The coronavirus and the ongoing crisis has brought many issues to the forefront of society, one of which is how we provide for ourselves in terms of our food.
We have already seen the response to the pandemic where millions of people descended on our stores in a panic, clearing the supermarket shelves of basic items such as bread, milk and toilet roll.
Many people were left without basic items. If you were one of those who found yourself caught short, I prepared a useful number of articles for bread, milk and toilet paper in desperate times, links below.
While it is possible to hoard non-perishable items, what happens if the crisis continues or if our food supplies are cut short? How can we continue to provide ourselves with perishable items such as vegetables and fruit?
I fear we have taken our food supply line for granted for too long. Very few people actually grow their own produce which means they are reliant on supermarkets and stores to provide for their needs. If the stores can’t provide food, what else can we do? The obvious long term choice is to start growing our own wherever possible.
In the short terms, we can choose produce that lasts a little longer from the list below
Apples don’t tend to go off quickly. They can last for up to four weeks and even longer if you choose to refrigerate them.
Also, you can use this technique to keep them fresh for longer. Soak your apples in a sink of water together with one cup of vinegar for ten minutes. The vinegar removes all dirt and wax. The apples will last for weeks longer. You can also use this technique with berries and strawberries.
Not only is cabbage a versatile vegetable, it tends to have a significant shelf life, as long as you don’t wash until you are ready to use, handle with care and keep it in the fridge or a hydration drawer.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and lime tend to keep up to four weeks or even longer if stored in a fridge. Don’t keep them in a plastic bag which could cause them to become mouldy.
Garlic is one of the longer lasting vegetables and the perfect way to flavour our stews and soups if we are short on other items. Store in a cool place to keep fresh for longer. You can also store garlic in oil. Just peel, separate into cloves and add to an empty jar. Fill with olive oil and seal with the lid.
Onions are another long-lasting vegetable that is incredibly versatile. Make sure to store in a cool, dry place so they keep for as long as possible.
Like all root vegetables, potatoes have a long shelf life, lasting two to four weeks in the pantry, or anywhere up to four months in the fridge. Stocking up on potatoes can see you through desperate times.
Carrots Beets Turnips Swedes (Root Veg)
Just like potatoes, all root veg tends to last a little longer than those grown above the ground. Again, you will find that root veg keeps for longer in a fridge or in a cool, dark place.
Squash is a great vegetable to see you through desperate times. The thick skin keeps it from going off too soon and it has a variety of uses. It is best stored outside of the fridge, in a cool, dark area.
Other Fruits & Veg
For other types of fruit and vegetables, there are options open to you such as tinned or frozen produce. They can be stored for a longer period of time, even if they don’t compare to fresh produce. A well-stocked pantry may serve you well at this time while remembering to leave enough for others too.
If you enjoyed my musings, check out my first book, “The Adventures of A Wild Woman On The Camino de Santiago – Life Rewards The Brave,”
(c) Samantha Wilson 2020. All Rights Reserved,