The current food shortages in the US are not due to a broken supply chain or production issues, although it is a fact some factories are struggling with workers being out sick.
However, the simple fact of the matter is the empty store shelves are a result of people panic buying more than they need and hoarding supplies such as toilet paper.
Pandemic Shortages Due To Price Gouging
Some people are buying in bulk so that they can price gouge these products and sell them at a mark up to desperate people.
For those who doubt this, just search for an item like Clorox Wipes on sites like eBay.
When you buy from people who do this, you encourage price gouging.
Simply put, people who do this are taking advantage of the situation and hoping to make a quick buck.
This is why many of the listings like this are being shut down.
Many times the people who do this end up being fined.
Taking advantage of a pandemic is not a wise decision.
Coping With Pandemic Shortages
Believe it or not, things are not that desperate yet.
The empty shelves are just a temporary inconvenience.
This is why it is so important to stock up before something such as a pandemic occurs.
Remember that even though trucks are transporting supplies and store shelves are being stocked, even as you read this, people tend to continue to hoard whatever they can.
This is why quotas are necessary to limit how many essential items every customer can buy.
For those who are already stocked up, it is important to continue to buy items to replace what you use, but even with the quotas, it should not be hard to replenish what you need.
Take a deep breath when you see empty store shelves and remember there is no need to panic that you will die of starvation unless you learn how to hunt.
Until things get back to normal, here is what you can do to ensure that you don’t end up with nutrient deficiencies.
Supplements Are Important When Coping With A Pandemic
The simple truth is, food is the easiest way to get the nutrients we need, but when pandemic shortages occur, another method must be used to supplement the shortages.
Supplements are a good way to do this.
In fact, even when food is plentiful, supplements are often crucial.
This is because our foods are low in nutrients due to intensive farming on nutrient-depleted soils.
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.
Before you just go and start using a ton of supplements however, it is best to talk to your primary care provider.
Remember these are just suggestions and not meant to be taken as medical advice.
Proteins And Fats In Place Of Carbs
Your body can survive without carbs, but you need protein and fats.
So, if there is 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 right now.
Buy foods based on nutrition and not taste.
Very often, people try to stock up on pasta, rice, bread, etc.
These are unnecessary carbs that lead to obesity.
We are in a pandemic now.
While it is easy to stay inside and become less active, maintaining some form a physical exercise is essential to our health.
This is a great 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 time necessary to accelerate weight loss, but be sure to do it in a safe way.
Intermittent Fasting Is One Way To Cope With Pandemic Shortages
The truth is if the shelves are empty and it is going to be a few days before the food arrives, you can’t eat like you’re accustomed to.
One option is to try for just one well balanced meal a day.
Don’t worry, while you might feel hungry, you won’t perish.
In fact, your body will begin a process of self-cleansing and in the end you will actually feel better.
Even if all you did was go on a water fast for 5 days, which I do not recommend, you should be fine unless you have underlying medical conditions.
You will experience increased mental clarity and possibly more energy.
All hunger pangs usually disappear after the 3rd day.
While fasting is not an option for everyone, for those who do fast, this one way to cope with the pandemic shortages.
Ration The Food You Have
Take stock of the food you have and make a weekly plan as to how you will ration it among your family members.
For those who already keep track of their pantry inventory, this is easy.
Eating blindly without concern will put you in a situation where you may not have enough.
While rationing food may seem harsh at first, it is one of the easiest ways to make sure there is enough to go around.
Shop When You Can
Even if it means waking up at 6 am to go to the grocery store as soon as they open, 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 shop will help you meet your requirements.
Most importantly, you must have a plan.
If you didn’t already have one in place, now is the time to learn how to stock up.
Don’t end up having a survival pantry that only has chocolate cookies and canned fruit.
Order Groceries And Other Essential Items Online
There may be some hiccups and your orders may get cancelled because the items you want sold out quickly.
Nevertheless, be persistent and keep trying.
Do not take your frustrations out on the grocery store, manager or workers.
Remember they are stressed too.
Things are getting better now and you should be able to get an order through sooner or later.
Shopping online is easier and you will 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 is 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 if necessary and look at this period as an opportunity to lose weight and achieve the body you have always wanted.
Now is as good a time as any.
Self-Care Is Important During A Pandemic
Above all, your number one priority should be self-care during times of uncertainty.
Take time to think about how you really feel and put healthy boundaries in place.
There is only so much you can do and it is important to recognize that and let go of the rest – although this is not always easy.
Reflect on what you have in place that is going right and try to envision everything being ok in the near future.
Try to avoid thinking of what could go wrong because that is going to elevate your stress level.
Remember you can only solve on problem at a time.