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It's been intriguing watching the grocery store shelves over the past few weeks.

Many stores around here were completely depleted for the following at one time or another,
  • Bread (flour soon after)
  • Frozen veggies
  • Meats (not the sandwich pack types)
  • Canned pasta/soups
Most fresh veggie/fruit supplies seemed to fair pretty well though it appeared there was a quick run on large bags of potatoes last week. Also this past week I saw a huge run the junk food aisle, probably 80% cleaned out. I gather this is mainly due to schools being out/spring break.

So with way fewer people browsing store aisles and many restaurants closed (or delivery only), how this will change eating habits?

Will the population eat healthier now due to the masses eating more at home and fearing limited supplies?
 

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Sadly, most people don't eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and so that would explain them not being in short supply. Hoarders don't want to hoard them. It's also difficult to hoard them even if they wanted to since they won't keep as long.

None of the items my wife ordered for delivery yesterday were not delivered. A couple of substitutions but nothing noteworthy. A specific cheese brand substituted for another. A large bag of potatoes delivered rather than a smaller bag which was ordered. The potatoes might just have been the picker not reading the size correctly. Two one litre milk instead of 2 two litre milk was probably a misreading by the picker as well.

I don't think the average family will change their eating habits that much as far as what they buy from the supermarket.
 

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Hopefully people use this opportunity to learn how to cook for themselves. Shocking how much this has fallen out of the culture. But learning how to cook I think makes people more conscious of food choices.
 

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I don't think the average family will change their eating habits that much as far as what they buy from the supermarket.
No so sure about that but really depends on how long this goes on for. Really short term, no ... stretch it out a bit (weeks) .. quite possible IMO.

Hopefully people use this opportunity to learn how to cook for themselves. Shocking how much this has fallen out of the culture. But learning how to cook I think makes people more conscious of food choices.
Yes, very likely most are now eating more at home.

There are other factors here as well. Many losing their jobs, doing less impulse buying because they at not in the stores or have limited choices, to name a few. So instead of just going out on a whim and "I'll pick up a few things for supper" many will likely "use what they got" for meals I bet.
 

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I remember during last down turn/ recession there was a whole movement for people to eat at home. It was cheaper and healthier. In fact some of the most classic/famous recipes came from times of recession or depression. The challenge is that people don’t know how to cook any more. There was a whole documentary that it’s easier and cheaper for someone to go to a fast food place and get crap or processed foods.

I do love this thread because eating and cooking is such an important part for me. This current situation is having me do things differently. I have always been bulk shopper, so that has been helpful right now. I am adjusting to how I do things and still figuring it out. I have still been going to the grocery store frequently (weekly) because I was buying for some families in isolation, and I had to go to multiple stores to find the items that were required. That's done now, so I am going to try not to go out where there people for at least two weeks which is when I have to get some prescriptions filled (they wouldn't let me do it earlier).

Here are some of the changes or at least things I am mindful of:
  • Not letting anything go bad. I have been making a huge effort to use all the produce. I am finding ways to use them such as making soup, stir fry, or smoothie where freshness doesn't need to be optimal, or freezing if needed. Also, if this goes on for a while, I may finally learn how to can things.
  • Using OLD stock. I know from volunteering at the food bank, many non perishables can be used 2 years after the best before (actually older in some cases) We have been going through old cans and stock to make room. So far the oldest we had was BB2009. We threw that out. I did learn that the cans that have the 'pop tab' that you can open with out a can don't last as long was the regular cans that you need an opener. I had two cans with the exact bb date and the pop tab had gone bad.
- For shopping I was buying my normal groceries I could find them, but I also bought substitute items that have a much longer shelf life. I bought cartooned eggs whites, tofu, cured/smoked meats, blocked cheese, cheese slices (which I think last for ever), shelf stable almond milk, jarred garlic paste, etc. This in addition to the canned, dried, and non perishables goods that everyone is buying up. I also buy fruits that will last longer in addition to what ever they have

  • My other change is making sure I have all the base ingredients that I can make whatever I want for scratch. I have flour, sugar, dried beans, bouillon, back to the basics if I need to.
  • The problem is that there has been a yeast shortage around here, so I can't get any yeast. I went so several stores in two days and have given up. I managed to find one little packet, so I am going to make a sourdough starter and let it grow.
- On a fun note, we have been trying to figure out 'hacks' So my daughter suggested buying foods that you could regrow if needed. We have a basil plant that we somehow kept alive all year, have been regrowing green onions, celery (which is slow), and will be working on bok choy, we may do potatoes and garlic only because they are growing weird already.

