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Home Front Friday: Bam Goes the Bacon Grease!

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Home Front Friday is a regular series that highlights the can do spirit on the Home Front during World War II and illustrates how that spirit is still alive today!

One of the most interesting themes that connect modern America with WWII-era America is conservation and rationing. While we currently are not involved in a total war, conservation and recycling has made a huge comeback in recent years. Composting, for example, is becoming more and more popular in homes across America.

Back during World War II, however, instead of using scraps and edible waste for growing more food and plants, people would collect their scraps and donate them to the war effort. One of the most popular programs was through the American Fat Salvage Committee, where recycled meat grease would be used to make explosives! In the words of Emril Lagasse, “Bam!”

bacon fat

Bacon grease is still amazingly versatile with many different edible and non-edible uses. For example, did you know that you can use bacon grease to start a campfire? You can also make candles and soap out of bacon grease as well! It even has medical purposes—you can use bacon grease to heal and soothe small cuts and remove splinters. Birds love bacon grease as well—mix some cooled grease up in some bird seed and they’ll be happily singing in no time.

In short, the next time you go camping, remember to pack some bacon so you can reuse your bacon grease!

Posted by Catherine Perrone, Education Intern and Lauren Handley, Assistant Director of Education for Public Programs at The National WWII Museum.

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