From a psychological perspective, panic buying is understandable and totally human and sane. BUT resist the urge and DO NOT PANIC BUY. Do not hoard, and do not buy more than you need.
However, since photographs of people panic buying are circulating and I saw that people are buying weird items (toilet paper?!?!), I thought it would be a good idea to put together a resource for buying emergency food supplies.
When you buy food supplies, you must be sure of two things:
- The food items can last for some time, and
- the diet must be balanced, that includes proteins, carbs, fats, fiber, and vitamins. You don’t want to survive the apocalypse and end up with scurvy and fallen teeth.
I should also note that some of the emergency food items have many chemicals. They are meant for survival for a short period of time and they are not the healthiest choices. Again, I want to emphasise that if there is no need, do not stock up on the items which are mostly unhealthy.
Whenever you can, buy organic.
The food should be stored in a dry and cool place.
This is a list of food you should buy. According to time-frame of storing the food:
WITHIN SIX MONTHS
–Dried fruits: this gives fibre and vitamins.
–Nuts: good for fat, fiber and protein. I get my nuts and fruits from Garden Picks, which is cheaper and better quality than those in supermarkets.
–Crackers (like Hup Seng Cream Biscuits): carbs and able to fill the stomach. It lasts way longer than bread, but you may also want to buy some jams.
–Potatoes: fiber and carbs and able to fill the stomach. Try not to keep them in the refrigerator as the cold temperature will turn starch to sugar. Store them in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.
–frozen seafood (3 months), such as salmon, dory fish, prawns. Good for proteins. You can buy fresh seafood and freeze them yourself. I like to buy whole salmon and freeze the entire fish. You can use the fish head for soups.
–frozen beef patties (6 months): proteins
–Peanut butter: buy good quality ones with oil on top. The oil is a natural preservative which means it can be kept for some time. Peanut butter is a good source of healthy fats and vegan proteins.
You can try Mayver’s Peanut Butter (available at supermarkets), but I recommend Pic’s Peanut Butter and Fix and Fogg.
–smoked salmon: Freeze this and it can be kept for some time.
–bacon (6-8 months frozen): When you first buy it, separate the pieces and freeze them individually. Thaw the pieces when you want to eat.
WITHIN A YEAR
–canned meat, including sardines, tuna, curry chicken, stewed pork: gives proteins.
–canned fruits, like peaches, pineapple, pears: gives fiber and vitamins.
–canned soups, like vegetable soup, tomato soup, chicken soup, mushroom soup.
–canned vegetables, like tomatoes (high in vitamins and tasty), kidney beans (proteins), baked beans (proteins), beet root.
I highly recommend getting more canned tomatoes, either whole ones or crushed ones. You can just cook a pasta and toss it with the canned tomatoes. Canned tomatoes is a good source of vitamins.
–Carton fruit juices (12-18 months)
–Vitasoy (8 months)
–kimchi (12 months): this gives fiber and provides healthy bacteria for the stomach to function properly.
–frozen vegetables (8-10 months), including chopped spinach, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, peas.
–frozen fruits (18 months), including berries.
–frozen cod fingers (18 months): get those with 100% real fish. I get Birds Eye, a UK brand, regularly.
–instant noodles (1 year): carbs
–chocolate: like any NS man who has been through road marches, you’ll know that chocolate is important for energy. Also, it’s delicious.
STORE INDEFINITELY (WITH PROPER STORAGE)
–Instant tea and coffee
–salt and sugar
–rice, dry noodles and pasta (about 1.5-2 years) like soba, bee hoon (vermicelli).
–protein powder and protein bars
–Rolled oats (2 years)
Panic buying is totally human but it’s not sane at all, hence the term “panic”. As you say people buying surgical masks which don’t protect from the virus, and toilet paper of all things it’s just completely irrational paranoia, fear, hoarding consumer mentality and kiasu-ness at it’s peak from a small group of people who have no idea how to be resourceful and survive on very little outside of their bubble of expected city life comfort and conveniences.