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Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:10 pm
by frmrCapCadet
My tomatoes are not lasting the full week from my one trip at the grocers. So did some google researching. Here is the best discussion. Fully ripe tomatoes are best for a day or two on the counter. After that a tossup or refrigerated ones seem best. A little more so with tomatoes picked green, and then ripened. But interestingly even after one day of refrigeration stored on the counter is not necessarily better. Preferences from two way and three way testing offer ambiguous results. Bottom line, if you want tomatoes to last a week refrigerate the ones you want to eat 3 or more days later, and take them out a few hours earlier to come back to room temperature. 65 degrees F, tomatoes do well on the counter. The below is a fun read. I may cover some other ideas for produce later. If you have discovered tricks to this I'd like to hear them.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/why ... atoes.html

Re: Buying Food in a Time of Cholera, oops make that corona virus

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:23 pm
by VSMUT
From my own experience with various supermarkets, fresh produce remains good for very different durations. The supposed cheaper discount supermarkets offerings only lasted 2 or 3 days before beginning to go off. When I switched to a more expensive coop, the greens would last up to a week before going off. It was pretty clear that one chain was letting the stuff sit in the warehouse for days while others put it straight on to the shelves.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of Cholera, oops make that corona virus

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:05 pm
by ltbewr
In my visits to my local supermarket I have noticed a number of changes.
No sliced to order deli - only pre-sliced and pre-packaged, limited choices.
Fresh fish is only available pre-packaged.
No singles of rolls, donuts, only pre-bagged in units of 4-6 items each.
No bulk/self service nuts and related snacks.
Still significant shortages of or no bleach, disinfectant cleaners, dish washing soap, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, tissues, liquid and bar hand soap. Laundry detergent in limited supply, some brands/varieties not available.
Vacuum packed meats like hotdogs in limited supply.
Pasta, tomato sauce, peanut butter (especially creamy style), certain cereals, popcorn, canned meat and veggies, frozen pizza and veggies, coffee at low inventories. Flour, sugar, salt, pancake mix, bottled water, sports drinks scarce. Plenty of soda.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are still in good stock, although some tight inventories of potatoes. As many items only keep for a few days and many trying to not shop as often, maybe 1 time a week.
I would also note that many stores have cut back on discounts on many items, suspended price promotions and discounts.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:55 pm
by frmrCapCadet
Lettuce and green onions have a limited shelf life, really best before days 3 and 4 after you bring them home. In the fridge they last that long in the crisper, or in plastic bags and like the high humidity. But as they go bad, there are two pathways. My preferable way is no plastic bags after the 3rd day, then lettuce and green onions wilt and dry out, low humidity. If they stay in the crisper or plastic bag they begin turning into slime. The 'yuk' factor says wilt is better than slime. So let them start to dry out after day 3.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of Cholera, oops make that corona virus

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 pm
by dfwjim1
ltbewr wrote:
In my visits to my local supermarket I have noticed a number of changes.
No sliced to order deli - only pre-sliced and pre-packaged, limited choices.
Fresh fish is only available pre-packaged.
No singles of rolls, donuts, only pre-bagged in units of 4-6 items each.
No bulk/self service nuts and related snacks.
Still significant shortages of or no bleach, disinfectant cleaners, dish washing soap, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, tissues, liquid and bar hand soap. Laundry detergent in limited supply, some brands/varieties not available.
Vacuum packed meats like hotdogs in limited supply.
Pasta, tomato sauce, peanut butter (especially creamy style), certain cereals, popcorn, canned meat and veggies, frozen pizza and veggies, coffee at low inventories. Flour, sugar, salt, pancake mix, bottled water, sports drinks scarce. Plenty of soda.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are still in good stock, although some tight inventories of potatoes. As many items only keep for a few days and many trying to not shop as often, maybe 1 time a week.
I would also note that many stores have cut back on discounts on many items, suspended price promotions and discounts.


The cold beer section at my local supermarkets are in great shape and fully stocked :-). Well, except for Corona.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:52 pm
by ER757
potatoes (regular or sweet) will keep for many weeks in a cool dark place
Apples stay good in the fridge for at least two weeks, same for carrots
broccoli maybe a week - I wouldn't push it farther
Blueberries (berries in general) probably about 10 days max in the fridge. Had some strawberries recently that stood up well for that that long

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:03 am
by Braybuddy
ER757 wrote:
Blueberries (berries in general) probably about 10 days max in the fridge. Had some strawberries recently that stood up well for that that long

I bought some strawberries a couple of years ago that lasted weeks. Whatever had been done to them I don't know, but they were indestructible (and tasteless). :crazy:

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:46 am
by afcjets
It might be the methane gas that is making them go bad so fast. The ones that are not vine ripened or organic, especially in the off season are actually green and turned red by methane gas and why they have no flavor. You're basically eating a green one but psychologically you think you can taste it because it's been turned red by methane. Try the organic cherry sized ones that come in a pint. They're just over $2 at Walmart and will last almost two weeks on the counter. They're totally ripe and have a lot of flavor.

