D.he little group that meets on Sunday evenings in an Italian neighborhood bar in west London knows the menu by heart. Everyone knows in advance what he or she is going to order, everyone knows what the other person prefers, and everyone usually opts for the same starter: Apulian burrata with avocado, artichokes, tomatoes and rocket. Still, it’s part of the ritual to always check the same menu for other options before everyone goes by the motto same procedure sticks to the tried and tested with self-deprecating jokes. In the last few weeks, however, the lap has been thrown off course. Because for some time now there has been a problem with the Burrata delivery from Italy.
The example is typical of the isolated shortcomings that not only cause problems for gastronomy in England, but are now also part of everyday life for end consumers. The supermarket shelves resemble a Swiss Emmentaler: large cavities in a mass. Nobody goes away empty-handed, but a society that is used to getting everything it wants when shopping for groceries has to reposition itself and be ready to improvise. This also applies to the fuel crisis. Whatsapp groups are now exchanging information about the fuel level. “At the BP petrol station in Belsize Park, they got a large tanker load this morning at 8.30 am, and the line is not long,” a driver reported to her friends under the hashtag “gogogo”.
The government’s admonition not to panic has done exactly the opposite of what it intended. In view of hamster purchases and pre-orders for the Christmas business, the retail trade is not complying with the deliveries. In many households, Christmas dinner is already in the freezer.
It’s not just about Brexit
Sometimes the supermarket is missing the preferred brand of pasta, so you are forced to switch to another, sometimes the zucchini that you need for a certain recipe have not arrived, or there is no minced meat for the Bolognese because the meat processing industry, like everyone else Industries suffering from staff shortages. In pig breeding, the lack of labor in the slaughterhouses has led to a backlog, so that the piglets penned in the waiting loop are starting to bite each other’s meat. Hundreds have already been killed and burned. The industry warns that 120,000 pigs will have to be emergency slaughtered without their meat being able to be used.
What is also missing: the carbon dioxide used to stunning the slaughtered animals – which in turn is the result of an acute shortage of the fertilizers required for the production of CO2. The reason for this shortage was the closure of the factories of the two largest manufacturers in the face of rising gas prices.
The fact that global processes hit the British so hard is not only due to the consequences of Brexit, but also to long-term structural grievances and short-term thinking, such as the storage of gas, which is significantly less than in other European countries. That makes a country in which more than three quarters of all households heat with gas, of course, particularly susceptible to price fluctuations.