United Nations projected that due to covid-19 people are facing severe foods insecurity throughout the world. FAO recently warned that on the natural foods market the lockdown of covid-19 had a devastating effect. The spread of covid-19 is now something with which we need to learn how to live. Experts also say that this pandemic will also unleash food security crisis never seen since the great recession.
Slowly covid-19 has been creeping in communities. For many people, food has never seemed important both in the manner of nutrition or comfort but now if the economic disruption continues we can face a pandemic-related food crisis.
Are we facing a food crisis globally?
At the begging of 2020 around the world, only 135 million people were facing extreme food crises but now according to WFP, this figure could now rise up to 265 million by the end of 2020. Many parts of the world are concurrently struggling with many food insecurity threats like recurrent droughts, protracted conflicts, and the worst of them locust infestation in decades.
In ways for example the US agricultural system is facing severe labor challenges. Farmers all over are been forced to destroy harvests amid a severe downfall in demand stemming from restaurants, organic food stores, bakeries, schools, and other natural foods market places.
Foods safety and nutrition during covid-19:
As we are going through these unprecedented times all are worried about how to shop, order, and prepare food safely from health food shops to minimize the transmission of this disease.
Although we don’t have evidence for specific dietary factors to avoid the risk of this disease we know that we should eat organic food which is healthful.
The US food and drug administration has already issued information about precautions the restaurants and hotels should follow during grocery delivery etc to protect workers and consumers as well.
The first important fact is that you should minimize your trips to stores and also avoid visit at peak hours but in case of emergency only go for buying home essentials.
When you visit a food store near always wear a face-covering mask and try to maintain a safe distance from the people around like if you are standing in a checkout line maximum of 6 feet distance is a better goal but the further it is the better it gets.
Till now there is no published evidence that you can get the disease from touching the foods or their packing but the available evidence is that the virus can survive up to three days on hard surfaces like metal or any kind of plastic etc and 1 day on soft surfaces like cardboard type things etc. The FDA advised for safely dealing with food i.e. ‘’ Clean, Cook, Separate, and Chill’’.
Another risk of the contracting viruses is from touching shopping baskets or carts as it is noted that coronavirus can remain on a hard surfaces like plastics, metals, etc. These surfaces which you may touch regularly can be elevators buttons, door handles, shopping carts or baskets, car door handles, shelves, etc. so use provided wipes to wipe down the surfaces of the cart or baskets you touch and then discard the wipe immediately, please. Also be careful that you don’t touch your face in public places.
Some of the grocery delivery shops may run out of sanitizers so be prepared before bring a sanitizer or a pair of disposable gloves with you as a backup safety option. Put them on before touching a shopping cart or something else.
Hand washing is a critical step in reducing the risk of coronavirus and should be done often. Wash your both hands thoroughly with clean water and soap for minimum of 20 seconds almost. Note that covid-19 is an ‘’enveloped virus’’ which means that it is covered in an oily membrane and fortunately simple soaps are useful at disrupting the oil on any surface, and water is effective in removing away the virus from the surfaces.
Meal cooking and eating:
As mentioned that hand washing is an important step in reducing the risk of viruses so especially before eating or making foods wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap.
Wash vegetables and fruits in boiling water for a minute then place immediately under cold water for deactivating enzymes which can cause spoilage.
Grocery delivery or take-out meals:
As restaurants are now opened for dining the risk of virus transmission is also increased and the safe option which can also support local business is to order take-out or you can also do grocery delivery.
As we know covid-19 is not transmitted by the food itself and any risk can come from the worker which is delivering food so food services should follow the guidelines of local health departments.
You can pre-pay for your delivery with your credit card over the phone so that food can be left at your doorsteps without coming in contact with someone. On receiving the meal move it to a plate and discard the packing and wash hands with soap and water.
Stocking pantry and buying in bulk:
Pantry loading for items like beans, powdered milk, and canned meat, etc is on rising during covid-19. It is observed that people are buying food in bulk quantities as you don’t need to visit the stores again and again for your needs.
Coronavirus is leading to smaller paychecks as retail because industry employees have temporarily closed down their doors but eating healthy is still important for all of us despite the budget are tighter now. Buying in bulk will help you to stretch your money at grocery stores. Some of the ways that might help you are:
Make up your menu: before going out make a list of the weekly menu plan you have and shop according to it.
Go big: it means to buy in bulk where you need few chicken pieces to buy a whole chicken freeze the portion you don’t need at any time.
Try to hold the steak: as meat can be relatively expensive so you can go for plant- based sources for protein.
Check the fine print: compare prices for units also listed on price tags to find a less expensive brand.
Necessary things to stock:
When it comes to canned foods like tuna fishes, beans, tomatoes, soups, etc buying in bulk is a smart move as these things have a long shelf life.
Just like human beings animals also need high-quality nutrition for their good health and development. But pet food is also expensive as compared to human food and the only solution you can do is to buy in bulk so that you also don’t need to sacrifice quality too. Many pet food shops give discounts on buying more. Baby product:
If you are having a baby it can be more expensive in these situations. When it comes to essential things like wipes, diapers, etc it is much beneficial to buy in bulk when stores often put discounts.
Buying cleaning supplies in bulk is your ticket to a low cost. There are many items which are used on a daily basis you often find yourself in a sticky mess to shop again and again on this covid-19 situation which is a bit risky too so buying in bulk is good.
If you like baking and enjoy it then stocking up on flour and sugar like things can be a great way to lower your cost too without even worrying about expiry dates since these items have a long shelf life. Buying baking goods items in bulk also ensures that when you urge to make up your favorite treat on a good whether you have everything which is essential.
When it comes to personal hygiene things like soaps, shampoo, conditioners, etc buying in bulk gives a benefit that it ensures your bathroom is fully stocked and you can even stretch back your savings.
As in this pandemic situation, you may never know at what time you can get locked up in the house. From other essential meal items you have planned, you or your children could get hungry and wish to just get a small snack for your tummy at that time if you had stocked some snacks it will be quite beneficial for you.
In this pandemic situation how and what we eat affects our health. We completely depend upon farmers to continue working in fields, shop keepers to show up on their jobs, and on drivers too for delivery foods from the market to our doorsteps. So not only ours but the health of others is necessary too. By following all the guidelines above we can ensure the safety of our society.
Keeping a sanitizer, wearing a mask, and taking care not to touch your face when while traveling these small things can save us from a lot more big problems.