UW food planning expert recommends more than rice, beans, and toilet paper
Beans and rice are classic staples when you’re food planning for any disaster, and a good source of carbohydrates and protein, but you will probably get sick of them pretty quickly if it’s all you have to eat.
Anne-Marie Gloster, Nutritional Science and Emergency Food Planning Expert at the University of Washington School of Public Health, provided recommendations for what to stock up on in times of crisis on KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show.
“I want everybody to kind of think about what they normally like to eat and base [your shopping list] on that,” Gloster said. ” … then think about the shelf-stable options related to that, so foods that are going to last a lot longer that maybe you can get in advance.”
Unlike during a natural disaster, like a hurricane or snowstorm, it is not expected that there will be service interruptions with electricity or water during this pandemic, Gloster said.
“What you’re trying to do is have enough food in the house that you … can limit [your trips to the grocery store] to once a week [or less],” Gloster said.
So why is everyone buying toilet paper?
Gloster doesn’t understand it, but she does recommend having a two-week supply so, again, you can limit your number of trips out of the house.
What about bottled water?
“I think that just because, you know, we live in earthquake country, and I come from hurricane country, it is always good to have a 3-5 day supply of water on hand,” Gloster said. “That is three gallons per person per day.”
While that amount of water is recommended for sanitation, cooking, and personal hygiene in a case where there could be a water shortage, Gloster and other experts do not think that will be an issue during the coronavirus response.
Gloster also recommended cooking with your kids and teaching them how to cut vegetables, or cook a dish on their own, while they’re home from school as a way to get them involved, take stress of the parents’ shoulders, and distract them from the situation at hand for at least a short time.
If you have neighbors or family members who maybe can’t get to a store to stock up on food, or choose to self-quarantine because they’re at high risk, offer to help however you can whether it’s making a bigger batch and sharing it or picking up what they need when you go to the store, Gloster suggested.
“If we can use this as a time to come together as a community,” she said, “I think that’s going to benefit everyone.”
For a list of suggestions from Gloster for your next grocery store trip, to help you be prepared in case you have to stay home for an extended time or just want to limit your time outside of your house, visit this webpage from UW News.
Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.