08 January 2011

Food Rationing

Have you ever had to go without your favourite foods because they were either too expensive or not available at all?

Can you remember rationing in Britain during and after the Second World War?

Here is a link on the subject - from the Science Museum in London

My maternal grandparents, especially my grandmother, frequently mentioned rationing.  As she grew older, my grandmother Dorothy sometimes forgot that rationing had ended.  She would often wonder when she would be able to have "best butter" again.

My mother can remember the end of sweet rationing in 1953 and how wonderful it was for her as a little girl.  Even today, my mother can sometimes become very excited in an old fashioned sweet shop.

Perhaps I should not write about food at the moment as I am feeling hungry myself.  It is time for my breakfast!


  1. Sometimes I think rationing is a blessing. Just watch all the food we take, yet don't eat, and the food we eat, but don't really want. Rationing teaches us to appreciate good things when we get them.

  2. Hello Free Genealogy Guide

    From my own research about rationing (as it was in Britain in the Second World War), I gain the impression that it meant that good, healthy food was shared more equally than ever before. The limited supply of food provided a different set of social values - a valuing of the importance of a balanced diet in a healthy life and a healthy society.

    Rationing may have been an inconvenience, particularly for people who had always had an abundance of food before the war, but the policy created a boost to morale in times of great uncertainty. Richer people could still go to restaurants, however, which were, as far as I am aware, not subject to the same rationing restrictions as grocery shops.

    With rationing, people were given information about nutrition, and how to make the most of a few basic ingredients. It is something people may not be learning today when they just pick up items on impulse in supermarkets, expect huge portions of food in restaurants, or fail to understand the meaning of "enough".

    I wonder what the obesity level would be if people practice "self-rationing". This is especially worth thinking about when there may be food shortages (and a rationing of health services) in the future.

    The shortage, or expense of food, has often affected communities in the past, and shortages and rising prices of food are still in evidence in conflict zones and areas of economic instability today.

    Appreciation is one of the best things in life - and I appreciate your comments on this blog. Thank you.

    Best wishes, Via


I especially appreciate historical insights.