With the threat of winters heaviest snowfall so far this year about to hit Kalamazoo and the impending doom and gloom of a frigid week of bitter cold temperatures (including some below zero wind chills) why is there the incessant need to race to the grocery store and empty the store shelves of all the bread, milk, eggs and a plethora of other mainstay grocery items?

Are we really going to drink 3 times the amount of milk we normally drink because 6 inches of snow falls? Eat 3 times the amount of toast we normally do because of cold temperatures...in Michigan?  Would we really be able to consume the heavy stockpile given that all perishables have expiration dates?

That need to stockpile is confusing sometimes and I think we need a little direction when it comes to panic buying and emptying grocery stores shelves of perishables.

"The thought to get milk before a storm is followed by the action or compulsion to go out and stockpile it. In one way or another, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to feel in control, and buying things you might throw out still gives the person a sense of control in an uncontrollable situation," says Lisa Brateman, a New York City-based psychotherapist. - HOW STUFF WORKS

So instead of emptying store shelves and stockpiling perishable goods that will spoil, what should we do instead?

"People always clear the shelves of milk, eggs and bread," Paul Shipman, a spokesman for the American Red Cross. "Well, the milk doesn't do well without refrigeration, eggs are useless if you can't cook them and the bread is not going to provide much nutrition on its own. You need non-perishable food, water and other necessities to be safe."

So a good plan going forward is to empty store shelves of all soup, tuna and other canned goods and leave all the bread, eggs and milk to rot on the shelves...unless of course you want to eat eggs and toast with milk 3 times a day for 5 days straight - then go for it.

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