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The 1940s Experiment in the Press!
TBA- Feature article in Waitrose Weekend Magazine.
TV Series – Four in a Bed.
Woman loses 6 stone on WW2 rations
The Huffington Post
World War Two Rations: Woman loses 7 stone
The Daily Mail
Want to go to war on your weight? Try the ration book diet!
The Express (plus video interview)
WWII enthusiast lived off 1940s rations, saved £3000 and lost 7 stone
The Daily Star (plus video interview)
V for Victory! Thrifty mum saves pennies and drops pounds on 1940s WWII rations
An article in the Czech Republic!
The top ten most ridiculous fad diets
Frugality to the extreme
Losing 100 lbs on a wartime diet
5 Holiday Shopping Challenges
Carolyn Ekins: A Bright and Lighter Future Comes from the Past
The Awl- New York
Mock Goose and Other Dishes of the War-Ration Diet
Queens of Vintage
Would a Wartime Diet Help our Waistlines?
The Progress Bulletin
Challenge Helps Lighthouse Employees get Healthier
The WHG Magazine
The 1940s Experiment
The 1940s Experiment on Other Blogs!
Wolf Mamas Kitchen
Not Today, Reaper. Not Today.
100 Wartime Recipes
The Apron Revolution
WWII Ration Diet
Carpe Diem Acerage
1940s and 1950s blogs
Hopewell takes on Life!
Living on WWII Ration Allotment
Dear Carolyn — I am writing this from Japan. Your wartime recipes all look so yummy. I have a question for you. There is an interesting tv program in the United States in which I got interested in the wartime German food. I thought you may be the best right person to ask. It reads: ” (in 1943) Christmas came with sacrifice this year. Food rations had been tightened. Butter, meat, sugar and coffee were replaced with imitation foods, some made with potato meal or wood pulp. But for German troops in the East (Russia), it was much, much worse.” Here I wonder what “potato meal” exactly was, and what “wood pulp” was used for. Was it really a substitute for one of those food (butter, meat, sugar or coffee)??? If you know something, could you please let me know? Wood pulp for eating? Unbelievable… Thank you for your time. Will keep reading your blog.
Dear Atsubo- I do apologize for my tardy response. You have raised a very interesting question which I have to admit at this time I cannot answer although now you have asked it am determined to find out!!!! I wonder if you found out any more information on this since you wrote your question?
Thanks so much for reading my blog- it encourages me no end seeing folk take an interest in the experiment!
Wood pulp is cellulose. Potato meal is potato starch.
German food, We would’nt want any of that sort of thing.
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Ah, now there’s a narrow-minded attitude (from Capt Mainwaring). If you were starving and a German offered you food, whether it was war-time or not….you’d eat! I take great offence to your comment as I was born in Germany, grew up on German food here in Australia thanks to my Mum’s traditional cooking and can I just say, German food is DELICIOUS!
I am 33 years old and even back in the 1980’s in primary school I was teased for being a ‘Nazi’ …….just because my Grandfather’s were forced to fight under conscription, that somehow makes me personally responsible for what Hittler did?!
The war was nasty, food is awesome, get over your attitude.
(sorry, the previous comment of mine looks ugly in terms of lining; please delete it.) Hello, Carolyn. Thank you for your response and I am also sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Unfortunately I don’t have any further information written in English, but after I sent an inquiry to you, I’ve found someone’s blog (Japanese language) that introduces a quote from a book. It says that China used to add some pulp to substitute flour when baking bread upon one of the serious famines. Here is a translation:
“In those days when Gagarin traveled out into the space, a state of dilapidation inherented in a great crisis of dead of alive attacked China, which was also seen in the “Ancien régime” in Europe. The citizens equal to the scale as same as the world population of the 18th century were damaged. The starved easily suffered from a disease or had infections, the death rate worsened, and weakened females were
almost unable to get pregnant or give birth. Those people were used as a guinea pig for experiments of substitute food for famine such as bread made with 70% flour and 30% wood pulp, and rice porridge with
marsh plankton mixed. Having such pulp bread, everyone suffered from terrible constipation and many of them died. Similarly, all of them who had plankton porrigde got sick, out of which the weaker lost their lives.” (translated by me; hope it’s understandable)
Wood pulp bread sounds awful. I wonder if the German had to eat such bread as well in the wartime. Maybe they ate or drank it in a
different way… No rush, but please let me know whenever you find a probably answer. Hope you will meet someone who emembers the food life from the 30’s and 40’s someday.
