Sliced toasts bread falling isolated on white background
The US Once Actually Banned Sliced Bread
By Elias Nash
As the saying goes, one of the greatest inventions in history is sliced bread. Invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder, sliced bread became a staple in every household in America until the U.S. Government banned it for a short amount of time, causing a societal meltdown of epic proportions.
On January 18, 1943, the US banned the sale of sliced bread as part of nationwide rationing during World War II to save the wax paper used for preserving sliced bread and the steel used in slicing machines, per Atlas Obscura. The ban was met with harsh backlash, especially from America’s homemakers.
Sue Forrester, a mother of four, even wrote a letter to The New York Times, saying, "I should like to let you know how important sliced bread is to the morale and saneness of a household." Time described a scene of "grief, cussing, lopsided slices which even the toaster refused, often a mad dash to the corner bakery for rolls."
The ban was eventually rescinded on March 8, 1943, and was so unpopular that no one in the government wanted to take responsibility for it. Although the official decree had been issued by Food Administrator Claude R. Wickard, it's unclear whose idea it originally was.