Local newspapers began displaying prominent notices this week asking the public to consider how much they are presently eating. The States initiative is part of a nationwide campaign to reduce food consumption in support of the war effort and reflects growing concerns over the availability of supplies. It also follows a voluntary rationing scheme introduced in the UK on 1 February 1917.
The notices, published by the Island Defence Committee, advise people to ration their intake of key daily staples. Weekly proposed quantities per person are for no more than four pounds of bread, two and half pounds of meat – including bacon, ham, sausages, rabbits, game and fish – and six ounces of sugar.
Considered part of the bread ration is the consumption of sweet items such as cakes, tarts and buns. Anyone substituting these for their bread ration should limit themselves to the equivalent of seven pounds of flour per week. The sugar ration represents what the committee believes to be a fair distribution based on presently available stocks.
King George V is reportedly taking a keen interest in the voluntary rationing scheme, giving it his full support.
A/E/8/21 contains a proclamation from King George V encouraging his subjects to consume less in order to help the war effort.