Monday, 22 June 2015

Rationing Challenge - Final Thoughts

So, we've come to the end. I've lost 7lbs over two weeks and yet, I've actually rarely felt deprived. We had some lovely meals - spicy beef hash, mince slices, cauliflower cheese, Lord Woolton pie. Even had puddings, which we don't usually have often. What I really missed was the option to just go and buy something quick if I felt tired. And the ability to have whatever we wanted, when we wanted, without having to constantly work out if we had enough rations left. And cheese. I really missed cheese. But it's amazing how far you can make it go when you try. Grating it and mixing it with chutney for sandwiches was one of the best tips in We'll Eat Again.

The girls missed bananas. Every day they would ask for one and I felt so bad depriving them. The Hubby talked about Dominos pizza for the whole fortnight, despite eating out at work most days, so not following rationing strictly, and even though we rarely have them!

Fat was such an important part of the diet. I used most of our fat rations, because it really is necessary for healthy living. Fats help us to feel fuller sooner. They enable us to absorb the nutrients from vegetables. They add flavour, making it easier to use less salt and less sugar. It's funny in this modern low-fat era that people will go for options classed as healthy, when they are actually chock full of sugar! And they drink skimmed milk, when pig farmers use the same for fattening pigs. A return to rationing really would make us healthier. 

I do think it's a sustainable way of living. Definitely frugal and with much less waste. But I mustn't forget that we have it easy. Even when buying seasonally, we can buy a great deal of different fruits and vegetables; we don't have to queue for hours just to find very little left to buy; the internet provides us with access to so many recipes for interesting and flavoursome foods. Fridges and freezers mean we can store food for longer, and therefore have more variety in our weekly meals, rather than eating mince & gravy for four days in a row! 

But even though the war was over in 1945 and rationing finally came to an end in 1954 - a few months before my dad was born - and Europe took even longer to recover, that wasn't the end. There are so many people today, in this country, living on less than rationing amounts. How is that still a thing?! 

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