Panic shopping is, according to psychologists, a natural reaction in these times, when the situation with the COVID19 gets worse from day to day.
A large part of the population chose home isolation, which is one of the best measures to stop the spread of the virus. But not before making major supplies of essential foods, of course.
If you also think about making food supplies, here are some shopping tips to get you through in this period, coming from experts quoted by BusinessInsider.
1. When planning meals for an emergency situation, make a strict food selection first. Throw away everything that has expired, consume everything about to expire, focus on the most perishable foods first and then go to shopping.
2. Choose supplies for at least two weeks. This is how much the self-isolation will last. Think about the fact that, most probably, you will not eat all the food you buy. It also needs to be cooked.
3. Small supplies are enough to provide mental comfort. Do not spend too much money on food just to feel a glimpse of safety.
4. When making supplies, be careful to choose foods from every nutrient group: proteins (canned meat or fish), fiber (beans, fish), carbohydrates (pasta), fats (oil), but also frozen vegetables and fruits.
5. Rely on foods that can give you energy, are tasty and do not need to be cooked: nuts, dried fruits, protein bars. Flour and beans have to be prepared, somehow.
6. Do not buy huge quantities. How many pasta can you eat in a week or two? Instead, opt for preparing large quantities of various dishes, which you can freeze afterwards. Many cooked dishes can be frozen in casseroles for up to a month or even two, so it only depends on your preferences: soups, stews, meats, sauces, hummus, bean sprouts, etc.
7. If you are isolated at home or in quarantine, first eat the perishable items and then go to canned products. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits first, then dairy products and afterwards the canned stuff.
8. Canned foods and packaged foods, with extended warranty periods, contain more salt, to withstand a longer period without altering. If you will have to eat only such foods for a longer time, be careful to drink more water so that you do not become dehydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and dizziness and it is not exactly how you want to feel in an emergency situation.
9. The tap water is drinkable, but in case you're worried, you can boil it or make tea. But keep in mind that it is unlikely that the situation will become so extreme that the water supply is cut off. In this case, it is even more important to be careful how much salt you eat.
10. There are some dishes that you can cook from all the canned foods you bought. Read below to get some ideas!
Canned foods, whether in a can or in a jar, are an important source of nutrients, which are stored very well in this way (as with frozen fruits and vegetables). That is why they will provide the body with all the necessary substances: proteins, fibers, fats, vitamins. A minus would be that these products may contain a larger amount of salt, in order to have a longer shelf life.
Canned fish are salty and very tasty. Mackerel, sardines, anchovies, tuna, salmon, all of these fatty fish contain significant amounts of essential Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E, B12, but also minerals such as potassium, iron, iodine, phosphorus and selenium. These substances strengthen the immune system and vitamin D is crucial in the absorption and fixation of calcium in bones.
Use the canned fish in salads (oriental or with leafy vegetables). Combine the meat them with a can of tomatoes and you will get a delicious sauce for all the pasta supplies you bought.
Canned beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils
These are an excellent source of fiber, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9), magnesium, zinc, potassium, but also protein vegetables, especially recommended if you are vegetarian or vegan.
The options here are countless. You can prepare different variants of hummus, soups, stews, curry, salads, only by combining them with some vegetables you have in the house (onions, carrots, celery), with spices and, of course, with canned tomatoes.
Tomatoes are perhaps the most versatile of all canned foods and, in addition, a source of vitamin C, which is lacking in other canned foods. This is important in the context where the self-isolation lasts longer, because the stocks of fresh fruits and vegetables (rich in vitamin C) end the first.
By adding only just a sip of olive oil, some spices and garlic, you get a delicious pasta sauce in a few minutes. Or you can use them in soups, stews, steaks, or sauces made for vegetables and meat.
You can use their liquid for hydration (in the extreme case of a water crisis). You can add canned fruits in cereals for breakfast, in rice or semolina cakes, when the fresh fruit supply is over. Pineapples, peaches, tangerines, jar cherries, all of these are important sources of vitamin C, beta-carotene and fiber.
The bright side? You can apply the above tips and tricks even in normal conditions, not only when faced with emergency situations!