I find in these times, we will spend more time learning to get back to the basics, and trying creative ways to eat. The goal for this time is to see how long we can go without going out again for groceries.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The challenge is that people don’t know how to cook any more.
I do see many of the younger crowd (under 30) that don't know how to cook. Seems there is a point, like after they buy their first home, when the switchover occurs and many start to learn. Even bought a few of them a quality knife that makes prep so much nicer and will last them a lifetime.

I know from volunteering at the food bank, many non perishables can be used 2 years after the best before (actually older in some cases) We have been going through old cans and stock to make room. So far the oldest we had was BB2009. We threw that out. I did learn that the cans that have the 'pop tab' that you can open with out a can don't last as long was the regular cans that you need an opener. I had two cans with the exact bb date and the pop tab had gone bad.
You bring up a good point about best before dates. I saw a few shows on what this actually means and it's surprising that in many cases it does not mean the item has gone bad after that date. I remember they interviewed one maker, it was for salad dressing, that said they deterrmined the best before date as when the taste was "slightly different" than when it was originally packaged .... nothing to do with the item actually going bad. I also wonder if marketing in companies set this date earlier so they get a higher product turnaround as many I know immediately throw things out when the date is passed.
 

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I've noticed a few times when watching some of those reality house buying shows that some of the younger generations make a point of saying, 'I don't cook' as if it were an admirable quality to profess. They seem to be suggesting that you only cook if you are poor and cannot afford to order in from a restaurant or go out to a restaurant to eat all the time. I think that is quite a common attitude these days, particularly in large cities.

One tv series that was very interesting on this subject was a Jamie Oliver series in the UK on trying to improve school meals. Children as old as say 12+ did not know what cauliflower was or brussel sprouts, etc. They only knew peas and carrots basically. When the children were being given better lunches in the schools, the parents were coming to the schools and passing things like 'fish fingers' through the fence to them.

You can read more here: Jamie's School Dinners - Wikipedia
 

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I do see many of the younger crowd (under 30) that don't know how to cook. Seems there is a point, like after they buy their first home, when the switchover occurs and many start to learn. Even bought a few of them a quality knife that makes prep so much nicer and will last them a lifetime.
For the younger people, many just haven't had a reason to learn. With the internet, there is no reason they can't now. However, I am always surprised at the lack of kitchen skills that are being taught to kids. My kids have to take the equivalent of home economics, and the things they are learning are so basic, they are bored to death. My youngest told me she was losing her youth and child hood because I made her make/pack her lunch every morning, and cook dinner once a week. I do hope that people learn to be more self sufficient in these times.


You bring up a good point about best before dates. I saw a few shows on what this actually means and it's surprising that in many cases it does not mean the item has gone bad after that date. I remember they interviewed one maker, it was for salad dressing, that said they deterrmined the best before date as when the taste was "slightly different" than when it was originally packaged .... nothing to do with the item actually going bad. I also wonder if marketing in companies set this date earlier so they get a higher product turnaround as many I know immediately throw things out when the date is passed.
Many people don't realize that there is a difference between best before and expiry. Best before is when the stores should sell them by and the product should be consumed for 'optimal' experience. Some (discount) stores can and food banks can still distribute the items, and the items are generally perfectly safe to eat (more to follow). Expired stores, nor food banks can distribute and the item must be thrown out. There are actually very few things in Canada which have an expiry date. Baby formula is one, most medications (even though some are safe but legal to sell or give), there was one more item but I can't remember what it was.

In terms of best before, our food bank used the following guidelines:
- Two past best before they can still distribute. However, they did say there are some foods that can go on indefinitely, but they are not allowed to give them out or have to put a 'caution' and leave it up to the food bank patrons if they want to take an extra item.

-Items that last longer than the two years are goods that are completely dry like rice and pasta. Things that don't have oils in the product. We made a mac and cheese the other day that was from 2012. It took a little longer to cook and was a tad harder.
- Exceptions are items that are more acidic such as tomatoes, they follow closer to a 6 months to a year after bb, but we generally turn over our tomatoes enough its never an issue.

- Best test is open up the item, double check the smell, color, and texture, if it's pretty close then test a small amount for taste before eating a whole bunch.
 

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The topic is food and health, but my post is about health in general. I know a lot of people that have stopped going to the gym but haven't started working out at home besides taking a walk every now and then and some aren't even doing that. I know from experience that it's easy for some people (I'm one of them) to miss a few workouts and then find that it's that much harder to get going again.

I have a home gym so my workouts are not affected by this. Others may not be so fortunate. Don't let your fitness lapse!!
 

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That's a good point PG.

Many can't go to the gym or maybe can't do other workouts due to the restrictions. I know I stumble at keeping my fitness level up during the coldest winter months even though I have all I need at home. For many it's more difficult to gain than maintain, especially true when you get older IMO.

