empty grocery store shelves

Coping with Food Shortages During a Pandemic

The current food shortages in the US are not due to a broken supply chain or production issues. The empty store shelves are a result of people panic buying more than they need and hoarding supplies.

Some folks are buying in bulk so that they can price gouge these products and sell them at a mark up to desperate people. Never encourage price gouging by buying from people hoping to make a quick buck. Things are not that desperate yet.

The empty shelves are just a temporary inconvenience. In fact, trucks are still transporting supplies and store shelves are being stocked even as you read this.

Quotas are being enforced to limit how many essential items every customer can buy. So, there’s no need to panic that you’ll die of starvation unless you kill and eat your neighbor.

In the meantime, here’s what you can do to ensure that you don’t end up with nutrient deficiencies…

  1. Get supplements

We need food for nutrients. It’s as basic as that. If there’s insufficient food, supplements will help to take up the slack. In fact, even with food, supplements are crucial because our foods are low in nutrients due to intensive farming on nutrient-depleted soils.

So, pick up a multivitamin, a greens supplement, some fish oil pills, garlic oil, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, curcumin, coconut oil, etc. Look for ones that don’t have sugar or no-added-sugar.

Vitamin C is being used to treat coronavirus patients
. Taking 1,000mg several times a day may help to keep you from getting sick.

Since many places are on lockdown and self-isolation is required, vitamin D is especially important if you don’t get enough sunlight.

Bodybuilding supplements like whey protein, egg protein, BCAAs, etc. are all useful. Most people do not look to these as a source of food… and yet, they can be used to replace meals too.

  1. Protein beats carbs

Your body can survive without carbs, but you need protein and fats. So, if there’s canned food like sardines, beans, etc. get those.

Your goal should be to buy foods that are high in protein. You can get your fats from coconut oil or olive oil. Carbs should be an afterthought. Buy foods based on nutrition and not taste.

Very often, people try to stock up on pasta, rice, bread, instant noodles, etc. These are unnecessary carbs that lead to obesity. We’re in a pandemic now. It’s time to wean yourself off your carbs and get lean.

The silver lining to this COVID-19 cloud is that you finally have all the necessary conditions to accelerate weight loss.

  1. Intermittent fasting

Here’s the truth – if the shelves are empty and it’s going to be a few days before the food arrives, you can’t eat like you’re accustomed to. Intermittent fasting is a great way to make your food supplies last longer, and benefit your body at the same time.

Aim for just one meal a day. Don’t worry. You won’t perish. In fact, your body will begin a process of self-cleansing and you’ll actually feel better.

Even if all you did was go on a water fast for 5 days, you’d be fine. You’ll experience increased mental clarity, more energy and a feeling of ‘lightness’. You’ll feel great. All hunger pangs usually disappear after the 3rd day.

  1. Ration your foods

Take stock of the food you have and make a weekly plan as to how you’ll ration it among your family members. Eating blindly without concern will put you in a situation where you may not have enough.

  1. Shop when you can

Even if it means waking up at 6 am to join a supermarket queue, do it. Family members can take turns daily to do some shopping. While you shouldn’t be hoarding, you should at least have enough food to last you and your family for 3 days.

Just by buying a little extra each time, you’ll be able to meet your requirements. Most importantly, you must have a plan. Don’t end up having a pantry that only has chocolate cookies and canned fruit.

  1. Order your groceries online

There may be some hiccups and your orders may get cancelled or the inventory may have sold out. Nevertheless, be persistent. Things are getting better now and you should be able to get an order through sooner or later.

Shopping online is easier and you’ll have food stores to tide you over any shortages at the brick and mortar supermarkets.

The COVID-19 pandemic is NOT a World War 3. There’s no destruction of supply lines or amenities.

Everything is still functioning, just at a slower rate because of the lockdowns and other measures. Hoarding and panic buying will not help you or anyone else during this situation.

Keep a level mind and buy what you need and just a little bit extra to last for 3 days. That should more than suffice.

Eat one meal a day and look at this period as an opportunity to lose weight and achieve the body you’ve always wanted. Now is as good a time as any.

7. Plan for Next Time
You never know when a natural disaster or the next pandemic will happen. Talk to your family about your survival food supply and let them have input into what you should stock and keep as well. It will give them a sense of control and responsibility and of course ensure that everyone is happy with the meals available when things get serious.

Emergency food storage doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, it can be mainly comprised of items your family is already eating. Before you go out and start buying all the water, bread, and milk you can get your hands on, figure out how long you want to prepare for. Having at least a week’s worth of food and water stored up can be a great idea during a natural disaster. Keep in mind that you not only have to ride out the storm itself, but that it may also take extra time before help and supplies can make it to you.

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