I heard a very interesting radio programme on Radio 4 recently, the Food Programme (always good and looks at so many topics around food) and I have been mulling it over ever since. This particular episode looked at a woman who, in the interests of health and frugality, had decided to follow a ration book diet. She blogged about it here: http://1940sexperiment.wordpress.com/rationing-diet-sheets/
I have heard that we were healthier than we have ever been during the war. Because of rationing, we ate lots of fruit and vegetables, but very little meat, sugar and fat. We appreciated every mouthful of what we ate and we wasted nothing. In fact, it was illegal to waste food – I wish that was the case today!! I think it is disgraceful that we waste so much of everything when there are so many people in the world with nothing.
Part of my natural frugality is deeply ingrained. My parents were wartime children and weren’t wasteful. We had sweets once a week and didn’t know what junk food was. It wasn’t weird or a fad for them to grow vegetables in the garden, as I do now.
The culture has changed and my own daughters think nothing of buying a burger if they feel like it. They don’t eat whatever I put in front of them with no complaints as I did as a child. However, there are glimpses of my influence: they all like fruit and vegetables; they understand the value of money and shop around; they are avid car boot customers and gleefully run for the charity shops when they go to town. They would never throw an item away if it had any life left in it and someone else might use it.
There is hope for my children, but the world is a horribly wasteful place. Check out this post on the Life after Money blog if you don’t believe me: http://meanqueen-lifeaftermoney.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/saved-from-tip-new-lease-of-life.html?m=1. (Sorry, can’t work out how to make this a link on my phone!!) A skip full of really good quality items that a charity shop or needy family would have loved to receive. This made me turn briefly into the grumpy Victor Meldrew! ‘I don’t believe it!’
So, it is up to us frugalistas to change attitudes and bring back a bit of war time mentality towards waste!