Winter Storm Jonas is about to hit the Northeast, and residents from Washington, D.C., to Boston are bundled up from head to toe and heading to their local grocery stores to stock up on provisions. The Atlantic reports that no matter the type of storm, be it a blizzard or a hurricane, there are three things that supermarkets and shops will quickly run out of: bread, milk and eggs.
The Atlantic goes on to question the ways of “frantic shoppers” and their storm grocery lists. Milk and eggs makes perfect sense. They’re ingredients in just about anything you may want to bake, and being holed up while winds are thrashing snow around outside is the perfect excuse to make cookies or a cake. As long as the power doesn’t go out, that is. The author of The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future, Peter Moore, tells The Atlantic that “it must have something to do with the perceived comfort and safety of [those] particular products.”
Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University, tells the magazine that a monkey-see, monkey-do mentality could also be a reason for the storm grocery trifecta. “If we go somewhere and we see other people buying those particular things, all of a sudden [we’re] even more interested in those [things].”
As I was reviewing my shopping list while waiting in line in the cold to enter the Trader Joe’s in Brooklyn Thursday night, two days before the impending storm, bread, milk and eggs did indeed make the cut. Was I looking for comfort and safety in the form of carbs and dairy or am I just a societal sheep grabbing what the person next to me is planning on nabbing? Or was it because I’ve been craving grilled cheeses and the so-called snowmageddon was the opportune time to fill my cheese-less void in addition to other cooking projects? Speaking of which, why not take the day spent inside to try something that takes time and effort, like red wine–braised oxtails? You might as well make the most of it. As for me, I’m going to be busy making dumplings with my girlfriend in between the aforementioned grilled cheeses, all while The X Files plays in the background.