What is it about a pandemic that has people going overboard with food? Everywhere you look – Facebook, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Instagram – there are pictures of people celebrating with food. And that too, usually making things they’ve never tried making before. Dalgona coffee, different types of bread, cakes, gourmet dishes, just to name a few. How does a pandemic create a food obsession?
The manner in which so many of us are going on, it almost seems as though they are on a foodie vacation, instead of on a lockdown that doesn’t look like it will end any time soon. Have you folks thought about how these food items reach your pantry shelves and freezers? Have you spared a thought to those farmers who aren’t working, fields that are staying barren and unfarmed, supply chains that have been disrupted across the world?
What makes you believe you are coming out of this ordeal unscathed? You may not catch the virus as long as you stay inside and social distance, but what guarantee have you that you will also have enough to eat? The shops are stocked for now, but it is only a matter of time before they start running out when supply trucks don’t deliver because there is nothing for the trucks to deliver.
Granted, food is a source of comfort for many. Food brings people together. But, it could also turn into one of the most divisive forces when people can’t get enough to feed their own families. Remember the story of Marie Antoinette who allegedly gave a solution to her country’s starving population – ‘If they don’t have bread, let them eat cake!’? She was beheaded (due to her family connections, not for being an idiot), but it might be wise to heed that cautionary tale.
Several countries have already begun rationing the food purchases of its residents. It may not be apparent immediately, but a time may come when there is a huge food shortage as a fallout of this pandemic. There may be parts of the globe where people are dying of starvation, while another section is forced to throw away food because they can neither sell it, nor use it themselves. No matter how much money you have today, you may still end up without enough to buy staple foods.
Conserve what you can. Do not waste time preparing fancy gourmet lunches and dinners. Keep longer lasting foods for later, for when you have already gone through the perishables. There is no need to hoard, but buy food in small quantities and keep them for a time when even that may be deemed a luxury. Use your common sense – ‘Do I really need to try out that new recipe my friend posted on FB that needs quite a few ingredients?’ or ‘Is it really necessary for me to post competing pictures for every fab dish my friend posts on Instagram?’. Think again before deciding to take up a cooking challenge or a food challenge.
Stay Safe. Be Wise.