Could game meals be the solution to panic buying?
News broke on Wednesday that many national supermarkets are attempting to put the brakes on coronavirus stockpiling by preventing shoppers from buying more than three of any one item. The limits will apply to all food, cleaning and toiletry products, and will hopefully ensure that everyone has access to the supplies they need to see out self-isolation.
While it is admirable that supermarkets are prioritising the needs of vulnerable shoppers over the hand-sanitiser hoarders, it is nevertheless an alarming sign that food and other essentials are having to be rationed already.
As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, supply lines will invariably be disrupted. Britain will almost certainly struggle to import food from key markets such as Italy, France and Germany, which are already far worse affected by the virus than we are. And, in these uncertain times, our game industry could be a lifeline.
Britain’s booming populations of pheasant, partridge and grouse – which groups like Wild Justice are currently campaigning against – could prove vital in the fight against coronavirus. The ready availability of healthy and low-cost protein will be invaluable to rural communities, who are often the first to suffer when supermarkets struggle to keep up with demand. While the shelves might be emptying, the hedgerows and fields are still full of food.
One wholesaler, Wild and Game, have already cottoned on to this ingenious solution and are now selling delicious game food packs specifically for those who are self-isolating. The packs include a variety of pheasant pies, chillis and pasties; enough to feed a person through the 14-day isolation period, and hopefully hearty enough to nurse you back to health. The meals are delivered to customers’ homes to avoid viral exposure and come frozen for extra longevity. The solution is quite brilliant and one that may need to be replicated if meat from abroad becomes more scarce in the coming months.
In this time of national crisis, we would do well to remember the unique and vital shooting industry that Britain is blessed with. The prime minister has already compared the current pandemic to the Second World War, when Britons were told to ‘make do and mend’ and ‘dig for victory’. Perhaps now we can rekindle some of that resourcefulness with game meat and help make sure our population remains healthy and well fed.