Auckland City Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT -

You can eat for less Pro­duc­tive gar­dens make eco­nomic sense

Keep calm and shop wisely

su­per­mar­ket con­fec­tionary aisle.

Meal planning had to be car­ried out with sci­en­tific de­tail.

Recipes came from one charm­ing Cana­dian’s won­der­ful blog, but when you have a lim­ited amount of meat, cheese, but­ter and mar­garine, every gramme has to be counted up when planning meals.

Our wartime weekly shop was cheap, around $40 less than usual, as cheese, mar­garine, milk, and meat were bought in muchre­duced amounts. Veges were in abun­dance, and we sup­ple­mented them out of our vege gar­den.

Pro­cessed foods, which are of­ten laden with hid­den sugar were largely ab­sent, ex­cept for Spam, which made one house­hold mem­ber cry it was so hor­rid. It was lit­er­ally against the law to waste food in Bri­tain dur­ing the war, so plates had to be cleared.

What sugar there was came in gran­u­lar form, and we got more than we could use. You lit­er­ally watched every grain of it go in.

There was hardly any pack­ag­ing mean­ing al­most no re­cy­cling or rub­bish.

Big sav­ings were made, and clears lessons learnt on how much of our nor­mal weekly shop could be done with­out, and ac­tu­ally, wouldn’t be much missed. Even liv­ing on the wartime diet for one week in every four would re­sult in us sav­ing $500.

The cost of mak­ing Na­tional Loaf, or egg­less gin­ger cake, is about two-thirds of the cost of buy­ing bread and cake.

The dif­fer­ence is the price of con­ve­nience, and prob­a­bly obe­sity, as wartime recipes were light on sugar com­pared to mod­ern shop-bought cakes. I spent a lot more time in the kitchen than in a peace­time fort­night.

A house­hold cop­ing with wartime ra­tions needs a ‘‘house­wife’’ to do the planning, knead­ing, peel­ing, boil­ing, mash­ing, weigh­ing and bak­ing.

De­spite that, Na­tional Loaf, cot­tage pie, egg­less gin­ger cake and mince slices were so liked they are set be­come house­hold sta­ples.

With two in ten New Zealand fam­i­lies liv­ing on ‘‘Strug­gle Street’’, there’s a lot of ‘‘ra­tioning’’ go­ing on to­day. Trag­i­cally, scarcity of re­sources these days is as­so­ci­ated with high sugar in­take and obe­sity.

There were few fat peo­ple in wartime Bri­tain (ra­tioning never ap­plied to Churchill). Un­like wartime Brits, we have no Min­istry of Food to show how to live well on lit­tle.

Pic­cadilly Cir­cus on VE Day. There’s not an obese per­son in sight.

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