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During the First World War it was found that the oil extracted from whales proved useful in the production of explosives - and twenty years later, whales were still useful in the efforts to wage the Second World War.

As a result of the rationing of beef in order to placate the American war effort between the years 1942 through 1945, some folks along the home front turned to whale meat as a substitute for beef and pork:

"If you walk into a Seattle, Washington butcher shop and ask for a steak, you might be offered a whale steak. No ration points will be required, and the flavor will be somewhere between that of veal and beef. You can prepare your steak just as you would a sirloin, or you can have it ground into whaleburger."

"An average whale is valued at about $5,000, weighs from 50 to 80 tons and gives 7 to 15 tons of edible meat. It produces between 50 to 70 barrels of oil and 5 to 10 tons of bone. The liver weighs from 1,800 pounds and the heart about 400 pounds. Three types of whales are common off of the West Coast: the fin-back, best meat producer; the sperm, good for oil only; and the humpback which provides both meat and oil."

     


W.W. II Beef Rationing (Click Magazine, 1944)

W.W. II Beef Rationing (Click Magazine, 1944)

W.W. II Beef Rationing (Click Magazine, 1944)

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