How Long You Can Last Without Food
OK, while you can last about 3 weeks or so without any food, no one is suggesting a total lack of food in the UK following Brexit. There may, however, be shortages of certain foods at certain times, either due to import difficulties. or if fuel is in short supply, so supplies can’t get to certain areas.
A lot of the UK’s food is imported. For instance, bread is usually made with imported wheat as UK-grown wheat is not always suitable for making bread (ref: http://www.nabim.org.uk/imports-and-exports).
Many of the fresh vegetables we eat in the UK are imported: oranges, fruits and veg out of season, such as tomatoes, lettuce, courgettes and soft fruit. Maybe you don’t eat that kind of food?
Perhaps you prefer fish and chips? Most UK potatoes are home grown, so potatoes should continue to be available, provided transport is available. The fish might be a different matter.
“From a UK perspective, seafood material originating in the UK is generally exported for overseas consumption, whilst UK seafood consumption is largely reliant on imported material.” (ref: https://www.seafish.org/media/1653731/overview_-_brexit_and_the_uk_seafood_industry_1.3.pdf) In other words, most of the fish eaten in the UK is imported, while what we catch is mostly exported. Imports of fish to the UK are worth about £3bn, about one third of which comes from the EU. (ref: https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8396)
Curry houses are not faring any better according to the Independent newspaper, with ingredients coming from the EU costing a lot more and staff shortages. (ref: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-curry-industry-brexit-staff-shortages-bangladesh-catering-association-a8677911.html)
What Food Will Be Available After Brexit
Hopefully, all foods we currently have will still be available after Brexit, even if takeaways are having difficulties, however, it is possible there will be some shortages and delays while trading terms are finalised. It would certainly be wise to stock up on basic foods, especially those that require little or no cooking and that can last in a store cupboard for a good while, provided that they are foods you would normally eat.
This is a staple item of many people’s diet in the UK but all the beans have to be imported because they do not grow in the UK. Baked beans store well, most kids will eat them and they are nourishing, having a fair amount of protein and fibre and also vitamins and minerals. Top them with some grated cheese and serve on toast and you have a hearty lunch. If the power is out, they can be eaten cold, so if you like baked beans, then stock up on them ahead of Brexit.
Other Tinned and Packet Staples
If you’re stocking up on foods that your family likes to eat and that are easily stored and cooked or heated, check up on your stocks of spaghetti in tomato sauce, soups, tinned ham, canned peas, pasta and ready made curry and tomato sauces.
Most of the fish that ends up in cans: sardines, tuna, pilchards and most salmon etc is imported. If you like canned fish, then building up your stocks would be a wise move.
Flavourings, Spices And Sauces
HP sauce, a British staple is produced in the Netherlands. While Heinz tomato ketchup is made in the UK, many ingredients for sauces, flavourings and canned or packet ready -meals may be imported. Table salt is mostly produced in the UK but pepper is imported.
Cold And No-Cook Foods
Nuts, nut butters, dried fruit and porridge oats are all handy storage items and can be eaten without any cooking. Nuts and nut butters, especially provide protein and healthy fats. Dried fruit contains iron. Oats, chopped nuts and dried fruit make a handy muesli, together with some sugar if you need it. Nut butters spread beautifully on bread, soda bread or crackers.
If you live near the countryside or have a large garden, you may be able to add some foraged items to your diet, if fresh foods are running low. Blackberries and plums can often be found growing wild, ready for picking in the autumn. Don’t forage near roads because of pollution. Don’t forage if you don’t know what you are picking. Some wild plants can be fatal.
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