Ready or Not #281: Shakespeare Liked to Eat

The word “hoarding” is such an interesting word.  In its most basic meaning hoarding refers to a behavior of people or animals that accumulate food or other sundries to store against times of scarcity.  That seems normal enough – thinking ahead and making sure that you can take care of your family during difficult times.

Having said that, nowadays the word hoarding has a negative connotation that refers to people who are suffering from a form of mental illness where they have a compulsive need to keep everything and they form an unhealthy emotional attachment to stuff.

I have never really sat down to think about how people who don’t see the wisdom of a well-defined and planned food storage program view people who responsibly store food and sundries.  To me that is not hoarding, it is wisely planning to take care of your family now and in the future.   Apparently Shakespeare the playwright was considered a “hoarder” (a.k.a. food storage enthusiast).  The article I read discussing Shakespeare and what he did to protect his family was titled, “Study: Shakespeare was a tax-evading hoarder.”  Yes, that title caught my interest.

Come to find out, Shakespeare was more than just a talented storyteller; he prepared ahead of time to take care of his family and he was a shrewd business man.  And he stored food.

The article talked about how Shakespeare “hoarded” grains, malt and barley.  Not only did his family eat from their storage, but Shakespeare was able to sell some of his bounty and help his family out financially.  He also bartered and traded for things he needed to make his family more comfortable during those difficult times.  And you can do the same thing (because history does repeat itself) IF you have a strong food storage program.

During the early 1600’s and up through to the late 1700’s, there was a lot of rioting of the masses because of serious food shortages.  As I read up on the “food riots” as they were known, I found out that a lot of the shortages were orchestrated by wealthy men.  All this time I assumed that most, if not all, of the food shortages during those times were caused by drought and/or pestilence, but alas much of it was caused because of bad politics and the desire of a few unscrupulous people trying to exert power over others to get richer.

Hmmm.  (Is history repeating itself?)

Today the poor farmers have to fight not only drought and difficult growing seasons, but they also have to combat bad politics and still try to scratch out a living. Yep, history is repeating itself.

Well, if I have to admit it, I will – I am a hoarder and proud of it (sans the compulsive unhealthy attachment aspect of the word).  And I hope that you are too.

I’m really starting to like Shakespeare – and not just his plays!

So next time you are out shopping, pull a “Shakespeare” and buy some food storage so that you can become a hoarder (the good kind) – just like Shakespeare.

208 thoughts on “Ready or Not #281: Shakespeare Liked to Eat

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