I started my usual spring training ramp up last week and am also getting all the maintenance done on my off-road bike, hopefully be riding in a week or two. Once I start riding again my fitness level will increase dramatically.
 

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I started my usual spring training ramp up last week and am also getting all the maintenance done on my off-road bike, hopefully be riding in a week or two. Once I start riding again my fitness level will increase dramatically.

Yeah, I just finished the yearly maintenance on my bike last week.

I usually have to replace tires and chain every year along with a bunch of other stuff like new cassettes, rings or bearings or whatever wears out, as I ride about 3500KM each summer season from April to November.

For the four off-season months I walk to keep fit. I don't particularly enjoy it, but it serves a purpose to keep some form of fitness over the winter. I notice as I age that it takes longer each biking season to get back to my previous year's level of biking fitness. The older you get, the faster you fall apart if you don't exercise it seems. What a bust. Walking doesn't hold a candle to biking, and each spring it become more onerous to get back to biking shape.

I have taken to walking further each day in the last few weeks, but it's especially annoying with all the "virus walkers" on the roads in my neighborhood. I have to continually cross the road to maintain my "physical distant".

Sigh, we all have our crosses to bear, but I sure look forward to the middle of April to get back to my biking regime. Once it starts, all is good in my little world.

ltr
 

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I notice as I age that it takes longer each biking season to get back to my previous year's level of biking fitness. The older you get, the faster you fall apart if you don't exercise it seems.
I don't bike but I completely understand. I'm 58 and after a couple months away from the weights it takes forever to get it back. We were gone for 3 weeks in January and 4 weeks from mid-Feb to mid-Mar and none of the places had "real" weights. you can only do so much with 20 pound dumbbells, lol. I'm just starting to get back to where I'm able to do a full workout. But, I've lost the strength I've had and it will take a few more weeks to get that back.
 

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Layoff or not, I don't sacrifice my health and fitness.

My diet has not changed and I still buy the same amount and quality of food. If anything, I now have time to do long cooks on the smoker being unemployed and all.

The gym closures are a real set back. I was at my peak with heavy lifts. After a week and a half of no lifting, I came to realize they are not going to be open for a while. I'm now forced towards resistance training and cardio. I bought a 60lb sandbag and have set up an upper lower routine with what I have.

I've also elected to start an 8 week training program for a 100k on my Trek 7.2 FX. It'll be my first 100k. Week 1 is down already.
 

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approach 1
Charging up vitamin D (hormone ) --- regulate immune system--- maintain good health
Personally, I'm going with sun + good food approach (likely won't get over dose).
------------------------------
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Complications
  • Pneumonia
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • Kidney failure
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates H1N1 has killed 12,000 Americans and put more than 265,000 in the hospital.
Any type of serious infection or critical illness can cause kidney injury, Sood said, who added that viral infections like influenza also caused muscle breakdown.
Kidneys are damaged as they filter out the broken-down muscle cells.

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What vitamin is good to prevent the breakdown of muscles?
Vitamin D really does the body good. In addition to aiding in the absorption of calcium to build strong muscles and bones, vitamin D helps reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system.
--

The possible roles of solar ultraviolet-B radiation and vitamin D in reducing case-fatality rates from the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic in the United States.

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Vitamin D is a hormone the kidneys produce that controls blood calcium concentration and impacts the immune system.
The body makes vitamin D in a chemical reaction that occurs when sunlight hits the skin. This reaction produces cholecalciferol, and the liver converts it to calcidiol. The kidneys then convert the substance to calcitriol, which is the active form of the hormone in the body.
Vitamin D has its effects by binding to a protein (called the vitamin D receptor). This receptor is present in nearly every cell and affects many different body processes.

......Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health concerns, which points to a wide range of vitamin D functions, although research is still underway into why the hormone impacts other systems of the body. For instance, too little vitamin D makes an individual more prone to infections and illness, cardiovascular disease, and mental illnesses — including mood disorders like depression.

Studies also show that people who have low vitamin D levels are more likely to be obese. Researchers have found that vitamin D helps regulate adrenaline, noradrenaline (also called norepinepherine), and dopamine production in the brain; as well as helping to protect from serotonin depletion.
For this reason, low vitamin D levels increase an individual's risk of depression significantly.

A better understanding of vitamin D function is necessary to fully comprehend how it is linked to so many health concerns.
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Vitamin D would be essential if it did nothing else. But researchers have discovered that it's active in many tissues and cells besides bone and controls an enormous number of genes, including some associated with cancers, autoimmune disease, and infection.
...And people with liver and kidney disease are often deficient in vitamin D, because these organs are required to make the active form of the vitamin, whether it comes from the sun or from food.
 
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