Bean Bust

Neda Ulaby at NPR wonders what happened to the beans people bought during the COVID-19 outbreak:

“Remember the early days of the pandemic when shoppers scoured grocery shelves for flour, yeast and beans? Since then, we’ve seen ample evidence of people baking sourdough and banana bread on social media … but what about all those beans?”

Cook Different

At Food52, Barbara Sallick describes how COVID may make us think about and even design kitchens in a new way:

“For many of us, me included, the kitchen has emerged from the grab-and-go-on-my-way-to-somewhere-else spot in the house—an attractive and high-functioning pass-through—to a space where creativity and conversation prevail. The question then is: what can we add or subtract to improve this mindful equation?”

Subtle Shift

The coronovirus has changed how we shop for groceries, writes Anna Rahmanan at the Huffington Post:

“Doorstep delivery and online shopping, already popular before COVID-19, have become part and parcel of a business model that once relied almost exclusively on brick-and-mortar stores. Moreover, the pandemic appears to have affected not just where and how we buy food, but what we’re actually eating.”

Treasure Map

King County, Washington, has launched Local Food Finder, an interactive service that helps residents identify and shop from local farms:

“The mobile-friendly map is one of several ways King County is supporting local farmers who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted farmers markets and restaurant sales. It is a product of the Local Food Initiative that Executive Constantine created in 2014 to strengthen King County’s local food economy and increase equitable access to healthy, affordable food.”

Scrubdown

It’s time to clean our kitchen, says Annie Siebert:

“First, a disclaimer: I am a Clean Person. I wipe down the stainless steel, scrub the sink, and sanitize the counters at least once a day. It is kind of a lot, especially with a toddler constantly dragging his filthy little hands across the front of the dishwasher, but messes stress me out. I am not suggesting that you are disgusting if you don’t uphold this standard; in fact, I envy you for being so chill.

“But my special blend of anxiety and willingness to uphold the illusion of control makes me pretty qualified to offer guidance on how to clean the room where you prepare food. This is not a story about handy tips and tricks for keeping your kitchen spotless. This is about recognizing months of neglect and remedying it.”

Dilemma of Dining Out

Jen Rose Smith ponders whether it’s ethical to eat at reopened restaurants:

“Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are yearning for the experience of eating in restaurants once again. Some have determined it’s worth it. But like so many decisions now, dining out has impacts that go well beyond individual risk-tolerance, because it also endangers servers and other staff.”

Eating Green

The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing some to adopt plant-based diets, writes Swati Chaturvedi:

“The saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, holds true. There is an increase in demand for organic food, vegan, vegetarian and other healthy foods as a result of the pandemic. All around us, we see an increasing number of people taking to vegetarianism for reasons such as inner peace, health concerns and their love for the environment.”

Going Digital

Farmers markets in Oregon are embracing e-commerce in response to COVID-19, reports KTVZ:

“Farmers markets are an excellent source of local Oregon food, and while most remain open in their physical locations, many markets have responded to consumer demand by also adding online pre-order systems for their shoppers. This is an opportunity for consumers to support local businesses and preserve the farmers market industry, which serves communities across the state.”

Takes the Cake

Costco has stopped selling half-sheet cakes—the latest in a series of COVID-19-related disruptions—and is encouraging shoppers to buy 10-inch round cakes instead.

“‘To help limit personal contact and create more space for social distancing, Costco has reduced service in some departments,’ the company explained to outraged customers on its Facebook account. In a statement to the New York Times, Costco said it has no plans to immediately bring back the half-sheet cakes and said the round cakes are ‘resonating with our members.'”