Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Taking Your Share.

I am occasionally asked about the most popular topics on this blog. I am not sure, but I suspect it is the posts about World War II. Perhaps they resonate with so many of us because we have grown up with family stories and memories of the events of the time.

During WW II, the Ministry of Food kept the public informed of ever-changing ration regulations and the supply of various key foodstuffs via radio bulletins and ‘Food Facts’ advice in the newspapers,
There was always a strong call to duty the Ministry’s literature, as you would expect, but it is interesting that many of the requests have a sort of timeless relevance even outside of wartime.

Food Facts leaflet number 59, from September 1941 does not contain any recipes, which is unusual, but its message is unequivocal.


Let’s face the facts squarely – especially FOOD facts.
Ask yourself these 5 questions.

Do you ever get more than your ration? Or accept more if offered? If so you are taking food which the country is counting on. Don’t believe that a little doesn’t matter, or that the “extra” will be wasted if you don’t take it. Many littles make a lot, and faults in distribution cannot be found and corrected if they are covered up by cheating the ration.

Do you ever shop-crawl? That is, go from shop to shop trying to buy a little here and there of some food which is scarce? This means that you are depriving people who have not as much leisure as yourself of their fair share.

Do you ever pay more than the control prices, or pay unfairly high prices for food that are not price controlled? Again, you deprive people not so well off as yourself.

Further, you encourage shopkeepers to buy at fancy prices from speculators; black markets and food gangsters are the result.

Do you ever waste food of any description? A bread crust, an outside cabbage leaf, little bits of left-overs, seem small in themselves. Multiplied by the entire population – 45,000,000 – they amount to many thousands of tons of wasted food.
Waste of food involves waste of the nation’s resources in money and in shipping space, for much of the waste has to be made good by importation. Worse, it may involve waste of seaman’s lives.

Do you neglect to produce all the food you can or to preserve foods whilst they are plentiful? This is another form of waste, and it too plays Hitler’s game.

Food is part of the fight – food must be conserved in a beleaguered city.


The recipe for the day is from Food Facts leaflet number 27, from February 1941. There were many, many recipes such as this over the war years – home-grown root vegetables presented in as many ways as possible.

Potato Carrot Pancake.
Well-seasoned mashed potato combined with cooked carrot makes wholesome and savoury-tasting pancake. Whip the mashed potato to a loose creamy consistency. Season well with pepper and salt and add some diced cooked carrot. Pan-fried slowly in a very little fat it develops a deliciously crisp crust, but it can be baked to a good brown in the oven if preferred.

Quotation for the Day.

Pray for peace and  grace and spiritual food. For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good. But don’t forget the potatoes.
John Tyler Petee

No comments: