Ever wonder why the proverbial “go buy milk and bread” when we receive a prediction of snow? Reports of local grocery stores stock of milk and bread seem to go hand in hand with weather reports of predictions of snow. But we wanted to know why and we think we found an answer.
According to AccuWeather.com, we might be able to thank a particular region for at least some of it.
“It appears that New Englanders can take credit for the purchasing of milk and bread prior to the storm,” the site reported. “It was the monumental blizzard in 1978 that trapped many in homes for weeks that gets at least some credit for the current tradition.”
In November 2014, Virginia Montanez set out to unravel the mystery for Pittsburgh magazine. What she found was that during one of that city’s worst snowstorms, which began on November 24, 1950, an article in a local newspaper referenced milk as “the one shortage that has hit all sections” and bread as being “doled out in some stores” because of a storm that ultimately brought almost 3 feet of snow.
Regarding toilet paper? Montanez shared a theory about a reference to folks being advised to cooperate by “buying what they need.”
“I don’t know about you, but when I’m listing the things we NEED, if we’re going to be snowed in for the next few days, toilet paper is damn sure going to be one of them,” she wrote.
It doesn’t appear to make much sense, given that one of the major problems in many storms is the loss of power. And that’s a bad thing when it comes to keeping milk and eggs fresh, though Mother Nature could lend a hand if said items are simply placed in the snow.
And then there are those who have taken the stock up on perishables and given it a twist. Take a look at the French Toast Alert System, which according to its site “has been developed in consultation with local and federal emergency officials to help you determine when to panic and rush to the store to buy milk, eggs, and bread.”
On its site, they rate storms from low to severe. On their Twitter account, they sounded the alarm for its followers.
— French Toast Alert (@FrenchToastAlrt) January 18, 2019