In reply: Dalton et al have raised several important points for discussion. They suggest that an adequate food “lifeboat” can be procured by simply encouraging a family to continue their usual purchasing patterns. Unfortunately, accumulating non-perishable items in this way would be a fast route to certain nutritional deficiency. It is the perishable items — fruit and vegetables, bread, meat and dairy products — that supply the bulk of micronutrients in modern food supplies. Within a few short months, an individual relying on usual pantry supplies could be suffering from acute deficiencies of vitamin C, and folate and other B vitamins. Babies conceived during this period would be at risk of neurological defects.
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