The Star, 23 March 2020
SINCE the announcement of the movement control order, people have been flocking to supermarkets and grocery stores in a state of panic.
While the reaction is understandable, it is unnecessary and does more harm than good.
Stockpiling and hoarding food not only means there could be a scarcity of resources for others, but it also means there will be a lot of food wastage and overconsumption of fast and processed foods.
Instead, take a step back and take stock of what you actually have and then gauge the essentials you will need and the quantity of each product required to last for two weeks.
Below are some recommended items to add to the list:
– Rice, noodles, pasta, cereals such as oats, bran flakes, and barley
– Wholegrain or plain crackers as snacks
– Dried fruits such as dates, raisins, and apricots
– Fruits with a longer shelf life such as apples, pears, guavas, and oranges
– Frozen vegetables
– Vegetables with longer shelf life such as cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, carrots and beans
– Leafy vegetables (but buy only three to five days’ worth of stock
– Starchy vegetables such as pumpkin, turnip, sweet potato, potato, tapioca and yam
– Powdered milk, UHT milk, cheese and yogurt (check the expiration date before purchasing)
– Meat, poultry, fish and seafood (can be stored in the freezer for up to three months after cleaning well)
– Ikan bilis (soak well before cooking to reduce sodium level
– Canned proteins in water such as tuna in water
– Eggs (A good, easy source of protein, but do not overstock as they will not last too long. Store in the refrigerator to maintain freshness for a longer period of time)
Tofu and tempeh
– Consume these during the first week as they will not last longer than a week
– Legumes and lentils
– Red beans, green beans, dhal, chickpeas and hummus
While most of the items recommended have a pretty good shelf life, do not be afraid to include some fresh items on your list as well as they can be stored in the freezer for future use.
Do pick up food and drinks you normally eat and enjoy too such as coffee, tea or even dark chocolate.
All this preparation will ensure that you will be able to plan better meals for yourself and your family.