Cartela or monthly ration in Communist Romania

Having found on Facebook the list of goods allowed under food rationing in 80’s Poland, I search the Romanian Internet as well as my own memory for fading images of the queues (called lineups in Canada) for food and how that happened in communist Romania. I discovered that it happened twice: first post-WWII, under Soviet occupation and again in the 80s, while Ceausescu paid off the external debt.

Food Ration in Communist Romania in Alba County; museum displayVarianta în limba română pe FaṭăCarte Meta.

  • A list of Polish food ration items from the 80s reminded me of the Romanian list.
  • Fearing that the Romanian food ration list might be lost or forgotten I frantically search for such authoritative list and translate what I find
  • I was able to find the list for the 80s though not for the 50s, when it was first introduced.

Recently, Facebook presented me with an ad paid for by the City of Toronto urging me to get boosted (i.e., my 3rd vaccine), in Romanian. The comments to the ad were quite interesting, and those who didn’t want to get vaccinated were surprisingly somewhat numerous. I was going to write about that the next day, but the ad had disappeared, never to reappear. LE: Found it! It’s here.

Historical Photographs, a group I follow, published a day later the monthly ration for a Polish citizen in the ‘80s. It’s a bit reminiscent of the food I got from Costco (except that I don’t show up in my own photo). It also seemed to me that most Poles were getting much more than what Romanians got. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the list on Wikipedia an authoritative resource for the Romanian “cartela”, especially considering that it was different in each region. It’s worth it to look into the “web memories” now, lest they completely disappear.

My personal memories are faint. I knew as a child about “cartela” and that food was rationed, but I didn’t know the details. I grew up in Bucharest, where there wasn’t such rationing, but also visited my grandparents during holidays who lived elsewhere in the countryside. I remember the time my grandma was sending me to get bread on the “bread walk” – only once a month (or was it twice?). I didn’t have to regularly stay in lineups (“coada”) – I did it only after my parents left the country and I was on my own for about a year in ‘91-92. It’s important to remember this part of our history (and of my own personal history) so here’s what I was able to find.

The comments on Facebook reflect people’s memories and we learn that Romania was not alone in this [food scarcity] predicament.
  • candy was a luxury, I could barely get any bread and meat, sometimes standing in line for hours early in the morning, electricity and even water was rationed, food used to get spoiled in the fridge (Lehel Balogh)
  • Wasn’t it also one egg per person and month? I ’ve heard stories from a friend from Romania and it was horrifying. I remember 1980’s in Yugoslavia and we have rations too but not that extreme like in Romania. (Irfan Dzinich)
  • this photo shows only government estimated rations. Here in Poland it wasn't so different from what you said. In real life it was like you wrote. I remember my grandmother went to take her place in queue everyday at 2-3am and the and the shop was opened from 6 am. The prescribed government ration of meat was like the photo suggests but in reality if you were able to get a 500g of meat during whole month then it was huge success, there were whole months without meat. (Tadek Przyszlak)
  • I remember hard boiled candies all stuck together in big 50kg sacks/bags sitting in the corner of the shop… They were not great at all… I know people who bought them just to melt them down and use the syrup obtained for baking… because of the lack of sugar. (Lehel Balogh)
  • As I remember it was 3-4 eggs, but there could be slight differences depending on which part of the country you lived maybe…. (Irfan Dzinich)
  • life was much harder in big cities. The farmers market wasn't enough for the demand...there were people who used to eat butter in some weekends only. In small cities people could have some food from their parents living in the country side like eggs, cheese, some milk, but that would not be enough for the week. People used to eat much more vegetables, all kind of them which were plenty. And women would work a lot in the late summer and fall on preserving these vegetables like pickling or grilling, making spreads, souces, gems, till today some still make these which are delicious, but anyway...Terrible... (Crina Petrascu)
  • Confirm, era îngrozitor, lipsa alimentelor, totul era raționalizat, energia electrică era oprită câteva ore pe zi , iarna nu era căldură .Mai ales anii 80” au fost groaznici (..) scriam tema de casa seara la lampa cu petrol/ulei (..) (Cosmin Radu)
  • eu am fost mai norocoasă - pe lângă lampa cu gaz, ne-a adus taică-miu o baterie de tractor care avea un bec de 20W legat cu două fire. Lux, ce mai! Să nu uităm și de alergarea cu butelia goală după mașina cu butelii de gaz! De multe ori fugeam ca proasta și cu șpaga pentru nenea, dar, până îi ajungeam din urmă, toate buteliile erau goale. Și când îi văd/aud pe nostalgicii comuniști… of! (Raluca Alupoaie)
  • asa a fost! (Otilia Clapa)

