Discovering that shopping lists are as old as the Bible jogged my memory about a collection of found shopping lists, posted online. I can imagine the grocery lists collection as a great place to find ideas for poetry or fiction. Maybe even some ideas for dinner.
For a historian, though, the collection is tantalizing because it isn’t searchable by date, location, or item. If there are people like me in the future we will want to use these lists to answer vital questions such as whether people ate different flavors of Doritos in different regions over the course of the 2010s, or whether one flavor prevailed, coast to coast.
This line of thinking reminded me that shopping lists themselves are a dying art form as more of us use apps to do their job. So gather them up while you can, and don’t forget to mark them with information about where and when they were found. Future food historians will sing your praises!