Food rationing had been in place in Japan since 1940 with the beginning of conscription for the war, with individuals receiving about 12 ounces (0.75 lbs.) of rice per day. Throughout the war, these amounts steadily decreased, causing widespread hunger and malnutrition in the country. Major crops and vegetables, like potatoes, beans, carrots, onions, etc., were also rationed to a few ounces a day. By the end of the war, daily rations reduced caloric intake to approximately 1,500 calories. To avoid starvation, many families turned to foraging wild vegetables and ingredients, such as dandelions, chrysanthemums, chickweed, wild mushrooms, acorns, or whatever edible items they could find. These would be added to their rations, making small, insubstantial morsels of food into nutritious and often filling meals.