The Rations – Food

Meat is Rationed So is Chewing the Fat Less. G...

Meat is Rationed So is Chewing the Fat Less. Gab More Guns – NARA – 533911 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As stated in a previous post, I will be forcing my family to live of WWII rations for a little while. It will be a great learning experience for the children and may even end up with us being happier, healthier people! The ration I will be following will be a kind of mash-up of official WWII rations from Australia, England & America.

As I live in Australia, this will be my main inspiration for ration amounts. Australians were lightly rationed compared to other combatants. In fact, when it came to fresh fruit & veg, we often experienced a glut in the market as Britain decided to devote valuable shipping space to proteins instead. So we are going to be far better off than most Brits were during the war.

The ration information I have been able to glean overall is as follows:

Petrol

Australia: At various points in time, petrol was rationed at 800 miles (1,288km) per year; 120 miles (193km) per month; 270 miles (435km) per month; 180 miles (290km) per month; 240 miles (386km) per month.

Britain: I do not have that information.

Us: We do not own a functional car, but if we acquire one while on rations, we will be using the averaged amount from Australia, which works out at 175 miles (282km) per month.

Tea

Australia: Maximum was ½lb (227g) every 4 weeks [2oz (57g) per week]; minimum was ½lb (227g) every 5 weeks [1.6oz (45g) per week]. Invalids received a maximum of ¾lb (340g) every 4 weeks [3oz (85g) per week] & a minimum of ¾lb (340g) every 5 weeks [2.4oz (68g) per week].

Britain: Maximum 4oz (113g) per week; minimum 2oz (57g) per week.

Us: We will be using the Australian maximum of ½lb (227g) every 4 weeks for the children & I, rounded to the 250g to account for modern package sizes; for Earth we will be using the Australian maximum invalid ration of ¾lb (340g) every 4 weeks, rounded to the nearest available package size.

Coffee

Australia: Coffee was not rationed.

Britain: I don’t have that information.

Us: We will not be rationing coffee.

Butter

Australia: Maximum ½lb (227g) per week; minimum 6oz (170g) per week. Invalids received extra butter, but I could not find out how much extra.

Britain: Maximum 8oz (227g) per week; minimum 2oz (57g) per week.

Us: We will be using the Australian maximum of ½lb (227g) per week for the children and myself, rounded up to 250g to accommodate modern package sizes. For Earth, I will add 50% to that, giving him a ration of ¾lb (340g) per week, rounded to the nearest package size.

Margarine

Australia: I do not have this information.

Britain: Maximum 12oz (340g) per week; minimum 4oz (113g).

Us: We will be using the British minimum of 4oz (113g) per week, rounded to 125g to accommodate modern packaging.

Lard

Australia: I do not have this information.

Britain: Maximum 3oz (85g) per week; minimum 2oz (57g) per week.

Us: We will be using the British maximum of 3oz (85g) per week.

Suet

Australia: I do not have this information.

Britain: 1 half pound packet (227g) every several months.

Us: I could not find out exactly how often ‘every several months’ was, so we will be using 1 half pond packet (227g) every 3 months, rounded to 250g top accommodate modern packaging.

Sugar

Australia: 1lb (454g) per week. Invalids received 1½lb (680g) per week.

Britain: Maximum 16oz (454g) per week; minimum 8oz (227g) per week.

Us: We will be using the Australian ration of 1lb (454g) per week for the children & I, rounded up to 500g to accommodate modern package sizes. Earth will have the invalid ration of 1½lb (680g) per week, rounded to the nearest package size.

Meat (General)

Australia: Maximum 2¼lb (1kg) per week; minimum 1.80lb (817g) per week. Invalids were entitled to extra meat, but I was unable to glean how much.

Britain: Maximum 1s 1d (around 1lb 3oz) per week; minimum 1s (around 1lb) per week.

Us: We will be using the British minimum of 1lb (454g) per week for the children & I, rounded to 450g for convenience. For Earth, I will add 50% to that giving him 1½lb (680g) per week, rounded to 700g for convenience.

Poultry

Australia: Poultry was not rationed, but was very hard to get hold of.

Britain: Poultry was not rationed.

Us: We will not be rationing poultry.

Ham & Bacon

Australia: Ham & bacon were not rationed., but were very hard to get hold of.

Britain: Maximum 8oz (227g) per week; minimum 4oz (113g) per week.

