For decades we’ve been blindly following in the footsteps of our relatives and friends. When a storm is coming, we buy milk and bread. It’s embedded deep into our psyche and we’re not quite sure how it got there.
Well, we decided to take a deeper look….
According to Accuweather.com we can blame the New Englanders for this silly combo, and as Southerners we love nothing more than to blame Yankees, right?
“It was the monumental blizzard in 1978 that trapped many in homes for weeks that gets at least some credit for the current tradition”, reports the site. Folks were trapped in their homes for weeks and ran out of the essentials, like milk and bread..?
There is actually even a little bit of science behind this phenomenon. "The thought to get milk before a storm is followed by the action or compulsion to go out and stockpile it. In one way or another, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to feel in control, and buying things you might throw out still gives the person a sense of control in an uncontrollable situation," says Lisa Brateman, a New York City-based psychotherapist.
But really, perishables are about optimism, they say “hey everything will be back to normal in a few days”. If you wanted to be smart however, you could buy non-perishable goods and items that would last you a lot longer…. but no one likes a downer! Way to be optimistic America, keep the milk and bread coming.
In other countries around the world the idea of hoarding food items before a storm doesn't even exist. The Germans refer to this as "hamsterkäufe" or "hamster purchases", since hamsters store things in their cheeks. Congrats America, we're a bunch of hamsters.
It could also just be our animalistic instincts kicking in. As animals when food is scarce we fight for it. When there are only a few cartons of milk and a couple loaves of bread left, no one is standing in our way!
So, if you want to use your brain and be a big ole’ pessimist then buy some nuts, canned food a shovel. Or you could keep your hopes up and starve to death if something really bad came along. Luckily this is Charlotte, NC and if you don’t wreck your car driving like an idiot in the snow, then chances are you’ll have some more fresh milk in a couple of days.
But for now, Happy Snowpocalypse 2015! ….and enjoy your milk sandwiches!