A quick search on Wikipedia turns out a list of “lacking goods” (wr-rsrlipsa), which, though detailed, lacks information on rationing, whereas the main one is even more detailed, though again, without details on the actual rations:

  • “wide-scale food rationing” in 1984 and “rational eating” – w-rsr80s
  • ‘83 – collective farms had to again produce for the state, which had not happened since 1956, and in 1981 a rationing system for basic foodstuffs w/ Bucharest’s exception + reduced caloric intake which was further reduced in 1983-1984
  • “peacetime rationing” uses a Romanian “cartela” as its main illustration (w-rat)

The book Romanians: A History, published in 1991 (Amazon.com; by Vlad Georgescu), is a main resource in all these articles.

The following quotes from articles are automatically translated and will be corrected at a later date.

A somewhat opinionated article by Dorin Timonea (adv-poza) mentions Dr Iulian Mincu as having invented the “rational diet” program.

  • To mask the food crisis, Iulian Mincu, Ceausescu's personal physician, invented a "rational diet" program, motivating that it is not healthy as an adult to consume more than 3,000 calories a day.
  • 300 grams of bread per day, 500 grams of cheese per month, about 10 eggs per month and 500 grams of pork or beef per month, 1 kg of poultry per month, 100 grams of butter every month, 1 kg of sugar, 1 liter of oil, and 1 kg of flour. However, these quantities could not be respected because of the lack of food.
  • Temperatures in houses reached the winter between 5-12 degrees in the apartments of most of the Romanians in multiple-stories buildings. The hot water was barely delivered, about two hours daily and often it did not reach at all to the upper floors. The light was interrupted every day at least one hour in the evening. Until the fall of the communist regime in 1989, the delivery of electricity to the population stopped several times a day, without any apparent program or logic, without the prior announcement of household consumers.
  • Gasoline, though rationalized, was hard to find. The energy consumption for the population decreased by 20% in 1979 and 1982, then 50% in 1983, and in 1985 by another 50% compared to previous years.

The photo above is also from this article, showing the same quantities. This likely applies to Alba county.

Another better sourced article, published two years earlier and marked “local alexandria”, details the daily calories allowance, blaming CC PCR rather than Dr Iulian Mincu (adv-alex).

  • On December 19, 1980, the "Law for the Constitution, Distribution and Use of Resources for Population Supply," the decree established the rationalization of food consumption by county, and sugar and oil cards were differentiated by population categories. For To justify the reduction of the portions, President Nicolae Ceausescu invented a scientific program created at the request of the dictator by the Central Committee specialists. This is the "Scientific Population Program", a document appeared in 1982 that established calorie needs, food rations and inclusive The Romanian Weight Standards. According to the program, Romanians need only 2,700 to 2,800 calories. For this, no more than 60-70 pounds of meat and meat products, 8-10 kilograms of fish and products. Fish, 210-230 liters of milk or milk products, 260-280 eggs, 16 kilograms of fats, oil, margarine, 170-1 80 pounds of vegetables, 70-90 pounds of potatoes, 304 kilograms of berry vegetables, 65-95 kilograms of fruit products, 22-26 pounds of sugar.
  • By decree, in 1984, a new and lower food standard was adopted. Romanians had, annually, the right, 39 kilograms of meat, 78 liters of milk and 166 pounds of vegetables. The oil and sugar were given once a month, the ration being a kilogram.
  • The system differed from the county to the county. In some counties the cards were released for one month in others for three months. The oil and sugar were given once a month. The bulk products were raised only by the head of the family and only from the neighborhood food once a month. Since 1984, the annual meat ration has been set at 39 kilograms for each Romanian. However, the biggest problem, however, is not the small amount of meat, but the fact that the products of animal origin rarely appeared in the food. The day in which "fleshy flesh was the day when kilometer queues were formed at each store. The puppies were sold at two in the bag, which is why the Romanians called the "Petreuş Brothers" product after a famous couple of popular music singers.
  • The supplies of food were considered speculation and severely punished under the old regime. Ceausescu invented laws that punished on under the counter of food or gathering supplies. Decree of the State Council 306/1981 on "Measures for the prevention and combating of facts affecting the good supply of the population" Since October 1981, sets out penalties for Romanians who have made food supplies. "Constitutes a speculation offense and is punishable by the provisions of the Criminal Code with imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years purchase from state and cooperative trade units for storage, in quantities that go beyond the needs of family consumption over a period of one month, oil, sugar, flour, malas, rice, coffee, and other foods whose storage affects the interests of other buyers and good population supply ", provided for Article 1 of the Decree 306. Harly punishments were foreseen for sellers who sold May much than the ration. "The staff of the commercial units is obliged to sell the foods provided in art. 1 only in the quantities and conditions established by the popular councils. Failure to comply with the provisions of para. 1 constitutes a crime and is punished by imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years, "shows Article 4 of the same decree.

Photos of a “cartela” as well as a color photo of “Bread” / “Alimentara” queues can be found in the above article.

A newer article has a black and white photo of a queue at “Carne” (meat) with many retirees sitting on chairs (rd-mrsolg).

  • Through all sorts of studies, the Communists have come to the conclusion that Romanians need only 2,700-2,800 calories daily.
  • Therefore, the Romanians needed annually at most: 60-70 pounds of meat and meat products, 8-10 kilograms of fish and fish products, 210-230 L of milk or milk products, 260-280 eggs, 16 kilograms of fats, oil, margarine, 170-180 kg vegetables, 70-90 kg of potatoes, 304 kilograms of beans, 65-95 kilograms of fruit products, 22-26 kg of sugar.
  • At the same time, "the law for the establishment, distribution and use of resources for the supply of the population" was given on 19 December 1980. The new document established rationalization of food consumption by counties and by population categories. Higher rations were received in the city, and the smallest were given to rural peasants.
  • But things would change from year to year. In 1984, a new food standard was adopted, even lower than the previous one. According to that document, Romanians had the right, annually, to only 39 kg of meat, 78 liters of milk and 166 kilograms of vegetables. The oil and sugar were given once a month, the ration being 1 kilogram.

This was a lesser known website, but the details seem legit and taken straight from the decree.

The following are the rest of the articles on this subject.

  • A “Napocan” website has archive photos detailing the rationing of the 1950s (cj24-cartela).
  • “M.S” signs an article that has a b&w cold weather queue; undated, first comment 2016; the text is similar to others (is-cmncau)
  • Quoting source “Adevarul” but without full URL, these articles are a clone of the above (sc-advclone, air-advcln, bzv-ojum, stc-advclone); not quoting: sd-ceman, clk-ceman
  • Omofon has little in textual info, but lots of photos (omfn-cumpa)
  • Nice memories of life in Sibiu 70s-80s with cute black and white photos (afa-filo)
    • Ceausescu with wife, in helicopter. Leana tells him:
      - Look, Nicule, the rivers is (sic!) there!
      NICU:
      - No, this is not the rivers, is the roads!
      The pilot intervenes:
      - No, these are the queues!

