George Orwell and Food Security

by Jeremy Cherfas on April 26, 2011

George Orwell’s diaries are being posted to the web day by day, and we’ve noted some of his concerns about food and its production before. Seventy years ago, he had this to say about the value of food in times of crisis:

Sowed while at Wallington 40 or 50 lb. of potatoes, which might give 200 or 600 lbs. according to the season, etc. It would be queer – I hope it won’t be so, but it quite well may – if when this autumn comes those potatoes seem a more important achievement than all the articles, broadcasts, etc. I shall have done this year.

That he was even thinking such thoughts is interesting. Three days later he was musing about the conflict between “useless” animals and people over limited resources:

There are said to be still 2,000 racehorses in England, each of which will be eating 10-15 lb. of grain a day. I.e. these brutes are devouring every day the equivalent of the bread ration of a division of troops.

What did happen to racehorses during the war?

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