- MREs! I actually like (some) of these!

Are You Culinarily Prepared for COVID-19?

Prepping is starting to sound a little less ridiculous to me these days!

1y ago

My wife and I used to watch a TV show on the National Geographic Channel called Doomsday Preppers, and we used to laugh at the folks on the show as they discussed their seemingly off-the-wall theories about how society is going to collapse and the measures they've taken to survive. Some of those measures seemed as ridiculous as their theories about how it was all going to end. But now, I have to admit, I'm a little worried. Not full on panic worried. But novel coronavirus does have me a little concerned. The impact of this illness isn't seriously being felt here in the United States yet. But that impact is on it's way! The economy is starting to show signs of that worry as the markets reflect some of the stress and uncertainty COVID-19 is causing. My wife has mentioned the hardship COVID-19 is starting to cause on her company; a large importer and retailer of clothing products manufactured in Asia. But are we, the people of FoodDevour, ready for how COVID-19 may effect our stomachs?

Photo courtesy of the CDC Public Health Image Library

Photo courtesy of the CDC Public Health Image Library

I'm not one to be labeled a "prepper", but I like the idea of being able to continue eating if things get bad and the supermarket shelves end up empty. Consider; how much of the food we consume in the United States comes from overseas? How much logistics are involved in getting food, from any origin, to the shelves of our supermarkets? What if fear keeps grocery store employees home? What if panic causes shelves to be emptied? What if over-the-road transport is stopped in order to contain an area or stop the potential spread of disease?

Is your pantry prepared to deal with it?

So what can you do? I truly have no realistic idea what makes for good preparation for what COVID-19 could potentially mean for us here in the United States. But, I do feel like taking out some insurance. Simple insurance to keep me fed and happy!

Bottled water! Damn, we all hate the waste all of those plastic bottles represent; but for short term prepping, I imagine having cases of bottled water around is going to be a good idea! Having a source of clean water on stand-by for consumption AND food prep is a pretty easy thing to prep. My plan; stock up on cases of bottle water. They're cheap! If nothing bad happens then guess what - I have a bunch of water to take out on my boat in the heat of the summer.

Cases of water like this can be had for just a couple of dollars each.

Cases of water like this can be had for just a couple of dollars each.

Canned food! Not the most awesome of cuisine by any stretch of the imagination. But canned food is versatile! Think about what comes in a can these days; soups, stews, meats and vegetables. Hell, I even have a can of pre-cooked bacon tucked away somewhere in the house! And canned food will keep, so if you don't use it, it's no worry because you will be able to hang onto it for a little while. I can stock up on canned food for an emergency, and if I don't use it I can take it to work to eat for lunches!

Canned food. A great way to keep a variety of food items on hand for the long run!

Canned food. A great way to keep a variety of food items on hand for the long run!

Frozen food! Not the easiest to store in bulk and it won't survive the collapse of the grid, but for a short term shut-in situation, frozen food can be a nice thing to have around. We have two refrigerators in our house; one in our kitchen and one downstairs behind our basement bar. Yep, the downstairs 'fridge is packed with beer but the freezer is typically stocked with frozen meals and meat. Frozen food is very convenient, and will last for a long time if maintained frozen. And very conveniently, we have a vacuum sealer in our house. So we could potentially stock up on meat that can be portioned and frozen.

I'm glad we have a food vacuum sealer for preparing and freezing meat!

I'm glad we have a food vacuum sealer for preparing and freezing meat!

Fuel! A major crisis could cause some culinary disaster if you are not prepared to cook your food. And while I'm not planning on prepping for the collapse of society, I don't want to be stuck thinking about thawing out and cooking a steak just to find out I'm out of propane or charcoal to cook it up right! While I don't have extra gas for the gas grill on hand, I do have bags and bags of lump charcoal stashed in the garage that will keep me grilling and smoking some of the meat I have stashed in the freezer for a little while.

I'm prepared to BBQ in a crisis!

I'm prepared to BBQ in a crisis!

MREs! Meals Ready to Eat! These things are great, and they're horrible! I imagine if you've served in the military and have had to live on these; well, you probably got tired of them. But I was fortunate to be able to stock up on a bunch of these sealed military meals (originally purchased by a military contractor). The quality of the food isn't going to rival that of the finest French restaurants (the horrible side), but some of them are okay. And they have self contained heaters in them that are activated by water, so a warm meal is easily prepared (the great)!

Meals Ready to Eat!

Meals Ready to Eat!

And then there are the items I think I'll avoid. I'm thinking pretty much anything perishable. I can't see stocking up on things like produce or even too much raw meat (unless I have room to stash it in the freezer). But I can see heading to the supermarket and loading up on produce and meat to be a bad idea if one isn't prepared to handle it properly.

