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BREAD-CRUMBS IN BARNET

There has been a lot in the papers recently about how much food we waste.  Vast quantities are dumped daily by supermarkets, food chains and restaurants and apparently the average family (whatever that is) regularly discards up to six meals a week, throwing away around £700 a year.  

You can make an album for £700.

 
I am a culprit myself although if absorbed in work, I don’t leave the house for days and end up eating absolutely everything – including those weird pickled cherries that aunts give you at Christmas.
 
But it wasn’t always this way.  During the war years it was illegal to waste food.  I was reading the other day about a woman in Barnet who was arrested and  prosecuted for putting out bread crumbs for the birds in her gardenCrumbs.  

The men from the ministry could come and inspect your bins – and your kitchen cupboards, checking for black market contraband.  Mind you, given what you were allowed to eat under rationing, probably not much was voluntarily wasted anyway and it is perhaps understandable that people would do whatever they could to get a bit extra.  For an adult: 4 ounces of bacon, 2 ounces of butter, 2 ounces of tea, 2 ounces of cheese etc. per week. Per week! (I probably absent-mindedly just ate 2 ounces of cheese whilst reading the paper).  There was no ice-cream.
 
It must have been an extraordinarily tough time – but quite nice in some ways: there were pigs and sheep grazing in Hyde Park and Green Park, allotments everywhere.  You were allowed, even encouraged, to keep chickens.  Even the king and queen had ration books (“Any pate de foie gras this week?” “No Ma’am, sorry“).   The Upper Norwood Rabbit Club” held talks on which breed were most suitable for ‘the production of flesh and fur’..
 
But loo paper was in very short supply.
 
Right, what’s for lunch?