So I have been asked exactly what I can and can’t eat on 1940’s wartime rationing..
When rationing was introduced in England on January 8, 1940 (incidentally that is my birthday…the January 8 bit NOT the 1940!!) it was to ensure that food was distributed fairly and that the dwindling food supplies lasted. However, rationing did vary slightly month to month depending on the availability of foods increasing when it was plentiful and decreasing when it was in short supply..
Here is the weekly ration allowance for one adult in the 1940’s…
Weekly ration for 1 adult
- Bacon & Ham 4 oz
- Meat to the value of 1 shilling and sixpence (around about 1/2 lb minced beef)
- Butter 2 oz
- Cheese 2 oz
- Margarine 4 oz
- Cooking fat 4 oz
- Milk 3 pints
- Sugar 8 oz
- Preserves 1 lb every 2 months
- Tea 2 oz
- Eggs 1 fresh egg per week
- Sweets/Candy 12 oz every 4 weeks
In addition to this a points system was put in place which limited your purchase of tinned or imported goods. 16 points were available in your ration book for every 4 weeks and that 16 points would enable you to purchase for instance, 1 can of tinned fish or 2lbs of dried fruit or 8 lbs of split peas.
Does this sound a lot or little to you? When you try and produce all your own food from scratch using the above ingredients and realize just how precious or even how difficult it was at times to obtain other necessary food stuffs like flour, oats etc it really makes you appreciate how difficult and how IMPORTANT the role was of the 1940’s housewife to feed her family and keep them healthy. It was for sure a long and hard job..
So why the heck am I putting myself through this silliness? Because I have to know what it was really like, because I believe that we can learn a lot environmentally from this period of time, because I’m fat and because one day I’d like to get glammed up in 1940’s style just for the hell of it…..!
Coming in part 2– veggies