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Bread and milk: Why do we buy those foods before a storm?

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Shopping before a storm

Whenever severe winter weather approaches, grocery store aisles are always cleared of eggs, bread and milk.

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But why is that the case?



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends bread as a no-cook food to stock ahead of a storm, but not perishables such as milk and eggs.

A power outage means those foods may not last until the storm passes. 

The Atlantic reported that buying perishables may be a matter of psychology.

Duke University behavioral economist Dan Ariely said it’s a matter of seeing others doing something and feeling the need to join in.

“If we go somewhere and we see other people buying those particular things, all of a sudden (we’re) even more interested in those,” he said.

“It’s like saying, ‘The storm will be over soon and I won’t be stuck in this situation for long,’” clinical psychologist Judy Rosenburg told HowStuffWorks.

So it may be fine to get bread, milk and eggs, as long as you have enough non-perishable foods as well.