  • Student presentation on family life in communist Romania (prz-sclx)
  • Multiple people remember (pdl-micprn)
  • Etimpu re-published a now defunct EVZ article (et-pricelist); prices presumably in very old ROL, also photos:
    • Avicola Chicken, 14 lei / kg (Petreus Bros); Pork carcass, 31 lei / kg, little muscle, 70 lei / kg; Frozen fish, Stavrid, 13 lei / kg; Milk at "glass bottle", with a Al foil lid (“staniol”), 2.20 lei /L; Small yogurt, also at the glass jar with Staniol, 0.90 lei; Polish Wiborova Vodka varieties, (also soplica, zubrovka), 40 lei / 0.5L; local wines at 750 ml, 40 lei; Bastion cognac "to meter", 52 lei; Vodka Stalichnaya, 50 lei incl bribe; an Inka coffee box (Polish) 13 lei; powdered milk bars, they were pink and got stuck to teeth, but they were sweet and good, 5 lei a piece; Intermediate bread, 2.20 lei, you could buy half or even a quarter
    • Cuib (Nest) cake of 2,75 lei, Choix à la Crème, and Negresa, at the same price, Pepsi Cola, which was 5 lei, under hand, from the back, from the Lido Restaurant. Fagaras (cheese cream), 5 lei, and butter at 8 lei the large package and 4.10 lei, the small package; The "VAFA" ice cream was 1.75 lei, the ice cream in a glass was 3 lei, and Polar was the cheapest, at 1 leu; Syrop at the dispenser was 0.25 lei for small glass. This big one was 0.75 lei and a glass of soda, 0.25 lei, as much as a tram ticked, second class. There was also Brifcor “Romanian Fanta”, 3 lei, it had to be stirred well before drinking it, it had deposits at the bottom!
    • The newspapers cost 50 cents (4 pages), 1 leu special editions, books, almanacs, magazines, from 5 to 15-20 lei; 25 cents for a Public Phone call, 1 leu empty Glass 1/2 Liter, 3 LEI for an empty bottle of Milk or Champagne / Vermut, and 0.80 cents empty glass jar paid by I.c.v.a. They had to be washed, no label, but especially unchipped. When you ran out of money,you gathered the empty bottles throughout the house and sold (returned) them
  • Some “cartele” available to purchase on classifieds websites as a collector’s item (okz-cartele)
  • Cartela “paine” (photo) can be found, together with a pre-war school report card, on blog that lists a defunct URL as source (ptr-matrcl)
  • Another personal history of communism, similar to my 1974; not many details on “cartela” (dv-ofrim)
  • A comparison in prices for those claiming it was better in Communism (69% of those born after 1989), quoting a disappeared jpg from businessday/Cristian Orgonaş (tcz-mybine – I looked into this in 2013)
    • In 1989, the average salary was about 3,000 lei, and a baguette - 4 lei, so from a salary one could buy 750 loaves. Today, the average salary is 1606 lei, and 1 leu bread, so you can buy 1.606, 2.14 times more than then.
    • Also, then a salary paid for 2,000 eggs - today 3,100, 202 kg sugar - today 286, 565 kg of flour vs. 500, 206 butter packages - 311, 206 liters of oil - 233, 66 kg beef with bones vs. 140. The calculations are at level 2011, when the net average salary was only 1,400 lei.
    • There are also foods whose price has increased significantly, relative to income: 1,442 kg potatoes - today only 560, 1,488 kg of salt vs. 933. But the thick is given by foods that have become cheaper.
    • Utilities. At the end of the 80's, the maintenance of a 3 room apartment - 3 people, in a Bucharest periphery neighborhood, was about 300 lei per month, ie 10% of the average salary. Today, it reaches the same amount, or even more, which means 18.68% of a salary. But it pays for much more (less or no interruptions etc)
    • Even though you can’t really compare, a Dacia used to cost 70,000 lei, ie 23.3 average salaries, and today a Logan - of incomparable quality - about 30,000 lei, respectively 18.68 average salaries.
    • Finally, the house. In the 1980s, a 3-room apartment in the Taberei road was 160,000 lei - 53.3 average salaries, and today (with insulating windows, metal door, sandstone, etc.) you find offers with 242,000 - 150.68 salaries. Here, yes, we have a spectacular increase, even now after the fall of the real estate market.
    • In the 1980s, the employee-retired ratio was about 1: 1. Today, an employee supports 2 pensioners, plus other economically inactive (children, people with disabilities, sick), a ratio on the way to worsen.
