Sunday, 6 June 2010

Feeding the Nation

Netz and I went to the Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, The Ministry of Food. This exhibition tells the story of how the Nation fed itself during World War II and survived rationing.Very interesting and thought provoking it was. Showed how resilient, resourceful and imaginative people were. Before the outbreak of war over 60% of the country's food was imported. WHY? Because "The Empire" would provide. But as the British Isles was cut off from the Empire and the rest of the world by the Germany Navy, we had to cope on our own.

Through the efforts of ordinary people and the sacrifices made by the Merchant Navy, the country managed to survive the German threat. Typically, a lot of moaning and tutting went on, but very few, if any food riots or civil disobedience occurred. Orderly queues formed, and despite the rationing and shortages the nation was fed and healthy but extremely bored. Two of the stars of the exhibition were Potato Pete and Dr. Carrot, and imaginative recipes using these two staple vegetables were concocted. Can't say cold potato sandwiches appeal though. Another side of the rationing was the avoidance of waste, you could be fined or indeed imprisoned for wasting food. A lesson for today perhaps?

The Restaurant in the IWM serves wartime food, and to enter into the spirit of the times we has nettle soup and a hunk of "National Loaf" for lunch

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