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Sunday 20th October 2019

Stockpiling food for a no-deal Brexit: sensible or silly?

Stockpiling food for a no-deal Brexit might seem drastic – but it just common sense?

No one really knows what’s happening with dare-I-mention-it Brexit, but I think it’s safe to assume at this point that there’s a very real possibility we will leave with no-deal.

In anticipation of no deal, some UK citizens have been prepping by stockpiling food and other items because there might be interference in supplies from abroad.

So while the notion of stockpiling might draw Zombie Apocalyptic connotations; when it comes down to it, is stockpiling food the most sensible thing to do?

Tim Benton, an expert in food systems from the University of Leeds, has said that food-supply disruptions are “almost inevitable”.

As it stands, the UK only produces half of what it eats and a whopping 40% of fresh food comes from the EU.

A recent poll by ITV News shows that 20% of consumers are now considering stockpiling in case of a no-deal Brexit – and 5% have already started.

I asked on Facebook if anyone had been stockpiling and got a mixed response.

• Financial blogger Emma Drew says: “UK supermarkets work on a ‘just in time’ basis, which means that stock is delivered daily and not stored in warehouses. Think about when heavy snow hits the UK and shops empty in a short space of time. It is feared that the same could happen after Brexit.”

You can see Emma’s stockpile list plus various responses on Brexit stockpiling in this article.

• In this vlog, Eilidh Gallagher talks about concerns of the UK’s fruit and vegetables not being ready for harvest. Eilidh also states that from 29th March, retailer Milk and More has set to increase its prices on fresh produce items with cucumbers and onions doubling in price.

• Rachel in Bristol says she hasn’t begun stockpiling but she would if she could afford to do it.

• Emily in South Wales thinks it’s all pro-Remain propaganda and asks, since 50% of the UK’s food is produced here, how are we going to run out?

UK Government officials say stockpiling is absolutely unnecessary and I must admit that before researching for this article I *might* have guffawed a little at the very idea of it but now I’m not so sure.

If you are thinking about stockpiling, here is a list of food items to get you started:

• Pasta

• Rice

• Flour

• Yeast

• Cereals

• Porridge

• Instant bread mix

• Tinned soup

• Tinned beans and pulses (lentils, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans)

• Tinned vegetables (carrots, sweetcorn, peas, potatoes)

• Tinned fruit (peaches, pears, pineapples)

• Tinned tomatoes and other tomato-based sauces (passata, tomato paste)

• Tinned fish (tuna, mackerel, sardines)

• Tinned meat (spam, corned beef, stewed steak)

• Long life milk

• Squash

• Sugar

• Sauces (pasta sauce, curry sauce, etc)

• Baby food

• Formula milk

• Stock cubes

• Spices

• Ginger and garlic paste

• Marmite

• Peanut butter

• Olives

• Coffee

• Teabags

• Wine

While it might not be within your budget to stockpile an entire shed’s worth of food, be on the lookout for cheap supermarket offers and grab them while you can.

Food shortages and inevitable rising prices will always hit families on a low budget the hardest.

It could be proven total nonsense to stockpile, but buying the food you’re going to eat anyway in bulk will definitely save you money in the long run.

How about you, have you considered stockpiling or is this just hysteria and panic-buying? Let us know in the comments below.

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Amy Treasure

Amy Treasure

Food writer and photographer. A simple approach to great home cooking. Runs.

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