It had not occurred to me, but should we be worried about supplies in the UK if we have the dreaded hard Brexit? I have been in countries like Cuba and gone into shops to be greeted by empty shelves, but I have been brought up in a land of plenty. Apart from the food rationing during the last war, during which time people were much healthier, we have really been living the life of the richest people on the planet. So should we be worrying?
Colleagues of mine have been discussing what they need to stockpile in case of a hard brexit. The conversation began when one of the hospital departments ran out of tissues and no one knew when the next shipment would arrive. This turned into…
“what would we do if the shops ran out of tissues?”
This then became a fear of the lack of sanitary products in general and then went on to cosmetics. It was a good twenty minutes before anyone mentioned food. There was then a bunch of stories from the good old days, like when how each family had stretched food to last into the week until payday. Now it became serious.
‘should we be stockpiling food, just in case?’
The next thing was, what then should we or could we stockpile? Well, it was decided that the freezers should all now be stuffed full with meat, fish and other perishables. Now the fear “what would happen if there was a power cut?” The decision here was that it would need to be cooked and re stored. Then someone said “but if there was no power you couldn’t cook it, could you?”
It was a good lesson in anxiety, watching this group of people go from a happy lunchtime sandwich to the point of panic.
The next obvious thing was that tinned foods that would always be fresh. Baked beans were the obvious and the favourite of course, tomatoes. Then came the jars, jams and sauces. Of course we would need sugar! As a veggie I suggested the dried foods, beans rice etc., to which they all looked a bit snotty. And, there are long life cheeses such a Hallaumi that can have two years dates on and nut milks that do not need to be refrigerated and long life cows milk.
Then, shock horror, if the French cut us off where would we get our wine? They all laughed when they realised that what they were drinking came for Australia anyway. But, what about German beer? Then as our one remaining smoker got up to go and have a fag in her car she said ‘I better stock up on me cigs’.
I was thinking about how each Christmas and Easter, when the shops are shut for just one day, people load their trollies to the ceiling as though they are preparing for a siege. Does that mean that we need to get to the shops before it all goes? But, that just creates the panic that makes people hoard goods in the first place.
Hey ho, interesting times ahead.