Sunday 31 July 2011

Two weeks on a wartime diet

When I set out to be self-sufficient, I quickly realised that important lessons could be learnt from the diet the British experienced during the Second World War. Food was not wasted, people ate healthily, and they ate what they needed. I am keen to apply those lessons to the modern world. As an historian, to understand a period best, I need to do more than just read the sources. I need to live it. So, we are going to do two weeks on a wartime diet, starting tomorrow.

We will have the rations available to people in 1942. Not all food was rationed so we will have modest but realistic supplies of non-rationed foods. Furthermore, people were strongly encouraged and helped to grow food on allotments and in gardens and we will be using some of our own produce. Nevertheless, we are aiming to make this as realistic as possible.

So tomorrow, we will be having bread for breakfast and a potato salad for lunch. For dinner we will be having Lord Woolton pie. More about these in later entries. The wartime Government's food policy aimed to switch people away from white bread, red meat, fats and sugar and on to wholemeal bread, potatoes and fresh vegetables. Hence the reason for the potato salad for lunch. In addition, the Government encouraged people to eat salads during the summer as they were more healthy, used up locally produced food and reduced energy needed to cook meals.

Anyway, I will be doing regular posts on how we get on with this historic diet.


Anonymous said...

It'll be great to hear how you get on with the wartime diet. Will you be following the diet of a city dweller or country dweller? Good luck with it x Julie

Jonathan Wallace said...

More country than city. With the allotment we have a good supply of veg. And we have countryside on our doorstep for foraging. In addition, a friend provides us with game and yesterday delivered to us 20 wood pigeon and 2 rabbits. This embarrassingly large rich rural food supply has had to go into the freezer until the two weeks are over though we will use a small amount to supplement our meat rations (as many people did).