Science Behind Stocking Up: Why Milk, Bread & Eggs During A Storm?

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Ahead of every snow storm, they’re the first to fly off store shelves: milk, bread and eggs. But, why these three items?

“For one, they’re the most common,” said Sean Robinson, of Germantown.

“It’s something fast you can put together,” added Darlene Pugh, of North Philadelphia.

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“Do you think people just really like french toast?” Eyewitness News reporter Nicole Brewer asked one shopper.

“I don’t know honey, but that’s the main things they come out for,” she answered.

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“Yeah, and I don’t understand why,” said Michael Macartney, of Manayunk.

“Humans really rely a lot on scripts,” explained Dustin Kidd, an associate professor of sociology at Temple University.

“You reach into your cultural tool kit and grab the script that says I get milk, bread and eggs and everything will be okay.”

“And this is the way it’s been for years. This is when the markets make all their money,” said Philly resident Glendora Liles.

The folks at Accuweather believe the Blizzard of 1978 in New England may have led to our tendency to stock-up pre-snow since those folks were stuck at home for weeks. From there, Kidd says it made its way into society’s stream of consciousness through main stream media.

“It’s mostly about reassuring you against that level of doubt, that sense that something bad might happen.”

According to Kidd, it also allows us to maintain some level of control.

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“We don’t know what Mother Nature’s going to do, we don’t know,” said Irene Randolph, of University City.

Perhaps that is why many of us do what we can to prepare. Then, simply make the best of it. From sharing silly memes and YouTube videos to checking the French Toast alert. Yes, they have one of those.

“These are ways to decompress some of that tension that’s built up in these moments of uncertainty,” said Kidd.

More from Nicole Brewer

One Comment

  1. Nah, nothing to do with French toast. Most people buy meat and vegetables a week or more ahead of time. Unless they buy two or three half gallons of milk at the same time, they must replenish their supplies of milk by going to the store in between major shopping trips. Why? Because milk and eggs are so perishable. As for bread, they ought to know enough to freeze bread as I do, several loafs of homemade bread at a time. Why don’t they? Because bakeries don’t supply us with thick enough plastic bags that prevent our breads from getting “ice burn”. Use Ziploc or Hefty ziplock gallon or more bags and that problem is solved. (And bake your own frozen loaves for a buck a loaf.) Of course, bread is white like milk, a subliminal message. Accordingly, I also replenished the sugar bin yesterday. There’s one other possible consideration: We all associate snowstorms with blissful “snow days” off from school, “sleeping in” and having late breakfast with the family all in their nightclothes. What’s the best promoter of sustained, restful sleep? L-tryptophan in milk. I drank milk and ate a few cookies last night and didn’t get out of bed till quarter of eight this morning–about as late as I ever sleep at age 63. Happy digging out, folks!

  2. cwdonald314 says:

    Residents want to eat French Toast while dropping a deuce.

Comments are closed.

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