor of the British. According to the Smithsonian, one reason America was able to prevail was thanks to the patriots’ food supplies, which included beef and pork.
 
Tom Standage explained in “An Edible History of Humanity” the interesting dynamics leading to the war.
 
“In theory, the British should easily have been able to put down the rebellion among their American colonists. Britain was the greatest military and naval power of its day, presiding over a vast empire,” wrote Standage. “In practice, however, supplying an army of tens of thousands of men operating some three thousand miles away posed enormous difficulties.”
 
Standage added, “The British failure to provide adequate food supplies to its troops was not the only cause of its defeat, and of America’s subsequent independence. But it was a very significant one.”
 
In the book, “The American Revolution 100: The People, Battles, and Events of the American Revolution,” author Michael Lee Lanning described what the patriots’ rations normally included:
  • 1 lb. beef, or 3/4 lb. pork, or 1 lb. salt fish, per day;
  • 1 lb. bread or flour, per day;
  • 3 pints of peas or beans per week, or vegetable equivalent;
  • 1 half pint of rice, one pint of Indian meal, per man, per week;
  • 1 quart of spruce beer or cider per man per day, or nine gallons of molasses, per company of 100 men per week;
  • 3 lbs. of candles to 100 men per week, for guards;
  • 24 lbs. soft, or 8 lbs. hard soap, for 100 men per week.
Again as you celebrate Independence Day, remember those who went before us. Many have fought for our independence and freedom from the nation’s inception to now.
 
To learn more about the food in the Revolution, read from the Smithsonian.com.
 
To learn about an overview of the Revolution, read from history.com.