March 24, 2020
Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University.
Supermarkets in the United Kingdom are not keeping up with the increase in demand caused by the coronavirus situation, and some people are left with nothing to buy.
A food policy expert has warned a food disaster could be imminent unless the Government implements rationing.
Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University in London, has written a letter to Boris Johnson asking him to ‘initiate a health-based food rationing scheme to see the country through this crisis’.
He wrote to the Prime Minister ‘out of immediate concern about the emerging food crisis’ and in the letter described public messaging about food supply as ‘weak and unconvincing’.
His warning comes after shoppers across the country have been met with empty shelves as panic-buying takes hold.
People are mostly buying toilet paper though.
The government should start promoting the practice of cleaning the anus with water.
The scarcity in our shops has left many vulnerable people and NHS staff unable to buy food and essentials.
Professor Lang said it is understandable that concerned families have been bulk-buying if they are concerned about self-isolating for a number of weeks.
But he believes clearer public messaging from the Government would have helped to avoid this crisis.
He also criticised the Government for ‘blaming’ consumers who are going out to buy groceries to last a few days.
He said: ‘The supermarkets are already subject to unprecedented purchasing stress. Yet people have been stocking up, not least out of concern that, if someone in their household falls ill, they will be unable to obtain more supplies.
‘Consumers have repeatedly been told to look after themselves, so cannot be blamed for acting within their viable realm of influence.
‘It might be regrettable, but stockpiling or uncivil behaviour in stores are signs that appeals to restraint or repetition of the ‘We are in it together’ message are wearing thin when it comes to food supply.’
The professor also fears for low-income families as food banks close and others have very short supplies.
Prof Lang said a ‘very difficult period’ is ahead, adding: ‘We’ve got to do demand management, not just blame people when they start getting three days or a week’s food supply.
‘That’s nothing. Nothing. In my childhood, that’s what everyone did.
He said there needs to be a public food committee which ‘addresses the interest of the public’, adding: ‘What is being exposed is the lack of devolved regional and local food engagement.’
Maybe living in concrete hives where no food is produced and where every supply has to come from the outside wasn’t such a bright idea after all.
The coronavirus, bioweapon or not, is exposing some of the weaknesses of Modernity.