Shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in a televised address on Russian state television last Wednesday, the sound of explosions shattered the dawn's calm in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

The Russian military operation in Ukraine was met with US and European sanctions and promises of more sanctions, which made strategic experts expect an exacerbation of the risks of supplying wheat exports to the global market, whose prices have already risen since the beginning of February, coinciding with the Russian-Ukrainian tensions.

Russia and wheat

What is happening today on the global scene is the rise in wheat prices, and the increase is expected to continue with the decline in exports, given that Russia and Ukraine represent about 29% of global wheat exports, especially since Russia is the largest exporter of wheat in the world, according to CNBC;

It brings to mind what happened in the first and second world wars.

Analysts expect wheat prices to rise by 30%, and if sanctions are still in place by next July, when the next wheat crop will be harvested, the sanctions will reduce global grain availability.

During World War I, the United States - the world's second largest exporter of wheat - shipped all its available wheat in the form of white flour to Europe to feed its forces there, according to "North Carolina State University Libraries", and American citizens rarely had to eat meals without wheat, It was worse in other countries around the world.

Not only did the women make oatmeal bread, but they created meals that were available to them to replace traditional foods (German News Agency)

bread of war

Wheat means flour (flour), and flour means bread, which put mothers in the time of the First World War in the dilemma of feeding their children, and they neglected meat, fruit and sugar, but wheat was something else.

After several attempts by women, at the time, they made the so-called "bread of war", using whatever alternative flours they could find, including rice, barley, rye, oats, potatoes or buckwheat.

During World War I, the US Food Administration encouraged its citizens not to eat wheat and replace it with potatoes whenever possible, according to ToGether WeWin.

The "bread of war" was widespread in America, Britain, Germany and other countries, with different ingredients available in each country.

Within two years of the start of World War I, Britain had not yet secured food supplies for its army and citizens, and as the war continued, the British Wheat Commission regulated the rate at which flour was extracted from wheat, and restricted bakery ingredients for cakes and flour sweets.

The aim was to ensure an adequate supply of bread and it was called "bread of war".

The rate of flour extraction from wheat increased from 76% in 1916 to 81% in 1917, with a mixture of barley, oats or rye flour, and with the addition of soy or potato flour.

The bread was dark in color and had a different taste, so the women made the bread themselves indoors using the leftover flour available and mixed it with pre-cooked rice or potatoes, as well as beans or barley to make a special bread, according to "The History Press".

At the time of the First World War, after several attempts by women;

They made the so-called "bread of war" (Pixels)

The emergence of baked corn and oats

After the US Food Administration - during the First and Second World Wars - promoted corn flour as an alternative to white flour, especially since the fat in corn flour is more than wheat flour, women for the first time - then - made crisp corn cake, cornbread with "sour" milk and muffins. .

Just as women found new recipes in cornmeal, they sought to try another alternative to white flour that was also promoted during the war, oats, according to North Carolina State University Libraries.

Not only did the women make oatmeal bread, but they created meals that were available to them to replace traditional foods. Among these innovations:

Brown pudding: two cups of cooked oatmeal, half a cup of sugar, half a cup of raisins, mix these ingredients together and bake for half an hour, then serve hot.

Fruit oats: The women made this meal for breakfast using two cups of oatmeal, small chopped apples, raisins, half a cup of sugar, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, and they were mixed together and baked for half an hour, and the women used dried or fresh fruits, dates or peanuts Crushed instead of apples if they are not available.

Oat soup: With few traditional hot meals on war nights, women in the First World War made what is known as “oat soup” using oatmeal, sliced ​​onions, salt, and bay leaf and boiling the mixture in water for an hour, then adding milk and spices and half a tablespoon of butter when ripe.


In the first and second world wars, potatoes were available compared to flour, and the responsible authorities in some countries promoted potatoes as a substitute for wheat, and that a medium-sized potato gives the body the same amount of nutritional value found in two slices of bread.

According to Lavender And LovAge, one of the original meals invented by women in 1915 was the Sabbath pie.

Saturday pie:

The women used potatoes after boiling and mashing them, and put a layer of them at the bottom of the pot, with a layer of the protein leftovers available after chopping and seasoning it with onions. Then they put another layer of potatoes on top of the mixture, in addition to a little broth, and cooked it in the oven, and they called it Saturday pie.

Potato Biscuits:

To keep the family entertained during wartime, the women made biscuits using potatoes, and the recipe has been around until today.

A cup of mashed potatoes, a cup of flour, baking powder, salt, a tablespoon of butter, and half a cup of milk.

Mix the ingredients together, adding the milk gradually to make a soft dough.

Roll out on a floured board and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in a hot oven.

Women do not stop providing suitable alternatives for making food in times of crisis (Pixels)

Potato cake:

With the scarcity of flour, women used the same recipe for the usual cake and replaced the flour with a cup of mashed potatoes and half a cup of milk, provided that the potatoes were mashed well and whisked with milk until it became very light and suitable for making a cake.

Women never gave up in times of wars and epidemics, and created dishes and foods that were available to them, perhaps the closest of these epidemics to the Corona epidemic, where women created types of food, including “10-minute biscuits”.

Even if wheat is scarce, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on Moscow, women will always try and find an alternative and innovate to feed their families in times of hardship before prosperity.