A History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-46

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Before investigating the ways in which the vegetables are prepared and cooked, it was necessary to find out first the number of housewives who serve them regularly. “Regularly” in the first question was defined as at least once a fortnight during the main season.

Two questions were asked:-

Do you serve the vegetables regularly as separate vegetable dishes?

Do you use vegetables in made dishes? How often last week in stews and other “made-up dishes”?

Table 1

Do you serve the following vegetables regularly ?

Cabbage Runner Beans French Beans Cauliflower Sprouts Leeks Carrots Swedes, Turnips Potatoes
% % % % % % % % %
Yes 96 70 61 87 94 47 80 72 100
No 4 30 39 13 6 53 20 28 -
SAMPLE 2,576 2,576 2,576 2,576 2,576 2,576 2,576 2,576 2,576

The proportions follow broadly the lines one would expect. Potatoes are served regularly by everybody, and green vegetables - cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower - by the great majority. The other root vegetables - carrots, swedes, turnips - are served regularly by a large majority. French and runner beans are less widely used, the proportion being about two-thirds. Leeks are served by almost half the sample.

It is perhaps surprising that the percentages for sprouts and cauliflower are so high. Swedes and turnips are included in one percentage which is perhaps why this is almost as large as that for carrots. The percentage for leeks, 47%, is higher than one would expect.

More than three-quarters of the sample had used vegetables in “made-up” dishes the previous week.

Table 2

Did you use vegetables in made-up dishes last week ?

Yes 78
No 19
No answer 3
SAMPLE 2,576
Table 3

How often did you use vegetables last week in made-up dishes ?

In Stews On Other Made-up Dishes
% %
Once 39 23
Twice 20 8
More than twice 9 9
Not at all 28 51
No answer 4 9
SAMPLE 2,576 2,576

About two-thirds of the housewives serve vegetables in stews, and nearly half use vegetables in other made-up dishes, such as vegetable hot-pot, cauliflower au gratin, etc. Well over a third of those who served these dishes did so more than once a week.


Income Groups . More housewives of the upper income group serve green vegetables, especially beans, than in the lower income group. Carrots, turnips and leeks are served by a higher percentage of the lower income group (Table 24, page 17). A greater number in the upper income group use vegetables in made-up dishes (Table 27 page 17).

Urban, rural; working, not working . More rural housewives serve all the different vegetables than urban housewives. (Table 25, page 16). There is no difference in this respect between working and non-working housewives. Working housewives use fewer vegetables for made-up dishes than urban and rural non-working housewives. (Table 28, page 17).

Regions . In the Northern region, fewer housewives serve green vegetables than anywhere else, but more serve carrots, turnips and leeks. (Table 26, page 17). More made-up dishes are served in the South than in the other two regions. (Table 29, page 17).

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