This film is part of Free

Food for Thought

Grumpy Grandma is put in her place during wartime food demonstration

Government sponsored film 1940 5 mins


In this film collaboration between the famous Ealing Film Studios and the Ministry of Food, we have a ‘ringside seat’ at a meeting of the ‘Hillside Road Food Club’, whose members are gathered around a table in a front parlour room. The leader of the group has some robust exchanges with a cantankerous ‘Grandma’ (known to the audience at the time as radio character ‘Grandma Buggins’ played by the comedienne Mabel Constanduros).

It is stated that there are four different kinds of food from which you can get all the vitamins you need to stay healthy. Individual demonstrators (including two children) then show labelled items of food which fall into these four categories. The food classification seems rather muddled, but it's a good humoured attempt to educate the populace on how to stay healthy despite food rationing. Thanks to the efforts of the Ministry of Food, the health of the poor improved during the Second World War, despite all the deprivations caused by strict rationing. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.