Remembering America’s Forgotten ‘Fish Evangelist’

The Eat More Fish campaign distributed posters that implored patriots to “Save the meat for our soldiers and allies,” or, simply, “Eat the carp!” One of the posters featured a stern-looking woman in a starched lunch-lady uniform and paper cap. “Eat more fish,” she admonished the onlooker, “a real health food.”  The woman’s name was Evelene Spencer and, to many Americans, she would have been a familiar sight. From 1915 to 1922, Spencer held the distinguished title of Fish Cookery Expert at the USBF (later renamed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), where she led the charge in persuading the public to eat seafood, so prolifically that she eventually became known as the Fish Evangelist. Born in Canada in 1868, Spencer was a 47-year-old restaurant manager in Portland, Oregon, when she was hired by the USBF. She was married and the mother of two daughters. But little else is known about Spencer’s life or culinary training prior to her role as Fish Cookery Expert. photos, >click to read< 13:00

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