NEXT – As efforts to keep social distance continue throughout the world, and with the peak of the COVID-19 case still to come for most people, COVID-19 White House coordinator Deborah Birx on Saturday advised Americans to pass through grocery and pharmaceutical stores for several next week.
“This is a time not to go to the grocery store, not to go to the pharmacy, but to do everything you can to keep your family and friends safe,” he said, during a White House Task Force press conference.
But, as food delivery times become scarce, and choices are running low, how is it possible to maximize the staples you have in your kitchen and stretch until the peak of the coronavirus wave has come and gone?
Here are some simple tips that can help you maximize your food supply.
The best way to find out how far your food will go is to allocate it to food in advance. Instead of seeing what you get from day to day, eating to eat, planning days or even a week in advance will allow you to see how you can use what you have gotten, and multitask to ensure you get there.
Aligning food preparations to include several foods at once will allow you to plan and prepare, and cooking fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables in advance will make them longer to use in recipes. Also, if you know what foods you plan to make, you can consolidate your cooking efforts by preparing one ingredient for several foods at once. So, if you plan to use the chicken breast bag for many things throughout the week, for example, you can save time by cooking it all at once.
Use your freezer
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the only things you can’t freeze are eggs on their skins and food on cans. Everything else freezes well and allows you to stretch food even further. Cooked meat can last 2-3 months in the freezer, and cooked poultry can last up to 4 months. Even casseroles will freeze for several months, which should be more than enough time to drive you to your next grocery visit.
For best practice, make sure you let the food cool before putting it in the freezer, and then make sure it freezes as fast as possible, to maintain the amount of flavor it has when cooked. As for thawing, the USDA recommends only three methods: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Thawing in the refrigerator will take one day for every five pounds of food you want to thaw.
Save Your Food Correctly
The USDA estimates that 30-40 of all food purchased in the United States is wasted, and one of the main reasons behind the waste is spoilage. Overbuying and improper storage are the two main reasons why there is so much leftovers.
Vegetables such as onions, garlic, and potatoes can be stored in a cool, dark kitchen, but the FDA recommends that fresh fruits and vegetables be stored in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing fresh food properly will ensure that they last as long as possible, and allow you to use them before they become bad.
The American Cancer Society calculates that the average portion size, as a whole, is two to five times larger than it was 20 years ago. Anecdotally, stories of people who overeat because of stress and boredom occur during this crisis.
This might seem obvious, but they also think that one of the main ways to stretch your kitchen is to eat less. Avoid snacking from the bag, and put your food in a bowl or container that allows you to control how much you will eat before you start.
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