Friday, 12 July 2013

Butter & Bread - hard to do without

Recently, I visited the Army Museum in Stockholm, where they have the exhibition called To Feed An Army about food and war. One section of the exhibition concerns rationing during World War II (in which we were not actively taking part, but were affected nonetheless), and that naturally interested me especially.

I was intrigued to find this newspaper clipping which concerns a survey regarding what people thought of the rationing system. Basically, they had asked people how they felt about the rationing of
  • flour & bread (top left in picture)
  • butter (top right)
  • pork (lower left)
  • meat (lower right)
The options were "adequate", "tight" and "inadequate" and you can see the results in the pie charts above, where white = adequate, grey = tight and black = inadequate. It's interesting to see that over 50% found the meat rations adequate, while almost as many (46% and 44% respectively) found it very hard to get by on the allotted amount of bread and butter.

I think the answer lies in what was the staple of people's food – not even before the war that many people could afford to eat beef very often, and so the meat rationing didn't affect them that much. Bread, however, was one of the staple food groups for most people and so they felt the rationing much more keenly.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting enough to share with you all. Has anyone seen anything similar regarding another nations?

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