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Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:51 am
by Flo
Couple of days back T***o was in the news for limiting various items due to panic buying because of the coronavirus scare - you know people being told to stay home for 2 weeks.

Now I'm pretty good at providing a lot of fruit and veg for myself - well usually except I defrosted the freezer by mistake. But I don't grow kidney beans or butter beans and of course don't now have frozen tomato in any shape or form. Guess what - all of these are limited. As I don't drive I'm not going to be doing a major shop to bring it home on the bus. I prefer the T***o own brand to Asda and Waitrose doesn't do the variety I want. The local Co-op no longer delivers or I would prefer to go there.

Daughter is back in Edinburgh for the next few days working - says that there were no toilet rolls in the local Asda and she only has 3. This was carrying on a set of text messages where I had told her that the Co-op up hill in nearest shopping street had no loo rolls at one point over the last 36 hours. Now we do have a factory that produces loo rolls in town but can't see them being pleased if we all queued up to buy a packet of 12 loo rolls from them. :roll: :mrgreen:

But it does make you wonder exactly how much we can do for ourselves in the way of self sufficient. We have to start with the raw materials from somewhere. Toilet rolls? Washing powder? Washing up liquid? Most of us can't produce the materials raw to make clothes - that's back to the dim and distant past. Have we become too reliant on "modern technology" to provide our needs?

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:03 am
by Viper254
Madness isn't it - M and I thought it was a joke until we went to (a particular Northern supermarket) last night and there was barely a toilet roll in the place. We order our rolls 50 at a time from a company called "Who Gives a Crap" so we're well sorted, but it was still something of a surprise!

It's not so much the modern technology as the modern supply chains - goods flitting from country to country, and the chain ever more fragile at the same time as becoming ever more slick. I think the answer is in localising supply chains more - sourcing the things you've mentioned from the local area into local shops, but this doesn't necessarily fit with how shop supplies now work.

The amount of tins of "mixed beans" we get through is pretty terrifying... :)

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:13 pm
by Green Aura
I have a huge pile of washcloths and a washing machine. As long as I don't run out of washing powder I'll manage if the loo rolls run out. Persuading my OH and gal to use them however. :roll: :lol:

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:27 pm
by ina
Plenty of loo rolls at Lidl's on Sunday...

Actually, I'm pretty well stocked up because I had been stockpiling for Brexit. Seems that a lot of our loo rolls are imported from Europe. And who knows whether there'll be the appropriate trade deal in place next year?!

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:12 pm
by Flo
Well there was an interesting delivery from T***o. Yes everything was there as I didn't order loo rolls. But the driver was a youngster born in 1987 so had to have the using newspapers for toilet roll in the old days explained. He didn't realise that outdoor toilets survived into the last 50 or so years - till I recited the story of going onto mains drains from septic tanks in a way out hamlet where the outhouses in the middle of the village square had once been the loos emptied by a visiting wagon.

Seems that we are now down to playing hunt the 4 pack tin of baked beans locally.

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:25 pm
by snapdragon
Green Aura wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:13 pm
I have a huge pile of washcloths and a washing machine. As long as I don't run out of washing powder I'll manage if the loo rolls run out. Persuading my OH and gal to use them however. :roll: :lol:
:cheers: Not just me then, old sheets and towels repurposed.

I did think it was odd that people started panic buying until I realised that many will be trying this strange habit of 'washing their hands' and since it's new to them they'll use loo roll for drying their hands.

It can't be just me who habitually keeps a stocked larder of dry goods and canned food, including cleaning and bathroom essentials surely? I mean, yes I have a freezer which holds some meat and veg but for just in case the electricity fails there has to be spares right?

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:36 pm
by Skippy
With regards to the toilet roll we tend to keep a minimum of 100 and reorder when we get down to that figure so we currently have around 190. I suppose the irony with toilet roll is that we could do without it or use alternatives and be completely self sufficient in that regard. We could use old rags , newspaper , moss or just plain wash our bums. The romans were doing that thousands of years ago with the old sponge on a stick . However , mention of alternatives hasn't gone down well with wife and daughter.
We could even survive a couple of months lockdown if we all had to self isolate , there's enough food and no debt so we could take the financial hit too although we'd prefer not to. As to just how self sufficient we are i'd have to say leaves a lot to be desired . We've a decent sized garden but don't produce enough although taking down the less than productive cherry trees would help. We don't have any animals so no meat , eggs or milk and though we have a wood burner we have to source fuel from elsewhere. Same for clothes , i can ma!e them but have to buy in the raw materials.

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:14 pm
by ina
I could just do with a couple of months enforced home stay...

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 10:34 pm
by Weedo
I have spent a few days in Sydney for work and what is happening there is hilarious - Shops have run out of toilet paper and hand sanitiser, colleagues refuse to shake your hand (but happy to stand in a group for a chat surrounded by aerosol laden air); every flat surface in offices, motels etc. has pump packs of sanitiser on it. I hear of boxes of P2 masks and disposable gloves disappearing from hospitals emergency response reserves etc. . My department has banned overseas travel and is considering banning all travel as well as ramping up processes for "working from home" (for me work stays at work and home stays at home)

The really really interesting thing is that we DON'T HAVE AN EPIDEMIC OR PANDEMIC; nothing about what is happening remotely fits with an epidemic development process. Many will not remember (perhaps with the exception of Flo) the measels epidemics, the rampaging diptheria, the Whooping cough pandemics, the decades long, nationwide tuberculosis campaigns and the sporadic polio outbreaks.

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:20 am
by snapdragon
Flo wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:51 am
//snip//
Most of us can't produce the materials raw to make clothes - that's back to the dim and distant past. Have we become too reliant on "modern technology" to provide our needs?
wool is still available unless they ban sheep. Spun or felted it can make clothing, I'm the 'dim and past it' ain't I lol.
But I do have a large stash (of fabric) hoarded like a hamster hoardes grain.

Still wondering how easy nettle fibres are to extract, and if any nettle will do it

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:44 am
by Weedo
We have always been dependent on modern technology, fire drill, digging stick, knife, spinner, weaver, knitter etc. - the main difference is that the technologists no longer reside in our little clan. Depends on your interpretation of "clothes" - good enough to keep warm in or high fashion?

The simplest way to remove fibres from plants (to my limited knowledge) would be Rhetting - this involves allowing the soft plant material to decay and leave the fibres behind - often dome by soaking in water for a while but also simply laying the stems in bundles and letting nature do the job - rhetting can also be done chemically.

I would be interested if anyone actually knows how to do this properly - I am playing with a new(ish) plant called sunn hemp (looks like but isn't). The plant is a tall (6ft) summer growing annual legume that can be used for stock feed and green manure (my objectives at the moment) but can also used for fibre. Obviously this plant would yield longer fibre than nettle or flax so could be worth exploring further.

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:42 am
by Green Aura

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:58 am
by Odsox
ina wrote:
Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:14 pm
Many will not remember (perhaps with the exception of Flo) the measels epidemics, the rampaging diptheria, the Whooping cough pandemics, the decades long, nationwide tuberculosis campaigns and the sporadic polio outbreaks.
Ah yes, I remember all of those. But more interestingly it was encouraged to actually catch some of those diseases when you were still a child, mumps especially, to "get it all over and done with"
You would get locked up now to suggest such things.

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:01 am
by Viper254
We're lucky to live in a world where most of that list has been eradicated by a couple of vaccines :)

Re: Emptying the supermarket shelves

Posted: Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:23 pm
by Green Aura
I think they're suggesting that you can be re-infected with corona virus, so the "chickenpox parties" of yesteryear might be a bit counter-productive. :shock: