Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Java Dilemma

Java, java, java.

We haven't yet figured out how to deal with the coffee ration during the project year.

Coffee was the second consumable to be rationed by the U.S. government during WWII, beginning in late November 1942. Strangely enough, coffee was rationed not because there wasn't enough to supply the troops, but because civilians were hoarding coffee in fear/anticipation of it being rationed; their own attempt to avoid a shortage caused a shortage. The U.S. government introduced coffee rationing as a way of getting coffee back on the grocery store shelves. The official coffee ration was 1 lb of coffee every 5 weeks for each individual age 15 and above.

That means our house would have 2 lbs of coffee available every 5 weeks.

But see, we're not big coffee folks, so even 1lb of coffee would last for months. Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, part of the reason we're not big coffee drinkers is because of soda. I may have a soda once or twice a week, filling in the other days with an occasional tea or coffee. Hubby, on the other hand, seems to drink soda in spurts - he'll go days without soda and then have a few. So, we could consider rationing soda, but soda was widely available during WWII and was never rationed (yay! an un-rationed, copious supply of sugar!).

So what are we to do with this seemingly easy (for us) ration?

Should we come up with some sort of rationing system that includes soda and/or tea?

Or should we call it good and have at least one ration that is easy to live with?

This also has me thinking...what food item(s) would you consider hording if you suspected rationing would soon be instituted?

For me...I think chocolate would be at the top of the list, along with cheese. Mmm...

--Rational Mama


  1. I wouldn't sweat the Coffee rationing thing if it's a non-issue. If soda wasn't rationed then, it shouldn't need to be rationed now! (Unless you find information showing average weekly/monthly soda consumption per person or something like that).

    If I was going to hoard something, like you said it'd probably be chocolate, but also very likely peanut butter.

    As for the butter-ration... did they have margarine back then? If not, I would assume that since margarine is "Cheaper" in the stores than butter is, then wouldn't you be able to use that with less "points".

    don't you think your brain is going to be tired after all this? You are going to have to enjoy some brain-mush every now and then, like 80's music, madlibs, connect four, and bejeweled. lol

    And I still think if someone (me) gifts you with something sugary- it shouldn't count. Even if it is little Debbie's. It'd be like we're wealthy buying goodies on the black market and sharing them with you poor desperate souls.

    Would that make Walmart the black market? lol....

  2. You're cracking me up Angie! Soda consumption was waaaay less in the 1940s, so I think we have to be moderate about soda intake if it's not going to be rationed.

    Yes, they did have margarine and it was (is) less points. I'm kinda picky and in most circumstances would rather use less of the real stuff instead of compromising of using more of the not-quite-real stuff.

    And yes, I'm sure any "charity" would be greatly appreciated, especially by the girls. Of course, I know you're a great baker... :)

  3. I'd definitely hoard chocolate! (I might even be hoarding it now - Shhh!) ;)

    I love what you guys are doing and will be watching you and learning.

    You've inspired me!

  4. Kari - I giggled at your post! I have a few bags of mocha Hershey kisses in the freezer that have been there for a few years (of course, there's a lot less in the freezer than there used to be). Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. When I read your last sentence I knew again why we are friends.

    Because I would buy an extra fridge to accomodate my chocolate and cheese hoarding.

  6. I don't know if this is something you'd consider but I recently found online lacto-fermented soda. Ferment as in healthy food, not "ew, that's rotten!", lol! I am considering it because I need to wean my family off pop and I want us to have more healthy things. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLxREXXHF68

  7. Thanks for all the feedback! I briefly considered lacto-fermented soda, but then decided it would be working against our sugar rations (albeit at a slow rate). We've decided to go with the historical scenario of allowing ourselves up to 3 sodas per week. I think we'll be able to manage that just fine - and the hubby says maybe he'll just give up caffeine completely. Hmm...