Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wasting Food is an Offence.

Today, August 7th …

With the War under way, the employees of the British Ministry of Food must have been working overtime by August 1940. Some lessons learned in the First War were put to good use, as this newspaper article from this day in 1940 shows:


An Order under which it will be an offence punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, to waste food was made yesterday, and will come into force next Monday. Mr. Boothby, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Food, said that it closely resemble a similar one made in the last War. Cases brought under that Order included the following:-

A woman who fed 14 dogs on bread and milk, fined ₤5.
Another woman who gave meat to a St. Bernard dog, fined ₤10.
A workman who left a loaf of bread in a cottage from which he moved, fined ₤20.
A furnaceman who, dissatisfied with his dinner, threw the potatoes in the fire, fined ₤10.
A woman who burned stale bread on her lawn, fined ₤5.
A farmer who fed seven stone of rock cakes to his pigs, fined ₤10.
Another farmer who fed his stock on bread, imprisoned for three months.

Under the present Order the penalties will be: On summary conviction, imprisonment not exceeding three months, or a fine not exceeding ₤100, or both. .... Mr Boothby said that the Order was not intended as a scourge, but only as a general direction to the public not to waste food. “It is not going to be harshly interpreted,” he said “I can guarantee that.”

The farmer feeding rock cakes to the pigs caught my eye - that is a lot of rock cakes (a stone is 14 lb). Was Mrs Farmer a terrible cook? More likely a local baker supplied them. Did the baker get fined too?

I always thought the name ‘Rock Cakes’ sounded unappetising and not salesworthy. Rock Cakes are something between a scone and a muffin – quick cakes which don’t keep well. Perhaps some of the older housewives of WW II pulled out this recipe from their clippings – it is taken from a newspaper milk advertisement of 1919.

Libby’s Orange Rock Cakes.
Mix together 8 oz of flour and 4 oz of sugar. Grate in the rind of one small orange and add a pinch of carbonate of soda. Stir in gradually the juice of an orange, a cupful of Libby’s Milk, and one well-beaten egg. Half fill small buttered tins and bake 15 minutes in a moderate oven.

Tomorrow’s Story …


Quotation for the Day ….

My mother didn't really cook. But she did make key lime pie, until the day the top of the evaporated milk container accidentally ended up in the pie and she decided cooking took too much concentration. William Norwich.


Anonymous said...

Your notes on the fines paid for feeding pets certain things makes me curious as to what exactly pets (and livestock) were fed during that time when rationing was so tight, Janet. It must have affected their diets as well.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Karen - I've been wondering that very thing myself. Many of the offences seem to be related to giving wheat-based foods to animals. Wheat was certainly very scarce at the time, with all sorts of bread-saving tips and recipes being promoted. I could try to find out what animals were fed .... so many curiosities, so little time to check them out ...

Anonymous said...

Wasting food is indeed a sin or at least a vary bad thing human can do. The Holy Qur'an:

Surah 102. AT TAKAATSUR 1-8
(Rivalry In World Increase, Competition)

1- The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things),
2- Until ye visit the graves.
3- But nay, ye soon shall know (the reality).
4- Again, ye soon shall know!
5- Nay, were ye to know with certainty of mind, (ye would beware!)
6- Ye shall certainly see Hell-fire!
7- Again, ye shall see it with certainty of sight!
8- Then, shall ye be questioned that Day about the joy (ye indulged in!)

Surah 7. AL A'RAAF 31
(The Heights)

O Children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.

Surah 30. AR RUUM 41
(The Romans, The Byzantines)

Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned. That (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil).

Surah 100. AL 'AADIYAAT 8
(The Courser, The Chargers)

And violent is he in his love of wealth.

Surah 104. AL HUMAZAH 2
(The Traducer, The Gossipmonger)

Who pileth up wealth and layeth it by,

Surah 17. AL ISRAA' 26
(Isra', The Night Journey, Children Of Israel)

And render to the kindred their due rights, as (also) to those in want, and to the wayfarer: but squander not (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.

Surah 89. AL FAJR 20
(The Dawn, Daybreak)

And ye love wealth with inordinate love!

Surah 25. AL FURQAAN 67
(The Criterion, The Standard)

Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes);

Surah 15. AL HIJR 3
(Al-hijr, Stoneland, Rock City)

Leave them alone, to enjoy (the good things of this life) and to please themselves: let (false) Hope amuse them: soon will knowledge (undeceive them).