Kids eating carrots on sticks, 1941

Would you look at these adorable BritishWWII urchins enjoying their wartime carrot-on-a-stick in these stills from a 1941 Pathe newsreel?



    1. They are what carrots are supposed to look like, the ones we have now are “weird”. 

        1. Hah! Cold poison! 

          We couldn’t get cold poison for love nor money. 

          We had to beat one another to death with carrots – hold on…

  1. Carrot AND stick – how clever! Usually you are offered one or the other in most approaches, so getting both simultaneously must have seemed quite the novelty.

    1. Yes, in our current age of abundance these are a retrospective novelty treat found next to the jello pit at S&M parties.  Kids of 1941, you’re going to love the future.

    2. When done right, the subject is conditioned into thinking that they really always wanted the stick.  Through this understanding they are freed from their harmful delusions of self determination.  They come to realize that it is not fear of the stick, but their desire for the carrot that enslaves them.

    3. Carrot AND stick

      “I think we should use the carrot and stick approach. Take the carrot and stick it up his fucking arse, followed by the stick, followed by an even bigger, rougher carrot.”

      I miss The Thick Of It.

  2. We used to give the kids frozen broccoli and call it “broccoli popsicles” and they would  eat it.  When their friends would come over they would offer broccoli popsicles and the friends would happily take it and report to their parents excitedly that they had a broccoli popsicle.    Then they turned 7.

  3. By the end of the war you had to sleep with the grocer’s ugly son to get a carrot on a stick. Most kids were lucky to get a stick that had been scraped along the bottom of a pot of Mock Carrot Stew (which was mostly old newspapers and turnip parings).

  4. Why the sticks? Isn’t that sort of like a banana on a stick, or a sandwich on a stick?

    1. I’m thinking because they are cooked carrots, and therefore may be more like a boiled potato.

  5. In the first photo, the kids look confused. Like, “WTF? Why would we want to eat carrots on a stick?” Was this taken during a war or something?

    EDIT: Ok… read the caption. It WAS taken during a war. MMMMMM!!! CARROTS ON A STICK!

  6. And here I thought that during WWII all the carrots were being eaten by British pilots, who, if what I’ve heard is correct, could always be spotted in a crowd because of the orange tint to their skin.

    Now that I think about it I wonder if anyone who goes for artificial tanning knows that they could get the same effect from eating lots of carrots…

    1. The story I heard was that the British government started the rumor that British pilots were eating lots of carrots and had great night vision because of it.  It was made up as a way to explain how the RAF always knew where the Luftwaffe was going to attack.  The reality was of course that they had invented RADAR.

      1. My mum knows someone who was a child in London during the war and recalls the hunger as being pretty bad. 

          1. John 19:34
            “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water”

            There’s your impalement

      1. The world would be hugely different if instead of nailing Christ to the cross, they had jammed it up his asshole and just let him wriggle and moan there until he rectum-bled himself to death.  I wonder if the Church would be less or more homophobic if that had happened.  Seriously, probably less.

      2. And his followers identified themselves by making the sign of the stick to each other. (Later generations completely misinterpreted the meaning of the raised middle finger.) And St. Thomas’ touching of the wounds was quite a spectacle.

  7. Isn’t WWII London where the “carrots help you see in the dark” myth came from? Maybe this was savvy store owners trying to shill carrots onto kids by appealing to their patriotism.

  8. I feel like Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler is behind this somehow. . .I mean, a carrot on a stick?  For one penny?  It’s got the major earmarks of a CMOT Dibbler enterprise; a terrible food at an incredible price.

  9. In 1941 over one million homes were destroyed in London. It was the early peak of violence in The Blitz. Parks and rooftops had anti-aircraft cannon, often “manned” by women. Rationing was in effect, and the climate was one of great fear. I guess a carrot was pretty nice.

  10. A mere eight years later, these children would be among the first emigrants to Burgundy-Pimlico.

      1. I was wondering if anyone would get it. I wish that they still made movies like that. By which I mean movies with Margaret Rutherford and Hermione Baddeley.

        I was reading about post-war rationing a few months ago. I had no idea that it was so draconian that they limited the numbers of seams that you were allowed in your garments.

        1. It is not that obscure is it? Here supermarkets these days are selling lots of old black and white British films on DVD, including all the Ealing Comedy stuff, at only 3-4 quid each.

          1. They shouldn’t be obscure.  They’re great films.  I’m not sure how much cultural crossover there is between Ealing Comedies and BB readership.

          2. Monty Python but no St. Trinians. The Pythonesque cross dressing didn’t come from the Goons.

  11. The poignant detail here is the word “Ices” crossed out. 

    “eat your carrots, kids.  There’s a war on. . . ”

  12. Perhaps something good came out of all that misery. Today, with an efficient, nationalised train system – itself supported by our solid manufacturing base – together with free universities, a strong unbiased BBC, the NHS protected from privatisation, the disabled and elderly valued, inner cities safe for everybody, no children living in poverty, an end to nepotism and the class system (the monarchy quietly retired with dignity), no misguided military action raining enormous kinetic violence upon peoples who pose no threat to us and a police force that would never, for example, shoot an unarmed man seven times in the head in public, before lying about him to the press, it truly is a better Britain in which we live.

    Oh, hang on a minute… fuck.

    1. Well, we didn’t have an NHS at all before the war, as just one example- in fact, you could argue that that did “come out of all that misery”. I’d say that British society now is much better than it was in say 1935.

  13. I wonder.  Are the carrots cooked?  hot? raw? frozen?  I could see the novelty in a frozen carrot on a hot summer’s day.

      1. When I was a lad, all vegetables were frozen. Unfortunately, that’s actually true.

  14. I don’t know if I’d eat them like a candied treat, but I’ve pulled some carrots from the garden that were unbelievably sweet.   I would imagine wartime taste buds deprived of sweetness for a while would find them even more impressive.

    1. If you put a starchy vegetable in the fridge for a week or two, it will saccharify, and turn sweet.  In New England, avid gardeners deliberately leave parsnips, carrots and taters in loose earth, to be dug up in spring.  Yes, the ground is frozen, but if it’s loose earth you can still dig them out. I don’t know about down South, but this is a common practice among old-timer gardeners in Vermont.

      here’s but one example

      There’s a technique to it

      ed (again): look at the pic. They’re wearing coats with short pants, and it looks extra-bleak, like early spring… there are no “ices” but there are sweet carrots. Also, the girl on the left is licking it… kids lick sweet things like the way she is… those are SWEET carrots, which are ACTUALLY A TREAT if you’ve ever had one. I have, and, I must say, for a natural treat, a sweet carrot is WONDERFUL. Sure, I’d rather have me some ice cream. In the absence of ice cream, strawberry shortcake or anything else… I would totally DIG a sweet carrot on a stick.

  15. those kids do NOT look happy to be eating carrots on sticks. especially the  one in the middle.

  16. I admit I wasn’t born in 1941, but I’ve had some experience of British carrots in the 60’s and they weren’t fat, short and faceted.  I think those might actually be carrot ices – a sort of carrot sorbet. 

    No, that’s not MUCH better, but it’s less likely to break your teeth and make you hate the world. 

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