Us: Though ham & bacon were not rationed in Australia, they were very difficult to get hold of, so we will ration ours using the British maximum of 8oz (227g) per week, rounded to 250g to accommodate modern package sizes.

Game Meat (including Rabbits, Whale & Horse)

Australia: Rabbits were not rationed in Australia. I could not find information about other game meat.

Britain: Game meat (including whale & horse) was not rationed in Britain.

Us: We will definitely not be eating any whale or horse meat, but we will not ration any other game meat.

Frankfurters & Sausages

Australia: These were not rationed in Australia.

Britain: Sausages were rationed from 1942 – 1944 (though I could not find amounts). At other times, they weren’t rationed, but the sausage meat was so hard to get, that sausages were mostly breadcrumbs. I found no information about frankfurters.

Us: We will not be rationing sausages.

Potted Meat, Ham Loaves, Canned Meat

Australia: These were not rationed in Australia.

Britain: These would have come under the points system.

Us: We will include these under the points system.

Offal

Australia: This was not rationed in Australia.

Britain: This was rationed from 1942 – 1944 (though I could not find amounts). It was not rationed at other times, but it was very difficult to get hold of.

Us: We will not be rationing offal.

Fish

Australia: This was not rationed in Australia, but was very hard to get.

Britain: This was not rationed in Britain.

Us: We will not ration our fish but we will minimise our intake in deference to the difficulty most Australian’s had in getting hold of it.

Meat Pies

Australia: I found no mention of these in my research.

Britain: These were not rationed in Britain, but the meat was likely to be spam.

Us: We will not be rationing meat pies.

Pets

Australia: Pets had no meat allowance. They were fed from non-rationed meat and offal.

Britain: I do not have this information.

Us: We will not be rationing pet food.

Eggs

Australia: Only rationed in times of shortage, using a national egg priority scheme, which gave priority to under 5s, invalids, and expectant or nursing mothers.

Britain: 1 per week for adults, 3 per week for invalids & under 18s, 1 package egg powder per month.

Us: We will be using the British ration of 1 egg per week for myself & 3 eggs per week for Earth & the children (though we may have to round this up to accommodate modern package sizes) plus 1 package each of egg powder per month.

Cheese

Australia: I do not have this information.

Britain: Maximum 8oz (227g) per week; minimum 1oz (28g) per week.

Us: We will be using the British maximum of 8oz (227g) per week, rounded to 250g to accommodate modern package sizes.

Milk

Australia: Not usually rationed.

Britain: Adults – 3 Imp. Pints (1.7L); Under 18s (& @school) – 3.5 Imp. Pints (2L); Under 18s (not @school) – 5 Imp. Pints (2.8L); Invalids – up to 14 Imp. Pints (8L) plus Milk powder – 1 tin every eight weeks (approx. 8 Imp. Pints or 4.5L)

Us: I will be using the British adult ration of 1.7L per week. I could not find out exactly how much of the ‘up to’ 8L of milk Earth’s illness’ entitle him to, so I am giving him 3.4L per week (double the normal adult ration). As milk is no longer served at school, the children will receive the at home under 18s ration of 2.8L per week. The total amount may need to be rounded to accommodate modern package sizes. We will also have 1 tin (approx 4.5L) of milk powder every 8 weeks.

Fruit and Veg

Australia: Fresh fruit and veg were not rationed in Australia as we did not suffer the shortages that Great Britain experienced. In fact, we often had a glut in the market!

Britain: Many fresh fruit & veg were difficult to obtain except for what was grown in victory gardens. Onions were so rare as to be more valuable than gold. The Ministry of Food encouraged the consumption of potatoes & carrots.

Us: We will not be rationing fresh fruit & veg.

Custard Powder

Australia: I do not have this information.

Britain: 1 pack in several months.

Us: I could not discover exactly how long was meant by ‘several months’, so we will be rationing custard powder at 1 pack every 3 months.

Sweets

Australia: I do not have this information.

Britain: Maximum 16oz (454g) per month; minimum 8oz (227g) per month.

Us: We will be using the British maximum of 16oz (454g) per month, rounded to 500g to accommodate modern package sizes.

See my next post for food that is on the points system.

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4 thoughts on “The Rations – Food

  1. Pingback: The Rations – Points | Rafferty's Rules

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  3. Pingback: Rationing References | Rafferty's Rules

  4. Pingback: Ration Sheet | Rafferty's Rules

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