Some may say that I have taken liberties with the rations, but no, this is my Challenge, my rules and my food. I have decided that my Year of Modern Rationing is just that, modern ... in some ways.
The reasons for my choices:
I am vegan - there were very few vegans during WW2, lots of vegetarians who switched to mostly cheese instead of the meat ration, but few vegans.
I cannot just abandon how I eat as I am dairy intolerant to quite an alarming degree now and even minute traces of dairy cause me problems.
I wouldn't start to eat animal flesh just for the sake of a Challenge even if it were tolerable by me, I have standards for myself that I will always maintain, so I have had to run my rules to fit my own perimeters.
Of course if it were a war and rationing really did break out I would have to go along with things to the best of my ability, but never touching animal products along the way.
But this is not a war and I am in no way playing at it being so ... it is a Challenge, so I have the luxury of setting myself rules and allowables. So what I have done is go carefully through the amounts allowed of each of the rationed foods allowing myself the same weights, measures and values as allowed during the wartime years. Taking an average instead of chopping and changing as the actual amounts did on occasion during the war years will hopefully help me to stick with this throughout the whole of this Year of Modern Rationing.
So basically I am eating a vegan diet with fixed amounts of foods to fit in with the wartime rations, ignoring the vegetarian slant and instead substituting vegan sausages for meat sausages etc. Instead of the 1s2d allowable of meat per week I will be using the modern equivalent of £2.96 to buy either meat replacements or fruit, or a mixture of the two. This has been decided on after much deliberation for health reasons, because I am always aware of my dismal failure in sometimes reaching even the minimum recommended five a day.
I reached this figure using the Historic Inflation Calculator, taking the year 1942 as my fixed wartime point of reference. To make the calculator work first add the year then put in your monetary amount and voila. Fascinatingly £100 in todays money would have been around £2 in 1942!!
Back tomorrow with my rations and my shopping list of unrationed foods.
Hi Sue, I always read your blogs and am looking forward to following this new challenge ; also wonderful that you do not eat animals. Happy New Year to you xReplyDelete
Happy New Year to you to ... and to the animals. xxDelete
I've never come across that historic calculator - how fascinating.ReplyDelete
If we did have to go on rations now, I am sure it would look very different to rationing in 40-45 so your modernising is very valid and very wise too. Health is crucial, especially at the moment.
I'm really looking forward to this challenge. A year is a long time which sets it apart from your other challenges. It's good - it has time to develop and bed down.
I found it thanks to Dc (Frugal in Norfolk) when I did this Challenge for a month a couple of years ago and read through the War Diary on her blog. It is fascinating to seeDelete
It would be interesting to see how the government would plan rationing these days ... 'five ready meals per person per week' springs to mind!! There seemed to be a lot more sensible folk back then and on the whole the population were prepared to listen. We now live in a very different society unfortunately.
It was a great find, the historic calculator. I read one vegetarians account of her time on a farm. Once a week, she opened her lunch box to two slices of bread with the whole week’s cheese ration inside. The farmer’s wife explained that if she didn’t do so, the other land girls would pinch it. Lived on salads, veg pies and cold mash sandwiches. Goodness knows how vegans did.Delete
I bet they just learned to love pretty plain vegetables or got inventive with curry powder ... one of the few spices available at the time.Delete
The only place I've read about vegan rations was in the book The Ministry of Food by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall where it just says Vegetarians and Vegans were issued with a special ration book allowing them extra rations of some foods (Eggs, cheese and Nuts for vegetarians).ReplyDelete
I've just had 3 days with more meat than I normally eat in a month and now feeling very UGH! think I've become an"almost vegetarian" (a contradiction I know)without trying.
Yes, I have read the book, I have it back at the flat ... I'm separated from my best books aarrgghh!!Delete
Vegetarians were quite well planned for with rations, as you say extra cheese and occasionally eggs, but there were many fewer vegans during war years my research has uncovered no firm numbers but possibly around a thousand. Of course figures are still hard to get correct even these days with lots of figures on social media, but the figure is now said to be well over two million in the UK and set to rise again with Veganuary about to kick off.
Maybe the vegans in the rationing years swapped their additional cheese for more dried pulses or rice?
Sue, you should absolutely do what is right for your morals, your standards and your body. Anyone who thinks that is wrong can ******* 🤪ReplyDelete
I am heading in the same direction as Sue in Suffolk - with so many wonderful vegetarian options available these days (Cauldron sausages are a current favourite) I find myself eating meat only a couple of times a week.
There really are so many brilliant vegan options available now. Even Alan, a confirmed meat eater actually prefers the Mark's and Spencer meat-free Garlic Kievs. Both the full size and the frozen bite size ones are delicious.Delete
Any lowering of meat and dairy consumption is to be applauded.
I grew up hearing stories about the rationing from my Nanna ....who, until she left this earth, had no less than 5 big bags of sugar in their cupboards -- "because of the war" :D.... and I'm so fascinated by that time period and think we have a lot to learn about making do that would ease the burden of the planet..but that's a soapbox for another day. :)ReplyDelete
I'm an 'almost-vegan' - I won't give up honey and will (very) occasionally have a bit of cheese -- and agree that there are so many wonderful options and alternatives available these days that there's no reason why everyone can't reduce their meat/dairy consumption even just a bit. Every little bit helps.
Really looking forward to this project of yours....I'm ready to learn lots. :)
Those of us who have heard stories from our grandparents and parents about the actual rationing years are so lucky to have that episode of social history firmly embedded in us. It is a real privilege isn't it.Delete
This challenge will be fascinating Sue, I can't wait to read about it 🙂 I admire how you put so much effort into planning your challenges. Nothing half hearted here! Brilliant xReplyDelete
I think I've done a bit more research this time as it's been fun watching things and reading all about the food. Perhaps all this having extra food in the house for Christmas is sitting wrong and the thought of much less is even more appealing than usual.Delete
Marguerite Patten in the Victory Cookbook mentions the points system, each person was allowed 16 points per month which, among other items, would buy you 8lb of split peas or other pulses. There are several recipes in her wartime cookbooks that include lentils and haricot beans. Hope this helps! Tam xReplyDelete
Yes, it's all about my points on the next post. It changed from 24 points to 20 to 16 ... so I decided to take the average of 20 for my year.Delete
I so admire your dedication, organisation and principals, Sue. I'm really looking forward to your challenge. xxxReplyDelete
That's a lovely comment Vix, thank you. xxDelete
I think that your rules and amounts are perfect. I am going to find this very interesting to see what new recipes you find and how you are going stretch your rations.ReplyDelete
I'm hoping to adapt old favourite recipes of my own and also follow to the letter some of the wartime ones. A happy mix of old and new should help keep things more interesting.Delete
I've completely overlooked this blog Sue. Goodness knows how. Just catching you up and wishing you much luck.ReplyDelete