I called around and found that all of my backup sources of bulk flour (and rice, too) have plenty – this rushing out to hoard it up seems to be a Costco phenomenon.
I find myself hoping, probably in vain, that most of that buying was done not by Joe Family Guy but by restaurants – for most people, buying two hundred pounds of flour at a single crack is just plain silly.
The cashier was telling me that she saw families splitting up, with a member in each line buying the full two hundred pounds – they were taking home four, six, even eight hundred pounds of flour.
Eight. Hundred. Pounds.
That would be a sixteen month supply for me, double what I could actually use before it started to get icky.
I find myself wondering how many of the people rushing out to buy their two hundred pound ration know that flour does have a shelf life: If kept tightly sealed in the fridge, up to a year. If stuck out in the garage in the paper sack it came in, eight months. Less if conditions are less than ideal out there – which they generally are. And in our area, weevils are a fairly big problem – not as bad as some places, but if you leave your grains unattended for any length of time, they’ll move right on in and make themselves at home. Not to mention the wild swings in both temperature and humidity, which encourages the formation of moisture, which creates mold…
Now, if you’re a restaurant or pizza joint or what-have-you, well. No worries. You both know how to store the stuff and can reasonably get through it all before your customers start finding weevils or rot in their French toast.
But dudes, I am going to be most severely irritated if, twelve months from now, my local newspaper is carrying articles about how many untouched 50# sacks of flour are ending up in the landfill. First and foremost, there really are hungry people in the world, suffering from honest-to-god, there is no food to be had no matter how much money you have hunger. Buying food you can’t hope to consume and then just throwing it away is not right on so many levels.
And on a personal note, I have