The 1940’s Experiment on BBC World Service

What happens when you put a food writer, an author and a blogger in a virtual room with a BBC presenter and a BBC producer?

Karen Burns-Booth (Lavender & Lovage), Claud Fullwood (The Rations Challenge: Forty Days of Feasting in a Wartime Kitchen) and myself were invited by the BBC to be part of a discussion on the BBC World Service programme “The Food Chain” on our modern day experiences of living on wartime rations and the reasons behind why we undertook these ‘experiments’.

The episode has aired this morning and you can listen to it by clicking here. Karen and Claud are absolutely fascinating to listen too and we all got on so well so watch this space for future 1940’s collaborations in 2022.

The Food Chain: Why I chose to live on rations.

World War Two rationing imposed severe restrictions on food, so why would anyone voluntarily go back to it?

Ruth Alexander meets three women who chose to adopt the diet endured in 1940s and 1950s Britain, one of them for an entire year.

We hear how such scarcity inspired creativity, a reverence for the ingenuity of wartime cooks, and an enduring change of perspective on the responsibility of the 21st century food consumer.

If you would like to get in touch with the show please email

Presenter: Ruth Alexander Producer: Simon Tulett
Karen Burns-Booth, food writer –
Claud Fullwood, author of The Rations Challenge: Forty Days of Feasting in a Wartime Kitchen
Carolyn Ekins, blogger –

Just a heads up this is FINALLY launching on January 1st, 2022. A FREE download for all. I appreciate you bearing with me all this time. C xxxxx

12 thoughts on “The 1940’s Experiment on BBC World Service

  1. This is great. I haven’t used a rationing system but I have a tight budget which I think may be a kin to rationing and I still use some of your wartime recipes day to day. But I think I might have a go for a month in 2022 sticking to the ration budget to see how it differs from what I am using at the moment.

    • Like you I’m feeling like I need to do a month on rations again, its been such a long time since I have and there is nothing like fully immersing oneself in it 100%! xxxxx

  2. I turned on and caught it. As soon as I heard you mention Canada I thought it was you.
    It was very good and you deginahave a voice for radio!! Lovely well done. I shall listen to it in full later. Su

  3. Carolyn – it was a BRILLIANT programme. I just listened as planned, whilst baking. Thank you SO much. I’ve followed your blog for years and love it, but this was a lovely Christmas bonus. I’ve emailed the Food Chain, given it a 5*rating, and said it deserves wider publicity. So relevant now, with climate change, the poverty gap, the pandemic and more. THANK YOU

    • Oh golly, that is so generous of you to do that! I will have to let Karen and Claud know what you have said! I think we may have plans to do some live discussion sessions between the three of us next year at some time, there was such interesting information coming from Karen and Claud who do know more about the history than I do, mine is rather just on the food. Thanks for your support xxxxx C

  4. That was brilliant, I actually listened to it while I was prepping a Woolton Pie … pastry topped, I really don’t like it with a mash top!! Now my phone is all speckled with potato juice 😃🤣

    I did two months on rations a couple of years ago and see myself heading that way again. It was weirdly very enjoyable, there’s something so right about having to think more about what you are eating and buying only seasonal fruits and veggies.

    Again, well done … that was a wonderful broadcast. ❤️. Happy Christmas Carolyn 🎀🎄

  5. Just gave it a listen today and it was so lovely! Going to find the episode with the WWII survivors as well. Thank you for sharing.

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