Monday, May 24, 2010

Should We Bring Back Rationing?

A January article from the BBC.

"Yet there are many parallels between a generation having to go short because of the war and one now being told to change its eating and purchasing habits by the government and environmental campaigners.

The author Philip Pullman told a newspaper last year that he advocated WWII-style rationing for environmental reasons.

But could we bring back rationing to fight obesity or save the planet? Would people accept the state forcing them to eat less?"


""There is no point in bringing back rationing, but there is in bringing back healthy eating and bringing back 'no waste'. That was one of the golden rules."

And yet for many people there were great positives in rationing.

"So many of the foodstuffs that bring about obesity were in short supply," says Mr Charman.

Of course that's not to say every aspect of the rationing diet was wonderful.

Most fresh vegetables, like most fresh fruit, were not rationed, but could very often be in short supply, despite the Dig for Victory allotment campaign."


"From a nutritional point of view there was both good and bad," says Anna Denny of the British Nutrition Foundation.

"Offal was quite a rich source of some nutrients we tend to lack in our [current] diet such as zinc. Teenagers tend not to get enough zinc."

A downside would have been a lack of some types of fish. Fish was not rationed, but its price was not controlled, says Mr Charman, meaning that it was often expensive."


"Whatever the statistical picture, the nature of our calorie consumption has changed dramatically. The UK has grown more sedentary over the years, shifting to office-based jobs and away from calorie-burning manual work. Even the housewife of 1942 would have worked much harder.

For Dr David Haslam, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, the current wave of overeating has its roots in the end of rationing in the 1950s and the shift to a society of plenty."


"Of course there is a lesson for current politicians in the way attitudes to rationing changed after the war, when privation continued because of the efforts to feed the liberated countries and Germany, as well as bad harvests and economic chaos.

"People made the best of it but were very horrified when it went on so long after the war," says Ms Patten."

In the 50's, we introduced the credit card to the U.S. populace--could there be a connection to all this? Talk about a leap back into abundance!

I found a blog about a family living for a year on rations (I presume the American version)--Rational Living.


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