Our panic buying comes from learned helplessness... beat the crowd!

Our panic buying comes from learned helplessness... beat the crowd!

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Monday 5, March, 2018

ANOTHER PLAGUE of locusts is receding. The Beast from the East is retreating. Mothers and others can all skip gaily to the supermarkets to buy bread and milk again, and fill up on petrol too!

What a national disaster it has been. No KFC, no bread, no milk, and they're taking sugar out of the Irn Bru at the same time!

As a Brexiteer I blame the EU. It is clearly the EU's fault.

But how?

All the shortages we have seen have come about because of a lack of resilience that has become a national habit. Intense standardisation drives centralisation of the market, while 45 years of CAP have beaten into us the idea food shortages can be planned away with enough money. 

The truth is resilience comes from flexibility and knowledge to develop alternative solutions to situations when they slip beyond our control. 

KFC is quite typical of western over Taylorised fast food. Centralised depots increase the risks of supply disruption while intense standardisation removes the flexibility managers could have to independently source supplies. 

Decades of subsidies to the wheat sector have simply offloaded issues of food supply issues onto distributors from producers. If food security deserves so much subsidy when not expand it to teach children about food security in a real way.

The truth is women have children, men assist to varying degrees but it remains largely a female role. This is where gender equality in schools breaks down and becomes absurd. Yes, everyone should be taught basic home economics but girls really must learn the basis of food security and home preparation... and patience. Much of the panic buying has been the lack of patience young adults are afflicted with.

With semi-skimmed milk it's been a comedy to watch. Women have been phoning in radio stations to cry over spilt milk when any one of us can just make it at home. Really, it's not hard. Take 75ml of double cream or 150ml of single cream. Add 100g or about 4 ounces of dried skimmed milk powder and make up to a litre with boiled, cooled water. Job done.

Too hard? Then open a 410g tin of evaporated milk from Tesco or Sainsbury and make up to a litre as above. That's it. That's all you need to do. It's what evaporated milk was invented for, for resilience! There has, to my knowledge, never been a national skimmed milk powder, double cream or Carnation milk shortage. No one with the patience to solve just a problem over panic buys because they see how absurd it is.

Go into any supermarket during a bread crisis and you will be dazzled by the range of flours available. Yeast too, unless you fancy going all sourdough on me. Bread shortages arise from the fact women no longer bake. Not as a rule. Some still bake amazingly well and we have all become fans of flaky cakey bake-offs but really how many women can bake bread these days? Or at least have a breadmaker?

I'm not even going bother with a bread recipe; they are legion and very easy too.

As for KFC, well, as if there are not plenty of other outlets the private sector provides. Anyone dependent on KFC for a daily meal has a problem and it isn't centralised poultry distribution. How is it so many adults, snowed in, can find the time for X Box but haven't cooked a family meal since the last Preston Guild?

It is in the end about one vice and that is learned helplessness.

With a little gumption, or a lot of Google, we can all exercise flexibility and patience required to overcome trifling transient interruptions to our daily routine. 

Nuff said!

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