LSU AgCenter — Building a food supply for a two-week emergency

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In Louisiana, people are accustomed to preparing for hurricanes. During hurricane season, we stock up on non-perishable foods that do not have to be cooked or stored in the refrigerator or freezer in case the power goes out for a few days. LSU AgCenter dietitian Sandra May said with the coronavirus outbreak, we don’t have to be as concerned about storing food that may spoil if we lose power — but we do need to think about how long our family’s food supply will last if there is a 10- to 14-day (or longer) quarantine.

“Try to choose healthful foods to make sure your immune system is at its strongest, and limit those comfort foods that may be unhealthful,” she said.

Here is a list of food items that you may want to put on your grocery list:

  • Canned foods (fresh fruits and vegetables will spoil after 14 days)
    • Meat products such as chicken, beef, etc.
    • Tuna, salmon, sardines
    • Soups and stews
    • Broths
    • Fruits and fruit juices
    • Vegetable juices
    • Vegetables
    • Canned or powdered milk
  • Refrigerated foods
    • Cheese
    • Yogurt
    • Milk (choose the container with latest expiration date)
    • Soy or almond milk
  • Frozen foods
    • Meat, chicken, turkey, fish
    • Vegetables
    • Fruit
    • Waffles or pancakes
    • Frozen meals
    • Frozen yogurt
  • Shelf-stable foods
  • Snack foods
    • Pretzels
    • Trail mix
    • Dried fruit
    • Baked chips
    • Rice cakes
  • Staples
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Sugar
    • Coffee
    • Cooking oil
    • Margarine
    • Bouillon cubes

If you buy perishable foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, eat those first; they may spoil before the quarantine is over.

Don’t forget that your pets need food, too. Stock up on canned and/or dry food.