WE have not yet seen the summer out and already the gloomy message that Christmas could be "cancelled" is doing the rounds. In the good old days, my mother used to wait until at least after Hallowe'en to pull that one out of the bag if I wasn't on my best behaviour.

Potential food shortages are no laughing matter and there are far cleverer people than I who can explain the precarious intricacies of the supermarket supply chain and the ongoing crisis regarding a scarcity of HGV drivers.

Even so, it feels like each day brings some fresh ridiculous twist. Did you have a dearth of Nando's chicken on your bingo card? McDonald's milkshakes being off the menu? Greggs running low on meaty baked goods?

In recent days there have been dire warnings from food industry experts that a festive dinner favourite – pigs in blankets – could be affected due to production cuts, while Christmas turkeys may also be in short supply. Earlier in the month, the same was said about roast potatoes.

As we know from past experience, few things strike fear into the hearts of some quite like the thought of their yuletide feasting being curtailed. Even if it is still August and the sun is splitting the sky. I imagine there are a fair few folks already filling chest freezers in preparation.

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The patchwork of shortages has made me ruminate about what I eat and why. Before gaps started to appear on some supermarket shelves, I admit I didn't think too long and hard about supply chains. Be honest, who does?

Sure, I tutted at food air miles and tried to buy local when I could, but other than occasionally griping when my local Tesco was out of Monster Munch, I have been sleepwalking through grocery shopping for years.

I've been seduced by slick packaging and fanciful tales of provenance, deluding myself that I have a sophisticated palate that must be wooed with extravagant delights.

Truth be told, I am basic. I would far rather eat a simple stew thrown in the slow cooker using random gubbins from the dark corners of the fridge than slave over a culinary masterpiece requiring 15 different ingredients and two trips to the supermarket.

Perspective is the key here. If anything, I have realised how little I actually need. And how hoodwinked I have been when it comes to buying into the entitled notion that we need everything the heart desires at our fingertips.

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Gaps on supermarket shelves are troubling but that isn't the same as the food poverty that affects 8.4 million people in the UK. Nor is it akin to the strict rationing endured during wartime.

You can still put food on the table. Sure, it might not be exactly the food you had in mind, but you aren't – hopefully – going hungry.

Christmas won't be cancelled if we have to forgo some sausages wrapped in bacon come December 25. It is time we all got a grip.

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