  • An actual letter shown in a “Securitate” note from 1986-12-11, CNSAS file #13.365, vol 10, f.245 by Georgiana (zc-scrsralmnt), student at UniCj to her father in Bv includes New Year’s wishes of
    • bread not to be on the card, be 15 kinds of bread, buns, horn, bars, of your choice
    • butter to be available at kilogram, sour cream - 3 kinds by choice, 15 kinds of cheeses, fish 5 lei kg to 15 lei, sugar to be 11 kinds, 17 varieties plum and grapes, raw pineapple and compote, pomegranates, bananas and other fruit from Sumatra, Java, Hawaii
  • Reddit discusses the Ceausescu regime and whether it was good; some info on queues (rddt-yceasca).
  • A Botosani outfit clarifies the history of the “cartela” decree, also in W (mntbt-vpcrtla)
    • In 1976, Health Minister Nicolae Nicolaescu proposed a specialized commission to develop rational nutrition rules. At the head of this commission is Prof. Dr. Iulian Mincu, Head of Nutrition Department and Metabolic Diseases of IMF Bucharest, Director of the Nutrition Center and Metabolic Diseases.
    • The approval of the Program by the Grand National Assembly was only done in 1984. "The Scientific Nutrition Program for the Population" resulted in a generalized shortage and suffering of the population. An article in the "Financial Times" of October 25, 1984, signals that Romania has surprised the western creditors by paying a $ 1.5 billion invoice in the first 9 months of that year. The same article emphasizes that the price of rapid adaptation of Romania was a drastic reduction in domestic consumption, obvious through the sad queues in front of the food shops.
  • The scientific BS was actually set in 1964 (37g protein men, 29g women; easy work men 2700 calories men, 2000 women; medium 3000/2200; hard 3500/2600; extra 4000/3000). Here is Galati ration (ips-cartela):
    • Bread- 300 g / day (4 lei bread of 500-600 grams)
    • Chicken: 1 kg (20-27 lions kg.)
    • Pork or beef: 500 g. (21-27 lei/ kg.) If lacking, cans from USSR or Czechoslovakia
    • Sausages (or preparations): 800 g or choice of liver
    • Feta cheese (Telemea): 500 g. Quarterly
    • Butter: 100 g (6.5 lei package)
    • Oil: 750 g. (9.5 lei)
    • Sugar: 1 kg. (15 lei/ kg.)
    • Corn flour: 1 kg (4 lei/ kg. Grisat)
    • Wheat Flour: 1 kg quarterly
    • Eggs: 8-12.
    • Supplement workers with hard work: 300 g / month of Miscellaneous
  • Marius Oprea’s memories of his ration in Vulcan, Brasov, is identical to Galati (though 10 eggs fixed). More memories (mf-cartela):
    • in 1988 Elena’s “Institute of Research in Chemistry” introduced artificial ham, which smelled and tasted like plastic
    • in 1983, IMF saw a decrease in the standard of living of 20% (vs 1982); basic foodstuffs price increases of 35%
    • since 1984 each county had to insure its own food needs through its own production
    • having supervised “student fall harvest” this teacher got the right to buy from a CAP
    • gasoline: 20L/car/month, huge queue
    • peasants with bags of food, esp bread, beaten by Militie (Police) in Basarab Rail Station
    • 3F of the 80s: foame (hunger), fear, frig (cold)
    • The only stores where one could buy food, were the famous Gospodina ("housewife") stores, where the menus of Prof Dr Mincu, Ceausescu's doctor and the Health Minister of Iliescu, menus starring minced fish - with chopped scales and bones. He was the inventor of "healthy nutrition", without meat and fat, up to 3000 calories, praised in the "Era of Socialism," magazine by Comrade Hilegard Puvak. And she became post-1989 Minister of European Reform in the Văcăroiu government and she was also the first embezzler of EU funds.
    • “cosul minim” or the minimum basket of goods was introduced in 2000, then given up in 2004; minimum salary was 1250 in 2015, but should’ve been 1600; in 2017 was 1842 in the city and 1600 in the countryside (INS) while ICCV 2273, 1831; 2020 – minimum salary 2230 but net 1346; bankruptcy minimum income is 2600/urban 2100/rural.
  • At the Revolution (Lovilution / Cluster?) anniversary, interviews with Romanians from various areas (d24-29anilovilu)
