Last week, in preparation for the hurricane, people were buying things left and right from stores. Flashlights and batteries were at a premium. This made sense because a primary concern was widespread power outages. (As an aside, on Saturday morning my husband went to a hardware store, and an employee there -- with a straight face, mind you -- told him the store was not price-gouging and that the keychain-sized flashlight was always $50.)
What didn't make sense was all the standardly packaged milk purchases. A gallon of milk, put in a refrigerator that loses power is not particularly helpful. In fact, it just spoils. So, even though I was down to about a cupful of milk, I resisted the temptation to buy regular milk. Instead, I bought a few single serving individually packaged nonrefridgerated milk (the kind you put in kids lunches: parmalat or Horizon). I figured this would be great if we lost power.
Luckily, we did not lose power. So, I said to my husband Sunday morning, I should stop at the store and buy some milk. What follows is the rest of our conversation.
Husband: Don't buy milk.
Me: Why not? We need milk.
Husband: Only buy milk if the store didn't lose power. If they've lost power, they'll sell you bad milk.
Me: The stores probably have backup generators.
Husband: Generators are expensive. Don't buy milk from a store that's lost power. This is a recession. They're trying to save money anyway they can.
Me: I don't think they want to poison their customers with bad food.
Husband: Call first. If they have power, go ahead.
Me: So, if they lost power, when can I go shopping?
Husband: You can still shop there. Just don't buy anything refrigerated.
Me: For how long?
Husband: Three weeks.
So, clearly, people have husbands like mine, or are simply like my husband and have decided they can't trust the stores after a power outage. So, next storm, I'll be like all the rest, and buying milk I know will spoil if the power goes out. Because really, I'd like to have refrigerated food in the weeks following the storm.