So what is my plan? My plan is drag my wife to the grocery store and stock up on stuff we don't necessarily need, but stuff we could potentially use. I'm talking stuff we can potentially use if COVID-19 becomes a problem, or practically use just because we have it on hand. The best case scenario is COVID-19 doesn't disrupt life around here and I have a bunch of food on hand that I can use down the road for meals at home or for when I'm at work. The worst case scenario? My tummy wont be growling while I think about some of the food I've seen posted on FoodDevour while my local grocery stores' shelves are bare!

Stay safe. Stay healthy. And stay fed, my friends!

Have you made any preparations for a possible worst case scenario?

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Comments (20)

  • I'm a fan of stocking the things that you typically eat on a daily basis. So once the scare is over you can actually continue to eat great food. Otherwise you will end up with a pile of 10 year old uneaten garbage at the bottom of your deep freeze.

      11 months ago
  • As P.J. O'Rourke says : " There is a free market explanation for everything. "

    It's not a new question is it ?

    Triple hepa filtered air conditioned space suit futures might be looking good.

    Go long ? But maybe avoid the curried baked beans for breakfast....

    I was planning a skiing holiday this winter anyway, so I might extend it for a few weeks.

    If you look at the geographically isolated nature of the leisure industry, for example golfism, ski resorts, fishing cabins and house boat rentals, Bed and Breakfasts , ski lodge, and the " trail riding in Montana " marketplaces, all of these commercial travel and outdoor isolated holiday operations require consumables.

    In the movie City Slickers, the stressed out 40 year old yuppies , decide to do the themed cattle drive holiday.

    They arrive at the resort, to find a gift shop, which is stocked with all the paraphernalia for getting into the cowboy holiday mood.

    Clothes , including sturdy shirts, trousers riding boots, Stetsons, chaps, spurs, saddlery, neckerchiefs, gloves, warm jackets, with pockets for jerky, dried fruit, packets of peanuts and biscuits.

    Someone brings a cell phone, an early Motorola flip up.

    Another guy brings a battery powered coffee grinder.

    The battery could probably be recharged with a small solar panel.

    And no doubt the chuck wagon carries some modern comfort items.

    * Little bottles of shampoo and Conditioner, small soap cakes, and hygiene strips for the lavatory seats.

    * Bog rolls.

    * Small sachets of sugar , those tiny tubs of milk, and tea and coffee to go with the breakfast baskets that the hotel staff leave on your front porch, or in this case at the fire place.

    * Blankets, canned baked beans, sacks of flour , powdered milk, more coffee, beef jerky, and canned corn grits.

    * Canned tomatoes, apples and peaches, and some dried apples for cooking into stewed apples to have with the morning bacon on a biscuit.


    * Extra socks, anti fungal foot powder, shoe horns, boot care equipment and leather softener.

    * And aluminium bodied Airstreams for the cast and crew to snooze in between filming in the great outdoors

    * Some tools for restoring/ modifying/ renovating the Airstream kitchen :youtu.be/uTU9IrRhXuo

    It's a cattle drive, so beef for breakfast, lunch and dinner is an option.

    Many farms have their own canning operations, so it should not be difficult to send a small wagon to briefly visit the farm to purchase canned goods. ; packaged biscuits, dried fruit, packets of spaghetti, packets of nuts, small cans of sardines, tuna, beef, dried soup sachets , condensed milk in a tube, jam in a tube, tins of peanut butter, tiny packets of dish washing detergent, and small pot scouring pads.

    Then you have your portable electric dishwashers, various portable cookers including the parabolic dish solar cooker ( which can also be used to boil and sterilise water. )

    In Australia, we have the farm gate produce stall, with the honesty boxes.

    The farmer asks for $1 for a pumpkin, and you can pop a coin into the locked box.

    This arrangement could be adapted for the sale of canned goods from the farmers gate.

    No-one needs to be in close proximity to anyone else , as it's a sort of autonomous point of sale arrangement.

    It 's much the same sort of planning that is required for a commercial geological exploration operation in an isolated part of , say , Australia, which is quite a common activity, as Australia expands operations inland, and as we continue to build increasingly isolated highways.

    Happy trails, kids.

    Enjoy your slightly isolated holiday.

      11 months ago
  • We could use more bottled water but worse case scenario I have to big pots I can boil water with. A bag or 2 of flour and sugar I probably should pick up just incase. As long as power does not fail we probably have enough food for a couple of months minimum.

      1 year ago
  • We just finished unpacking a huge Pantry order from Amazon. I was thinking of stocking the gallon or 1/2 gallon jugs of water, easier for cooking as well as drinking. They’re out of N95 masks with the filter thingy on the front, glad I was freaking out last month and ordered some. Those are stashed away so my husband doesn’t find them and make fun of me......but I’ll be ready. And if it doesn’t come to Kentucky they’ll be great to wear gardening when pollen is high.

      11 months ago
  • All. The. Bacon.

      11 months ago