    • Even in the countryside, the shortage of food in state-owned food shops [the only existing ones] could not be compensated by vegetables, eggs or meat from small farms. Animals could not be sacrificed without approval, and the peasants gave quotas to the government.
    • The intensely collectivized villages were the worst hit. The gardens remaining in private property were too small to provide food. The peasants had no time for them anyway. Work quotas at the collective were huge. To survive, many began simply stealing from the field or co-operative orchards.
    • "I needed it because my husband was working on collective land and got perforated appendicitis. Until we arrived at the hospital, there was no transportation, it got inflamed and became peritonitis. And as soon as we got to the hospital, the doctor said to get, whichever way I can, antibiotic. Then penicillin appeared. I was lucky and I had a teacher here and I walked around with him. I found a Jidov, a Jew who had it. I gave five penicillin a junice. A heifer, "says Eugenia Arpastoan.
  • Petre Dobrescu thinks that the worst part of the communist era was the fear of Securitate (lbt-amntr). He also uncovers the mystery of the museum photos from Alba: “Curator Liviu Zestcreciu, from the National Unity Museum of Alba Iulia, one of those who researched the communist regime, gathered symbolic objects related to the communist period and made an exhibition with other colleagues.
  • A detailed overview of both rationing periods in the Romanian Communist Era has photos that, sadly, no longer load (pg-amntr)
    • In 1989, in Galati the bread card was pink and in Brasov was a white cardboard patch. In Galati, a one-month card is issued while in Brasov, the cards were released for three months. But the effect was the same: no matter where a Romanian lived, she could only eat half a bread per day.
    • The rationalization of bread had been prepared by propaganda through Telejournal news, but also through the reports of TVR's investigations, "reflector", through which the villagers coming to the city were put to the wall, because they were apparently buying dozens of loaves, which they were carrying to the countryside in bags, to raise pigs and speculate with meat.
    • Occasionally, a larger amount of eggs (or something else) was available. So it sometimes happened that those who walked around looking for such "promotions" with the 1-leu-bag full of air, to notice the moment when a truck stopped next to a store. In such occasions, everyone fought to grab something: much like the supermarket inaugurations today, there was a queue that was rarely respected and people often were left with ripped clothes. Without lowering the truck's shutters (for strategic reasons), the seller and the driver took the money and gave everyone an egg carton. On good days, two.
    • As for pork and beef, the situation was more complicated. Usually men had to stand in queues at the butcher from 3-4 in the morning and wait for the opening in the hope that “they will give” something. It could happen that they wouldn’t bring enough and reach only a quarter of those sitting in the queue, but most often nothing was brought. However, Sunday or around the winter holidays there was increased supply for butchers.
    • There was an escape gateway for those willing to spare a bit of effort. The villagers who wanted to sacrifice a pig, had to raise another one to give "the state." So many city dwellers would consistently collaborate with country relatives to fatten pigs. The family from the city "adopts" a pig in the country, this "custom" being practiced also nowadays.
    • The food and autoservings had to have other products, other than those on the "short list", at least for the shop's facade. So on the shelves there were jars with vegetable pots, bean food without sausages, okra in tomato sauce, beets in a jar, mustard, plum compote, sherbet, etc. and canned fish, the stars being "sardines in oil" and "sardines in tomato sauce" at fixed price, 10 lei and 50 cents per box. In the sausage and cheese hosters there were simple bacon, bacon with paprika (26 lei / kg) and sometimes olives. At beverages, there were Romanian wines at three-quarters and beer at kilogram. At the coffee stand there was the "Nechezol" packages (surrogate of 10% coffee) and chicory. At the sweets stand, "Eugenii", the "Siret" cake, Biscuits from the "Dunareana" factory, Mentosan, drops, jelly, etc. In most food shops, summer was better, but in the winter there were only shrimp boxes "Made in Vietnam", leeks, fine salt packs, salt bolders, sparkling mineral water bottles, "Borsec" or "Poiana Negri" but also bottles with fruit syrups and the national juices: "CICO", "Brifcor", "Strugurel".
