Thursday, 3 February 2011
Food Rationing c1916 - 1921. A reminder.
In 1916 Britain had only 6 weeks of wheat left, this was a serious situation because bread was a staple part of most diets, potatoes and sugar were also in short supply.
DORA (Defence of the Realm Act) was introduced by the government to ensure shortages of food never occurred because people had started hoarding and panic buying. Then, in 1917 the Germans started unrestricted submarine warfare, and merchant ships crossing the Atlantic carrying food from Canada and America - our main food suppliers, were sunk with great frequency.
Young men had been called up so women and conscientious objectors started to work on the land, and the government took over 2.5 million acres of land for farming. People limited themselves to what they should eat, gardens being turned into allotments, and chickens and rabbits etc kept in back gardens. Nevertheless in 1918 rationing, starting with sugar, was brought in to guarantee supplies not to reduce consumption, and in the main intake of calories was kept up to pre-war levels. By 1920 all rationing was ended, and The Ministry of Food was dissolved after four years in 1921. Reminder,...... it wasn't a long time ago.