Not long ago, I noted that the Daily Express was trying to frighten its readers about potential food shortages, and that the reality in my part of the world was very different. Well, I’ve been over to Aldi and Asda today, following a read of yet another scare story from the Desmond press, and have reached more or less the same conclusion.
“Supermarkets are struggling to keep shelves filled with fresh foods such as meat and milk” howled the Express. Not in Crewe they weren’t: Aldi had a whole cage of full fat milk and two more of semi-skimmed, with the fresh meat display well stocked. Asda was more or less the same – except that it’s a bigger store, and so there was more of everything on offer.
So where are the shortages? “Yesterday, milk supplies ran out at a Somerfield store in Bovey Tracey, Devon” the article explains. That’s just one store, and I suspect that, had the Express not been in frightening mode, they wouldn’t have cared one jot what was happening in Devon. But there’s more.
Yes, “in a Tesco Express in Birmingham, most of the fresh meat and ready meals had been snapped up by customers to stock their freezers, leaving one corner of the shop almost bare” we are warned.
Hell’s teeth. There are nine Tesco outlets just within the city’s ring road, and almost thirty in the greater Birmingham area. The idea that anyone in the West Midlands will have to go without food at Christmas just because one of them is out of ready meals is utter drivel.
But I did find one crumb of comfort for “Dirty” Des and his hacks: Asda in Crewe had an empty area in one part of the store. It would normally have held own brand six pack low fat yogurt. So there really was a shortage, after all.
But it won’t mean the locals going hungry over the holidays.