Best regards, Atsuboo
I believe the bread was rather dry and awful. I am listening to Nella Last’s War on my Ipod, and it is a diary from that time. Nella talks about it. However, in the news here in the US, not so long ago, it was made known that some breads contained wood pulp to increase fiber.
I don’t have any documentation to back this up but I’m guessing potato meal is simply potato starch. It would likely have been a cheap and more plentiful source of carbohydrates and an easy way to add bulk to baked goods.
And as far as a coffee substitute, chicory root has long been used in this manner. It’s still sometimes added to coffee for a flavoring in the southeast US.
Your information and ideas all make sense. Wood pulp to increase the fiber. “Potato meal” simply meaning “potato starch”, to increase carbohydrates and bulk!!! I looked “meal” in a dictionary and yes, “meal” means “ground” or “grits”. It didn’t occur to me… I also like chicory in my coffee. I thank all of you, Lori, Beti and Caroline.
By the way, have you heard of Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, USA? They are famous for cafe au lait (chicory coffee + milk) and square donuts called “baignets”. My favorites. Try them somewhere, or visit http://www.cafedumonde.com (^o^)/
Best regards, Atsuko
I don’t know about the potato meal (perhaps less processed than our potato starch?) or the wood pulp, but I do know that a variety of roasted ground roots or grains have been used to replace or extend coffee–chicory being one of them. I’ve even heard of using blanched, toasted acorns.
There is a drink in the ‘States called Postum made from ground, toasted grains that is sold as a coffee substitute for people who can’t drink coffee. It’s…interesting; definitely not coffee, but has a nutty roast-y flavor that is pleasant. My grandparents loved it, and I felt sooo grown up when they let me have some! I may have to find it again…
Capt Mainwaring’s comment is just a wee joke based on a tv show called Dad’s Army .A comedy on the inefficient group of pensioners ” ready ” in the loosest sense to defend Britain against invasion so don’t worry about him , if it is a him , having an attitude .Don’t be quick to take offence , though I understand where the problem might lie .
Watch the programme and though it is rarely side splitting it is a cosy comedy . You’ll see its nothing to worry about
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I really enjoy your blog and think you are doing amazingly! I wondered what yoour thorghs on Juicing are, I watched Hungry for Change aswell and really enjoyed it but im trying to figure out for myself how it all fits in with the 1940s diet because thats what id like to follow and wanted to ask what you think?
The main thing I think is that the 1940s diet means eating lost of fresh vegetables and fruit, little processed foods, and only small portions of meat and dairy…
If you decide to to juice your daily fruit and vegetables then I think that is awesome! I think perhaps by juicing you can get lots of greens/nutrition in and to me that can only be applauded!
I juice some of my foods like spinach, kale and some fresh fruits although I like to make a smoothie from them as I like all the pulp/fibre as it fills me up.
PS Yes the full movie/documentary at http://www.hungryforchange.tv is excellent and Fat Sick and Nearly Dead was very good too.
so sorry meant to spell check before hitting send!
Can you add me to your mailing list please.
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if your still interrested, wood pulp really meant wood purree ( don´t know if such a word exists) and potato meal means Kartoffelmehl wich ist in fact potato starch. There were worse things than starch in german bread, silage for example, wich would give one horrible gut infections.
Sorry, non native speaker, take the typos as a gift 😉