When the forecast calls for a blizzard, ice storms, power outages, maybe you are one of the people who rushes to the grocery store to stock up on essentials. It makes sense to be prepared. And of course, others have the same idea! This is why you will see pictures of empty bread shelves, and lines of people waiting to get into the stores.
The phenomenon of buying milk, eggs and bread before bad weather is so well-known meteorologists even have a name for it–“French Toast weather.” Here is an article about it in Forbes Magazine.
The article has some excellent suggestions of things to have on hand–batteries, medicine, and nonperishable items, for example, but there are also some insights into the psychology of buying bread and other perishable items in uncertain times.
I would like to add a few more thoughts–
Bread has a deep symbolic resonance. It is the stuff of life, indeed a part of human civilization. The idea of enclosing food in something edible and portable is worldwide–a sandwich, tortillas, pierogis, egg rolls are just a few examples.
There is soup and bread. There are pizzas.
We are eating more bread and carbohydrates these days, according to Pew Research. And what do we call the effects of all these carbs and bread we eat? Muffin tops.
It may be true that we do not live by bread alone, but remember the prayer, “give us this day our daily bread,” and the poem, “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou beside me..” People used to say that something very good is “the greatest thing since sliced bread.”
Today, more and more people are baking their own bread. There is something real and homey about it. The aroma of fresh-baked bread sells houses. Bread is another word for money. There are bread and circuses. There are bread and butter issues.
But remember also that bread is the food of revolution. Let no one tell us that if we can’t have bread, then we should just eat cake!
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