Liverpool Blitz: Wartime mealtimes and keeping animals
The limited range and quantity of food available in wartime Liverpool meant each mealtime was an effort. People had to make food that was tasty and nutritious.
Lord Woolton, the Minister of Food, employed dieticians to come up with recipe suggestions using the ingredients everyone would have, eg Woolton pie. These were distributed along with advice on:
Recycling - bones for soap, glue and fertiliser; bottles for glassmaking; milk bottle tops for aluminium to make Lancaster bombers
Any waste food or peelings had a use as well; to feed locally kept animals. Many people kept rabbits and hens in their backyards. Rabbits and roosters were kept for meat, hens for eggs and dead birds for their feathers and fat.
Groups of people could keep a pig, with clubs becoming quite popular. Waste was collected in the pig bin and fed to the animals, with many people benefiting when the animal was slaughtered in the cold months (Nov-Feb). Every part of the pig could be used, even the trotters. They also produced manure that could be used on gardens.
Shop-bought food changed as well. Firstly, there was less choice, with one type of biscuit where there had been ten before. Secondly, food changed shape to reduce transport costs, eg meat was de-boned or dehydrated, and eggs were dried and powdered. Some food was replaced with not very nice substitutes, eg milk and sugar. The national loaf arrived, made with lower quality flour and added calcium and vitamin B1. The war years also saw the arrival of products from the USA like Spam, which was very popular due to its versatility.
Food shortages weren't the only problem for hungry people. Bombed out houses left people with little equipment, like cookers, pans and plates with which to cook and eat food.