Wild blueberries are better than conventional ones and are almost always frozen, unless you live in Maine or eastern Canada in the summer. They actually have flavor unlike the regular ones and have a smoother texture. They also have twice the antioxidants as regular ones as they are tiny and have more skin (but it's not dried out like on conventional blueberries and doesn't flake off). It doesn't really matter too much if they're organic or not because most of them are pesticide free or almost. Strawberries might have the most pesticides of anything unless they are organic. Apples are up there too. I wonder if Corona is going to have to change their name eventually.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:59 pm
by frmrCapCadet
Interesting on strawberries lasting, our experience has been mold after only a couple days, sometimes the next day. Slicing and adding a little sugar extends the life.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:33 pm
by ChrisKen
afcjets wrote:
It might be the methane gas that is making them go bad so fast. The ones that are not vine ripened or organic, especially in the off season are actually green and turned red by methane gas and why they have no flavor. You're basically eating a green one but psychologically you think you can taste it because it's been turned red by methane.


Ethylene not methane. The tomatoes also produce this themselves as they ripen.
Refrigeration completely stops any further ripening of tomatoes. Something to do with the cooler conditions knackering the enzymes involved in the process, so once they've hit a fridge for the short period required, those enzymes are broken down.
Removal from the fridge doesnt restart the ripening process, although people think that does, as the tomato is removed from the living plant the enzymes cant be replaced.
The effect people see from popping them on a sunny window cill is simply the difference in flavour our bodies notice between cool and warm things.

(This is why Australians & yanks drink ice cold beer, cooling dulls the taste of their awful brews :lol: )

So in short, if you have store bought tomatoes that have been refrigerated at any point, you can do nothing to ripen them further, You may as well keep them in the fridge (I still don't, they'll still last a week or two), but bring them out a few hours before eating to bring them to room temp (or sunny window warm) for better flavour detection.

Any properly fresh tomatoes (gyi, farmers own stall) they're almost certainly picked ripe, so eat em fresh. You could pop em in the fridge to extend their useable life for a day or two, but you'll lose flavour doing so.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:38 pm
by geologyrocks
I have actually had pretty decent success with once weekly trips to the store and I usually go to Publix. I buy seafood and eat that first and then eventually end up eating steak towards the end. Any produce that looks like it might not last will be cooked and then you can eat that for an extra day or two.

I am going to try Kroger pickup next week. I'll see how that goes. I'm already not too happy about it. I placed the order yesterday for this upcoming Thursday and they already charged my card. I understand wanting to charge before they pick it but 6 days early is a bit absurd.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:47 pm
by PPVRA
geologyrocks wrote:
I have actually had pretty decent success with once weekly trips to the store and I usually go to Publix. I buy seafood and eat that first and then eventually end up eating steak towards the end. Any produce that looks like it might not last will be cooked and then you can eat that for an extra day or two.

I am going to try Kroger pickup next week. I'll see how that goes. I'm already not too happy about it. I placed the order yesterday for this upcoming Thursday and they already charged my card. I understand wanting to charge before they pick it but 6 days early is a bit absurd.


Kroger produce just doesn’t last as long as Publix. I avoid Kroger for produce (unless it’s to be had within 24 hours) and especially meat.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 10:47 pm
by frmrCapCadet
Kroger, called Fred-Meyer in our part of the country always has good produce and about the best seafood in town. Prices have gone up significantly over the last 4 years and checkout is slow. Not good during an epidemic.

Re: Buying Food in a Time of COVID-19

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2020 11:09 pm
by ER757
frmrCapCadet wrote:
Kroger, called Fred-Meyer in our part of the country always has good produce and about the best seafood in town. Prices have gone up significantly over the last 4 years and checkout is slow. Not good during an epidemic.

I have always found Freddie's produce mediocre - their sister store QFC is far superior, but it's priced a lot higher too. Freddie's prices are better than Safeway's on just about everything in my experience.
About the only things I buy at Safeway is whatever is on sale in their weekly ad and I can load the coupon onto my loyalty card. Been doing the 07:00-08:00 "senior shopping" thing at Fred Meyer the past couple weeks and it's been a breeze getting in and out. Have a sizable list for this Monday, we'll see how fast or slow it goes. It's going to be way too much for self-check.