Shopping for local food before a blizzard reminds us of generations past

February 4, 2011 at 9:39 am

I went out in the blizzard to buy a dozen eggs.

Okay, well, it was hours before people were stranded on Lake Shore Drive. And many people went out at the last minute to shop for food before the blizzard came.

The image we see on TV is people in their cars running to the grocery store to buy milk, eggs, and bread and pick up rock salt and shovels on the way.

My journey was to walk (sorry, no car) about 1.5 miles to a van in a parking lot to buy a dozen eggs. Didn’t see that on the TV.

Now, did I desperately need the eggs short of starvation — probably not. And our capacity to store food meant most of those last-minute shoppers could have survived without that trip.

But there is that manic energy before a blizzard comes, knowing that you might move around so well for the next few days. And so, I spent that manic energy walking to get a dozen eggs from a local farmer.

Then again, the quality of those eggs was worth walking in bitter cold weather.

For those old enough to remember the storms of 1979 or 1967, there was this fear of not having enough food in the house should a storm come. Somehow, in modern times, this fear isn’t really rational, at least for those who have easy access to food.

Still, to recreate that vision — with a twist of locally organic food — was quite fun. And if this blizzard had lasted a week, I still would have had enough food.

Maybe we like the idea of foraging as a storm comes on, as if to resemble our ancestors. Then again, the eggs I bought were grown the way food was a few generations back.

And having bought those eggs just before one of the worst storms ever — does make the eggs taste better.