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Ministry of Food Flashes (clip 2)

The importance of food during war

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Government sponsored wartime cinema ads about how to save ships by substituting potatoes for flour and an advert for powdered milk. The footage features images of pamphlets from the time (e.g. "Your bread costs ships") and a sea battle in the Atlantic.

Questions & Activities


  • Who are these films aimed at?
  • What was a ration book? Why was rationing important?
  • When did rationing end?
  • Why do they tell viewers not to eat bread?
  • Why were they being told what to eat?
  • Do you think we need to be told what to eat now?


View all the Food Flashes on Scotland on Screen then create and prepare meals and recipes using rationed quantities and the same ingredients if possible.

Compare food campaigns from the past with current public information films.

View all the Food Flashes on Scotland on Screen and discuss the different techniques used to convey the message. Create your own poster or short public information film about food or recycling.

The food flashes talk about saving the ships - why? Research why rationing was necessary. Find out where the food you eat comes from today.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-000-149-C
Resource Rights Holder Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum
Project Ref 0867
Date 1939-1945
Genre Public Information, Sponsored
School Subject History, Art and Design, Geography, Home Economics, Media Studies
Subject Matter Home Front
Where Atlantic, Glasgow
Event World War II
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 0:51
Film Length 0:51