Rethinking panic buying:
After finally finding toilet paper in the 26th shop, I got to wondering how many of you don’t have full cupboards and a larder (oversized pantry that holds everyday items for future use)?
Do you have 2 weeks, let alone 3 months, of food and essentials in your home? With this question in mind I asked a range of people about their thoughts on storing food for a rainy day.
The answers surprised me:
- • Shopping is entertainment and somewhere to interact with others.
- • Essentials are easy to get so there is no need to have a full cupboard.
- • Some people like to choose each day what they are going to eat that night.
- • Food shopping gave individuals a feeling of regularly contributing to the family’s welfare.
- • Those with limited disposable incomes use their $ for bills first and then food.
It seems to me that, irrespective of hardship, there was a rush on supermarket shelves because:
- • essentials have been relatively cheap and easy to get in Australia for a very long time;
- • nothing ever ran out; and
- • people need to belong to a ‘village’.
In other words – there was a run on essentials in this extremely difficult time because Australia is the ‘Lucky Country’. Most notably, media reporting on the scarcity of essentials linked to Covid-19 has added to community anxiety and brought the perceived uncertainty surrounding food security into sharp focus in every home.
Anecdotally, as a nation we have a sizable percentage of people who have known true hardship and hunger either first or second hand. I wonder if this is considered by our leaders as they continue to use the term hoarder.
There will always be profiteers and usurpers. Don’t let the minority divert the attention away from the issue that many Australian’s are already predisposed to extreme, heightened distress connected to access to essentials dues to past, negative experiences.
I believe many are simply creating a larder for the hard times ahead. Yes, some may be doing it quickly, indiscriminately of true need and at times without thought to others, but this is a natural reaction and should have been anticipated by those in charge.
My suggestion is for everyone to relabel the over purchasing of essentials to call them:
1) LARDERS for future use in your household; and
2) DONATIONS for those of you who can afford to relinquish some items to charity, family and those in need in your village.