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I’ve been having a hard time wrapping my head around the food shortages, toilet paper wars, hoarding and gouging. Before I begin I want to acknowledge how privileged and lucky I am to feel this way as I am aware globally this is not the case…

For the last 20 years of my life at least, maybe longer, food has been related to: celebrating, experimenting, enjoying with friends and family, learning, teaching (infants/toddlers to eat), connecting with others and as a professional: discussing, suggesting, manipulating, counting, not counting, etc…. When you take something so constant in this country and make it harder to attain, a test of patience, a worry, it makes you shift your views a bit. It has opened my eyes to realize what real problems we could have here related to our food supply in the long run.

I haven't been as active on social media in the past few days because no one wants to hear about how you should eat enough fiber and vegetables and variety, blah blah. We have larger concerns on our minds. When we are forced to social distance (i.e. not grocery shop frequently) we are left with smaller choices, and that means less access to fresh fruits and vegetables. So as I have been thinking to myself about how to go about this and be more frugal with our food I came up with a plan and I would like to share:

1. Give yourself some grace in this time. We do not need to stress out about getting in all of our fruits and vegetables and leafy greens and whole grains. Our bodies can survive for a couple months on more shelf stable products...and we’ll be just fine.

2. Since food is being hoarded a bit and in more short supply I have heightened awareness of food waste in our household. I am making a conscience effort to make sure we go through the fresh foods first. This might mean a couple things for you. If something is on the verge of going bad consider where you could use it quickly: smoothie, homemade sauce, bread (banana, zucchini, carrot, lemon, apple) or chop it, blend it or grate it then label and freeze it for later!

3. Look through your freezer closely and make a list of items in order of what you should use first/last based on dates. Meal plan accordingly. Also, this might be a great time to also look in your fridge for some items you may have purchased and either used once or not at all-google (or message me) a recipe to utilize those too.

4. Open your cupboards and look at the shelf stable products you have on hand. What does making a meal of those look like for your family? If you are planning to grocery shop at some point maybe you could add a couple things to round your pantry items out. Legumes anyone? Also, if you find yourself with a reasonable amount of items ready to expire in the next month or so or you just have a lot of something-consider donating it to a food bank. They always need food.

5. Lastly, maybe this is the time to start that herb garden you’ve always wanted to try or even better possibly planting some early lettuces. You would be surprised how hearty plants can be, especially if you are home to care for them.

I hope you find something about this helpful during this stressful time. I wish I could go around and deliver healthy and nourishing food to everyone hurting but I realize that is not my place.

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