The Ministry of Food


This event is in the past. This is an archive page for reference.

Seventy years ago the wartime government announced the introduction of food rationing - a control that was to remain in force for the next fourteen years.

This exhibition shows how the British public adapted to a world of food shortages by 'Lending a Hand on the Land', 'Digging for Victory', taking up the 'War on Waste', and being both frugal and inventive on the 'Kitchen Front'.

Visitors will discover that growing your own food, eating seasonal fruit and vegetables, reducing imports, recycling and healthy nutrition were just as topical in 1940 as they are today.

Among the exhibition's special features are a wartime greenhouse, a 1940s grocer's shop, and a typical kitchen complete with larder, gas cooker, and an ample stock of economy recipes, including the original Savoy Hotel recipe for Woolton Pie.

Visitors will be able to listen to advice on gardening from the BBC's Mr Middleton, on nutrition from the Radio Doctor, Dr Charles Hill, and on cooking from Marguerite Patten, a nutritionist with the Ministry of Food who broadcast Kitchen Front updates during the war.

Further tips will be provided in a selection of the Ministry of Food's Food Flashes films; each one of which was seen by a wartime audience of 20 million; and on posters that reminded the public that a 'Clear Plate Means a Clear Conscience', and exhorted people to save kitchen scraps for the communal pig bin and to 'Eat More Greens'.

The exhibition will explore the story of food from farms, gardens and docks, to shops, kitchens, and canteens.

Visitors will learn how overseas imports were drastically cut and how British agriculture had to dramatically increase production to feed the nation, with help from the Women's Land Army, prisoners of war and those who volunteered at Farming Holiday Camps.

Tips to make the most of your vegetable garden or allotment could be as relevant for today's green-fingers as they were in the 1940s and visitors can discover how lawns and window boxes were transformed into vegetable plots and how allotments holders more than doubled.

  • £4.95 (conc £3.95, child £2.50, family £13)


Imperial War Museum
Lambeth Road, London, SE1 6HZ
infowhat's on @map

Daily 10am-6pm


This belongs to

This event is in the past. This is an archive page for reference.

Keep up with SE1 news

We have three email newsletters for you to choose from:

Proud to belong to

Independent Community News Network