Monday, 8 March 2010


Michelle's comment on yesterday's curry has got me worrying that I've made a bit of a mistake in my lack of planning for each rationed meal.

By the middle of the war, surveys by Mass Observation for the Ministry of Food showed that more housewives knew the pyramid of nutrition than knew who Lord Woolton was and that the majority planned their meals to include what was needed for a balanced diet.

I've not paid any attention to nutrition, working on the basis that it's hard to get it too wrong when you're cooking everything from scratch. But I suspect I'm almost starving us of protein. I looked it up and I'm not serving much protein at all.

Of course, this is a genuine wartime problem: when egg, cheese and red meat have declined to so little as to be almost unmeasurable, protein becomes hard to get. I've done little to boost the amount, perhaps because, as a vegetarian, I'm probably usually short of protein even outside of rations. But for CJBS, it might make a big difference. At the very least, this has highlighted a question that Chris Neill and I wondered about on his lovely Dirty Kitchen blog: what is it with mid-century recipes putting egg into or on stuff you don't expect to be enhanced by an egg? The answer, perhaps, is: where else are we to get the protein?

Wikipedia suggests that we need 2oz/56g a day of protein. From their list, we might be getting our share from bread. But I checked the bread: 4g a slice; we're not eating 14 slices a day. So, from tomorrow, I'm going to start making a point of adding protein.

Perhaps we'll get it from today's meal, but tempered by extreme fat intake: yes, we had fish and chips (well, I had chips and mushy peas) from a takeaway. Entirely possible in wartime but expensive and often in short supply. Still, once in 3 months is probably fitting with that. And I defy you to argue with me!


Michelle said...

I'm probably more in sync w/ the balanced-meal issue because I have two growing children to be responsible for. If it was just me and the hubby I wouldn't be so strict about meal ingredients. With the fat restrictions cutting in to your meat supply legumes are going to be your best best for protein. By the way, this experiment is so much more interesting with you and your postings to read and commiserate with!

Merseytart said...

Nadine Baggot!

Fish and chips once in a while seems like a fair exchange. Have you thought about simulating the British Restaurant experience as part of the experiment? Maybe you could save that for your big celebratory blow-out at the end ;-)