Stocking up on food: A few tips amid mass quarantines

Store+shelves+are+often+empty+as+many+people+are+hoarding+food+and+supplies+from+others.

from the internet

Store shelves are often empty as many people are hoarding food and supplies from others.

As the Coronavirus situation develops, many, both government officials and regular folks, are starting to fear that the current “quarantine” might end up being longer, more stringent, and a lot more serious than previously thought. This leads a lot of people wondering: “What am I going to eat?”

Realizing that they might not be able to make a quick grocery run every Sunday, many Americans are worried that they could run out of food or recipes to cook. This sounds like an overreaction to some, but it is important to realize that there many people who can’t afford to stock up on a ludicrous amount of goods. Outside of food, experts are giving the same warning on baby formula, with the chair of the AAP Committee on Nutrition warning mothers not hoard it so those less fortunate can still buy some. Food is different issue, though, as obviously everyone needs it, leaving many to scramble for inexpensive, long-lasting, and still enjoyable options.

The Basics

Rice Storage Chart (Click for specifics)

Bean Storage Chart (Click for specifics)

Probably the simplest yet effective food for long-term storage is the classic rice and beans. A longtime favorite of survivalists and preppers, the dish is used as a staple across the world, and for good reason. The magic of the rice-bean combo lies in its far-off expiration date and nutritious value. Both goods can be bought dry, and the right variety can last virtually forever under careful storage. Also, combined with some preserved greens and fruit, the dish can supply someone with most of their nutritional needs, along with having a wealth of possible varieties. For anyone freaking out and wondering if they’re going to have to bunker down, this is a go-to survival dish.

Storage

While certain things like rice and beans can stay good for a long time, other goods might not be as enduring. Necessities like milk, eggs, and bread will expire without proper care; however, as most know, these can be easily stored in a fridge to ensure no unwanted spoilage. But for longer periods and extra space, pile your groceries into your freezer. Many are under the assumption that certain foods will be ruined in a freezer, but this is not true. Aside from a small dip in quality, foods like milk, cheese,

Eggs pre-cracked and ready to be frozen

vegetables, and fruit (plus candy for kids) can be safely frozen. Eggs must be preserved with a bit of caution, though, as eggshells should not be frozen (one online article suggests cracking eggs into a muffin tray before freezing).

Other Options

While a steady diet of beans and rice may not be for everyone, there are other staple meals to consider if worrying about food prep. Stocking up on pasta is a good idea, as there are hundreds of different meals to center around the grain, especially if you are properly stocked with spices. Also, provided no one in your living area is allergic, have some nuts stored for easy, protein-filled snacking. And if you know you’ll be craving some variety, canned goods are great for easy soups, vegetables, and sauces.

Altogether, more than anything, it is important to stay calm. Things might be getting worse, but worrying too much over what could possibly be over in a few weeks can be a very poor choice; so, have some hope. But, as always, stay realistic and plan accordingly, which means stock up and prepare. And especially before things get worse, consider quickly and safely donating to your local food bank. If you are not elderly and feel comfortable going out, bring some food or money; you could even volunteer to help organize and distribute. If not, you can still donate money online.

Above all, stay safe and keep calm.