Rationing Challenge

What would it have been like to exist on wartime rations? Now you can find out

We always like to flag up fab food – and there’s plenty of it – but have you ever wondered what it would have been like to live with food rationing during the Second World War? Cambridge Sustainable Food is running a Rationing Challenge in June and July and anyone can take part.

Rationing was not popular and lasted long after the war ended until 1954. However, most people had a healthier diet then than they do now. More vegetables were eaten, partly down to the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign due to the lack of imports, while meat, dairy, sugar and processed foods were consumed much less than now.

Taking part in the challenge for a week, a fortnight or a month will provide an insight into the common ground between a wartime diet and eating sustainably today. 

On 12 June the challenge will be launched from 7pm to 9pm at St Luke’s Church, Victoria Road. There will be free taster food from wartime recipes, newsreels from food historian Monica Askay and a talk from dietician Carine Henry. Around 700 people took part in the first challenge, in 2015, when it was run by Cambridge Carbon Footprint. To take part, all you have to do is complete the online application. If you live in Cambridge you will receive a ‘ration book’ (if not, you can download one).