Should we be panic-buying food for Brexit?
PUBLISHED: 21:00 16 January 2019
Some people are stocking up on tins and dried goods ahead of the Brexit decision, so what's in their trollies?
I don’t want to panic anyone... I mean, if a week is a long time in politics, then nine weeks probably approximates to the entire Jurassic era.
But you can’t help noticing that there are rumblings about stockpiling - stuff you should buy in large quantities in case everything gets held up at Dover, or Ramsgate (have they got a boat there, yet?), or at one of Britain’s other ports... Felixstowe, even.
There have been a number of news reports that people have a box or a shelf or a cupboard in their homes which they have set aside for Brexit. One woman told the BBC she was squirrelling away bottles of tonic water, coffee and French marmalade. Away from the kitchen, in a cupboard she has stored extra bottles of shampoo. This is an unusual choice, one might think although it does appear to protect the continental breakfast and the sundowner gin and tonic.
Maybe it’s an age thing but I’m thinking about proprietary medicines, oh, and pasta.
Research has shown that, as of October, last year, two per cent of people were starting to stockpile.
I read that a Facebook group called the 48% Preppers (named for the proportion of people who voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum) has a leaflet called Getting Ready Together. It suggests stocking up on non-perishable items, which can be prepared quickly and require little water (I’m fairly confident we won’t run out of water... will we?). The list includes crackers, cheese, milk powder, grains and instant mash. Tinned fish and soup, tea and coffee also feature.
Official sources advise against stockpiling and I am minded to take that on board − unless, that is, everyone else does it, in which case, I may need to. No one wants to be scuttling around the streets, seeking out black market goods. There’ll be men in sharp suits (like Joe in Dad’s Army) with tins of salmon attached to the insides of their coats.
A website called verdict.co.uk points out that less than half of the food consumed in the UK is supplied by UK producers and paints a scary scenario. Looking on the bright side, however, whisky, chocolate and beer are deemed to be safe, if not really the basis of a healthy diet.
We should be okay for cereal products and anything made from wheat, barley or oats. The UK should have enough carbohydrates, including rice, bread and muesli, to avoid a disaster. We should also have enough milk and some varieties of tea. PG Tips are made in the UK.
There is a chance there could be a shortage of sugar, according to verdict.co.uk and the UK could also lose access to more than 28% of its potato supplies.
The website’s list of stuff we might need to think about includes bacon, vegetables, fruit, a generator, emergency fuel supply, a barbecue, a log burger, an ample supply of wood, a horse (or another suitable form of transport). Really? Crumbs. (Which may be all we have to eat).
Is it all Scare-mongering? Let’s hope so because I’m not going to bother buying extra... not now I know I’m going to be okay for bread and chocolate.