It’s necessary to stockpile essential items (food and non-food related) during this coronavirus flu pandemic. Stockpiling will lessen the effects of the pandemic, and it will be a huge step in keeping the virus at bay from our communities.
- Health professionals and experts encourage stockpiling in these circumstances for the following reasons listed below:
- Because of the pandemic, services will be shut down that will include transport services, offices, etc. and will disrupt the supply chain. It’s a possibility that the supply chain of essential items will break, causing them to deplete and disappear from the markets.
- The fear of the pandemic will cause the general masses to panic to buy essential supplies in heavy bulk leading to stock-outs and leaving the markets empty for the rest of the people.
- This pandemic is caused by a virus that is easily spread by people’s interaction and even being in the same place. It’s important to decrease crowding as much as possible.
A lot of family members will become sick and cannot buy supplies for themselves later on.
In emergencies, people often rush to grab whatever they can without paying attention to nutrition. This is caused by panicking, and the behavior spreads the panic further. It’s wiser to grab a food item from each nutrition group. It is also important to buy food that is low in moisture. Dry food is more preferable for these situations. They are high in quality so that it will last longer. You also have to make sure that the food is insect free and not contaminated at all.
When stockpiling, keep in mind the number of family members in your household, their ages, gender, and activities. Your shopping list changes with every individual. Every person must have their needs fulfilled so that they avoid going outside. Don’t buy too excessively either. It is recommended that we store up to 6-weeks of essential items.
To store food for the entire family in a pandemic, you have to store them all in a low moisture area and away from heat. This will delay food from spoiling and ruining and will be edible for a longer time.
Here are some tips to help you stockpile and preserve food as much as possible during this lockdown.
Storing Canned And Dried Foods:
Canned and dry foods will save you in these types of situations. They keep their flavor and nutritional value longer than other types of foods. Buy low sodium canned goods and place them in a cool and dry area. Also, write the purchase date on the container.
Purchase Shelf-Stable Items:
Shelf-stable items also last a long time. Some might require refrigeration, so mostly buy food items that don’t need a fridge; otherwise, you won’t have space, and food will spoil.
It’s important to properly organize after stockpiling. Designate an area for storage and make shelves if they are not present. Clean and remove old dented, bloated cans. Space should be filled by similar food groups placed near where they are used. Once you open a package, seal it in airtight containers and place them within eyesight. Label and write food’s purchase and expiration dates on their containers. Keep a close eye on expiring food and use them before they go bad. Keep track of this by using applications on your phone.
Storing Fresh Ingredient Staples By Freezing Raw Form:
Frozen ingredients last longer, and it delays spoilage. Almost anything can be frozen, but meat and vegetables will last significantly longer. Blanch vegetables in steam or water. When they are fully cool, pop them in the freezer. You can even air fry frozen foods without thawing them first.
You need to use the most likely to perish foods first. Label your containers with purchase/expiration dates and keep a record of them in a spreadsheet. Every day, plan to make a meal using those ingredients. Place quick perishing or old ingredients in the front.
Fruits And Vegetable:
Many fruits and vegetables will remain fine at room temperature as long as you keep them in a cool, dark place. You can freeze if you have space. Drying vegetables can increase their life. You can blanch and put them in a stove to dry them. Canning and pickling also work if your glass jars are good in shape. Properly sterilize the glass beforehand.
You need water not just for drinking but also for cooking, rehydrating food, cleaning, etc. It’s the most important resource. Always keep one gallon of water extra for every member in your house.
How To Know If Canned Food Is Spoiled:
If you haven’t seen a can for ages and are in doubt, throw it away. You don’t want to have food poisoning in quarantine. If the can is damaged, bloated, or makes a ‘hiss’ sound when you open it, chances are that it’s bad.
Other Essentials To Store:
You can’t have a full pantry and still not be able to access it. You need certain things to utilize the food also. Be sure that you have a can opener, bottle opener, airtight containers, working fridge and oven, sharp cooking utensils, and glass jars if you’re canning food, extra cooking pans, and pots, and last but not least, crockery to serve and eat food.
Collecting And Cooking Easy Recipes:
In quarantine, use easy and minimalistic recipes that utilize only a few ingredients. This way, ingredients last longer. Many recipes are simple and still satisfy the appetite of entire families. These scrumptious recipes include:
- Recipes with shelf-stable ingredients like canned goods, grains, rice, pasta, beans
- Recipes with frozen ingredients like frozen vegetables
- Recipes with ingredients that retain their freshness even after being frozen like beef, chicken, cheese, butter, onion, ginger, garlic, peppers.
- Emergency snacks and condiment recipes
- Grocery list for up to 21 days meal plan