Food

The eating facilities in the camps were large mess halls with long lines and crowded tables. Group living tended to erode family solidarity, as teenagers escaped parental authority by eating with friends rather than family. The quality of the food was poor and milk and fresh meat were constantly in short supply. Inexpensive foods such as wieners, dried fish, pancakes, macaroni and pickled vegetables were served often. The diets of the camp inmates improved only after they began growing some of their own food.

World War II (215)
Concentration camps (1243)
Food (234)

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234 items
Japanese American preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-330)
img Japanese American preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-330)
Original WRA caption: Dave K. Yoshida, from Seattle, Washington former Chef for Benjamin Franklin Hotel. Kitchen crew preparing lunch. Menu: Baked macaroni with Spanish sauce, spinach, pickled beets, bread-pudding, tea, bread & butter.
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-154)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-154)
Original WRA caption: The paste-like crushed bean mash is cooked thoroughly in the big vat shown in the picture and constantly stirred. This tofu (pronounced To-o-fu) factory is operated by the Tule Lake Co-op.
Packing mess hall dishes (ddr-densho-37-620)
img Packing mess hall dishes (ddr-densho-37-620)
Original WRA caption: Closing of the Jerome Relocation Center, Denson, Arkansas. Dishes from the center's thirty-three mess halls were carefully packed in straw and put in G.I. cans ready for shipment. Angelo Girardo of the Denver Office is shown supervising the work.
Japanese Americans preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-331)
img Japanese Americans preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-331)
Original WRA caption: Dave K. Yoshida, from Seattle, Washington former Chef for [the] Benjamin Franklin Hotel. Kitchen crew preparing lunch. Menu: Baked macaroni with Spanish sauce, spinach, pickled beets, bread-pudding, tea, bread & butter.
Camp kitchen crew (ddr-densho-37-619)
img Camp kitchen crew (ddr-densho-37-619)
Original WRA caption: Jerome Relocation Center, Denson, Arkansas. The Block 7 kitchen crew pauses for a picture in the early afternoon.
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-156)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-156)
Original WRA caption: The cooked beans are poured into a fine-meshed sack and water is added. Squeezing the sack the fiberous substance is held back and the rest of the precipitate is squeezed into a barrel. Into this strained mash or curd, brine is added to cause it to precipitate. This factory is operated by the …
Mess hall interior (ddr-densho-37-804)
img Mess hall interior (ddr-densho-37-804)
Original WRA caption: Jerome Relocation Center, Denson, Arkansas. The interior of the mess hall in Block 7 in the early afternoon.
Japanese Americans waiting in line for mess hall (ddr-densho-37-812)
img Japanese Americans waiting in line for mess hall (ddr-densho-37-812)
Original WRA caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Ready to pass into dining room at Manzanar, a War Relocation Authority center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry.
Japanese American cooking (ddr-densho-37-593)
img Japanese American cooking (ddr-densho-37-593)
Original WRA caption: Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, Arizona. Student Mary Sakai, former resident of Stockton, California, is shown putting sliced carrots in a double boiler in preparation for the drying process.
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-157)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-157)
Original WRA caption: This product called "Age" is made from the bean curd. This is shown in the picture. The curd is fried in deep soy-bean fat until browned. This factory is operated by the Co-op.
Meal in a mess hall (ddr-densho-37-525)
img Meal in a mess hall (ddr-densho-37-525)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. A group of residents loll over their evening meal.
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-155)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-155)
Original WRA caption: The precipitate is put into forms and pressed. Later it is cut into smaller cakes and kept in water as shown. Tofu is a kind of "bean curd" considered essential to the Japanese diet. Other pictures in this group show the various processes in the manufacture of this product. To preserve it is …
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-153)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-153)
Original WRA caption: Note: The markings on the blackboard, upper right, show the Japanese way of counting in fives to show number of buckets of beans processed. The bucket on the lower right contains soy beans which are soaked over night and then poured into this centrifugal "masher" which revolves at comparatively high speed. The white, …
Child eating in mess hall (ddr-densho-39-18)
img Child eating in mess hall (ddr-densho-39-18)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a little boy (girl?) ready to bite into a morsel of food at the Minidoka internment camp. There is a plate with two huge sausages and a roll. A coffee cup full of coffee and other plates and another coffee cup are in view. Windows have curtains. …
Japanese Americans lining up for mess hall (ddr-densho-93-21)
img Japanese Americans lining up for mess hall (ddr-densho-93-21)
Original Ansel Adams caption: Mess line, noon, Manzanar Relocation Center, California / photograph by Ansel Adams.
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