    • Even if the situation was bleak, everyone managed. The lucky ones were the ones who came to develop a relationship with the employees of the Sandreni slaughter house, because once entered into the scheme, for cash or service barter, one knew that at least once a month would get 2-3 kilograms of meat. Although it was known that from the slaughterhouses were removed (stolen) very large amounts of meat, the scheme was allowed to function, because even the Financial Police was in on it. From time to time, there were controls, they were looking through the bags of the employees who came out of the building, but these searches were announced ahead of time. If any unannounced control happened, all meat found through the bags was forfeited. About 10-15 kg (resulting from the search) were given back to the slaughterhouse, the rest taken by the policemen and of course none of those caught with meat on them was punished. Everyone happy!
    • In those times, the slaughterhouse at "Avicola" was working. From "Avigal", the meat was removed by several methods. One was throwing the pack in the cornfield near the slaughterhouse where someone was waiting. The chicken breast trays were hidden under clothes, employees entered slim at work and came out fat. But there was another very ingenious method. In the morning, the working man entered the slaughterhouse with a ten-liter canister in which he said he had some wine that after work had to take to a relative. Before the end of the program, he'd fill the canister with boneless legs and de-boned breast, poured over some water and a bit of a cheap wine, to smell like wine and the alibi was perfect: our man came out of the slaughterhouse with a canister of wine full of chicken. Of course, the porters, who had caught on, also had their share of the gain.
    • Towards the end of the 1980s, there was a new possibility of acquiring the raw material for the pig scheme. At the rag fair, which at the time was in the current location of the Ecosal base on Basarabia St, next to the Eternitatea cemetery, there came pig sellers, in wagons. After giving a pig to the state, the peasants were allowed to take a pig in Obor. Some of the sellers, somewhat more tanned, sold at a very low price, which suggested that it did not cost them too much the raise the gruntlings. Anyway whoever wanted a gruntling and had the money, no problem.
    • The final stage was the approval in 1982 of the "Rational Nutrition for Population Program". It had been developed by Iulian Mincu, who even after 1990 was health minister because he had been close to Ion Iliescu. Maximum limits were set for the weight of a lady or a gentleman: for a 1.65m man, aged between 30 and 39, the optimal weight was 67.5 kg, and one of 1.80 M, aged between 40 and 49 years, was not supposed to exceed 80.5 kg. In women, for a 30-39 year old, with a height of 1.57 m, the optimal weight was 56.6 kg, and a woman with a height 1.68 m and the age of 40-49, could weigh up to 66.9 kg.

As one would expect, the vast majority of Romanians

*(*This article is unfinished – it was scheduled to appear in the hope that it will be finished before, but since this message is here and until it is removed, the article is to be considered work in progress*)*.

Sources / More info: fb-histph, adv-poza, wr-rsrlipsa, w-rsr80s, w-80saust, w-rat, adv-alex, rd-mrsolg, cj24-cartela, is-cmncau, sc-advclone, stc-advclone, omfn-cumpa, afa-filo, prz-sclx, pdl-micprn, air-advcln, bzv-ojum, et-cartela88, et-pricelist, okz-cartele, ptr-mtrcl, dv-ofrim, tcz-mybine, zc-scrsralmnt, rddt-yceasca, mntbt-vpcrtla, ips-cartela, mf-cartela, d24-29anilovilu, lbt-amntr, sd-ceman, clk-ceman, pg-amntr,

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