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allotment of scarce supplies, usually by governmental decree, to provide equitable distribution. It may be employed also to conserve economic resources and to reinforce price and production controls. Originally used in community emergencies and in distributing supplies to sailors, rationing was first organized on a national scale in Great Britain during World War I, and during World War II it spread to most of the world. The methods used have varied according to the degree of rationing needed and to the products. Rationing methods include specific rationing, or allotment in terms of physical units; point rationing, the allotment of points (ration stamps) to be apportioned by the user among commodities of a given group; and value rationing, allotment in terms of expenditure. Rations may be allotted to individuals, institutions, and industrial users, or to communities, as in rural areas of undeveloped countries. In universal rationing, ration currency is issued to everyone in equal amounts; in differential rationing, the allocation is based on need and may vary according to occupation, age, sex, or health. In the so-called flow-back system, ration currency, usually distributed by the government to the consumer, moves upward from the consumer level to the manufacturer or processor as the product moves down. During World War II, rationing in the United States was administered by the Office of Price AdministrationOffice of Price Administration
(OPA), U.S. federal agency in World War II, established to prevent wartime inflation. The OPA issued (Apr., 1942) a general maximum-price regulation that made prices charged in Mar., 1942, the ceiling prices for most commodities.
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See W. A. Nielander, Wartime Food Rationing in the United States (1947).

References in periodicals archive ?
Around 45 million ration books containing food coupons had been distributed throughout Britain in time for the start of rationing with 125,000 distributed in Huddersfield.
His comments emerged in the very week that one of the world's most heroic and inspirational politicians was sentenced to another 18 months of living on rations...
Trials of the 24-hour multiclimate rations will run from May to October in the first overhaul of army rations for more than 50 years.
Last night, a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said they would launch an investigation into claims made by soldiers on Operation Herrick and confirmed troops were supposed to be provided with fresh rations whenever possible.
During World War II, the US Army offered six major types of rations to its troops.
Appetite is driven by the need for energy in all species of livestock, so the dry matter/feed intake of animals is dependent on the energy density of the ration. Animals will eat fewer pounds of dry matter/feed from rations of high energy density than they will from rations of low energy density because it will take less dry matter/feed from high-energy rations to meet their energy requirements.
All good rations contain substances that serve two quite distinct purposes when taken into the body.
Combat rations and their distribution have improved considerably over the last five to seven years, Darsch said.
And the same goes for meat ( you never really knew what went in the meat rations. Some of the recipes we were advised to make by the Ministry of Food during the war were pretty dismal ( like Lord Woolton pie, made with a load of potatoes and vegetables."
These "take-home rations," such as a sack of rice or a can of cooking oil, are given to families who send their daughters to school.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-17 November 2003-Ferry passengers travelling to Sweden allowed to import two rations of alcohol(C)1994-2003 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.m2.com