How to Eat Well During the Coronavirus Pandemic
During the coronavirus outbreak, panic has spread quickly. This is a time that can cause concern, and people everywhere are being forced to see a new perspective on life, for better or worse. Grocery stores and food supply issues have been in the spotlight as key players for determining how well the world is prepared for the lasting effects of coronavirus. There are 3 key steps you can take now – that are different from your usual routine – to help you up your food game and be well-fed during this time of crisis.
Build or Maintain a Food Storage Supply
According to FoodStorage.com, “During times of economic uncertainty or natural disaster, nothing matters more than keeping your family safe and nourished.” With today’s pandemic, it’s clear that food storage can be an important part of your emergency preparedness plan. Food storage consists of having enough non-perishable food and water to feed your household for a given period of time.
One organization that promotes food storage as part of self-reliance and an emergency preparedness plan is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They recommend building up a short-term food supply (3 months) and then gradually expanding into a long-term food supply (one year), focusing on foods that can last at least 30 years when packaged properly, such as potatoes, wheat, pasta, rice, oats, and beans.
Now, one suggested process for deciding how much food to store involves simple math: determine how much food is needed to feed your family for one day, then multiply that quantity by 7 to get a week’s worth of food supply, then multiply by 4 to get the amount needed for one month.
As of yet, grocery stores are still open an operating, and you could begin building your food storage supply now. There are also establishments dedicated to producing and packing food you could use for food storage, and you can also order food online.
Buy Food Online
With a rapidly changing environment of business closures and disruptions of economic activity, we’re not completely sure if grocery stores will continue to operate as usual, and in recent weeks, key items have been in short supply. Buying food online and having it delivered to your door is one option to bypass the need for going to the grocery store in person. It also would serve well in the event of a “shelter in place” order.
A few things to keep in mind when buying food online: many suppliers are reporting delayed deliveries and diminishing supply, so the sooner you act, the better chance you have of getting what you need.
Options for buying food online:
- Thrive Market
- Your local grocery store (may be deliver or pick-up options)
Learn to Cook
There’s no better time to learn to cook if you’re quarantined or staying at home – whether by choice or mandatory “shelter in place” order. Get some meals on your menu, pick up ingredients (or have them shipped), and start cooking.
And you’ll likely be able to eat well while you’re learning to cook. You may find that as you’re learning to cook the quality, taste, and nutritional value of your meals will improve. Home cooked food tends to use more natural and fresh ingredients and doesn't go through as much processing or packing with preservatives as fast food or frozen meals. Foods often contain the greatest nutritional value in their natural state.
To learn how to cook, you'll need to identify some recipes that you'll enjoy. There are lots of free recipes on the internet, and you can also find great recipes in old-fashioned, hard-copy cook books. A few examples of some great recipes you can find online include Ultimate Meal Plans, Mel’s Kitchen Café, Leesh & Lu’s Recipe Box, and lots of others.
Maybe you’ll be inspired to try a new diet as you’re learning to cook, like paleo or keto. Learning to cook is a great way to pass time while you're quarantined at home! And who knows - maybe you'll enjoy it so much you keep cooking after things return to "normal" after the coronavirus pandemic.
Eating well during the coronavirus pandemic can help make the health and economic impacts we’re seeing in the world at least a little more bearable. You can get started on your food supply, take a look at buying food online, and learn to cook as part of surviving this crisis.