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Eat for $1.50 per Day – Layoffs, Coronavirus Quarantine, Food Shortages (efficiencyiseverything.com)
298 points by throwlowcost 7 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 276 comments





I left home at 15 and some adults who worked together let me move in with them and be their maid. I paid $150 a month in rent and got $10 a month to live on. I worked out how to live off Milo (a Jamaican malt supplement), Chips Ahoy cookies (1/2 a cookie a day for a treat) and dumpster dived vegetables (mostly cabbages and carrots). I lived like this for years, when I got my first real jobs I made sure to save at least 80% of every paycheck. I retired at 35 and now I write about the apocalypse (one feature film, various shorts, one book, graduate degree in Equity Studies/lots of essays and conferences). I know live a very easy comfortable life, but most see me as bizarre because i have no furniture and do not buy any beauty products (I've never purchased shampoo or paid for a hair cut - I am female). There is an equal proportion of happy memories scattered throughout my life, some of my happiest were when I had literally nothing but one dress and 4 pairs of stolen Zellers underwear and was sleeping in a car. The form of our lives impoverishes experience of reality as much, if not more, as the content. It's a whole we do not see for the misplaced desire for displays of wealth over relationships with everything and everyone.

I lived with my wife in a van for months. We dumpster dived behind bakeries, pizza places and ate very simple food. Even now 24+ years later we live a very simple life with few things. (I left home at 17, and lived on the streets for a time as well, so a van was luxury to me)

My hope is that if nothing else, the current situation opens people's eyes to past indulgences with no thought toward the future. I wish I had saved as much as you had, I would be better off now. (I simply never learned good financial sense until later in life)

More than anything though, I am not afraid of going back to nothing. (I am sure you may have a similar "mental safety net?)

It's not the end of the world and we can recover from this current state. Not sure it's comforting to those that face this imminently, but many people have survived far worse.


My hunch is dumpster diving works well when food is plentiful and people are throwing perfectly edible items away willy-nilly.

Get a depression-style food shortage and suddenly what you find in the dumpster won’t be as appetizing as the donuts that Dunkin just didn’t sell that day.


That's true. I mean, I mean the best dumpster diving is in rich neighbourhoods. Food banks also dry up in hard times. I lived in Nelson BC for a time when most people there were on welfare (it was at about 80%) and the food bank only had apples from the harvest and those decorative gourds so I got them and tried to cook them ( I was house sitting a Doukabor cabin for a Buddhist couple ) and even ate a few bowls of what was THE MOST BITTER thing I ever had even with a zillion sugar packets. But lets be real, what happens when the dumpsters dry out is folks steal. That's why it's safer to have a social net, for everyone.

Yes vans are a luxury! My first 'home' was a tent with no zipper and then a VW rabbit for a year and so when I got a '64 Ford Econoline it was my mcmansion! I find that having a home is stressful, like stuff owning is a huge responsibility because I see each item as hours of my life sacrificed from thinking and working on relationships.

My personal requirements are very low as well (maybe not as low as yours), but I think if I had a family with kids, my minimum requirements would increase substantially. All the material stuff starts to make more sense once you have a family to take care of.

Totally. It's certainly why I never had kids, I can't stand all the responsibility of that.

You must be the HN commenter with the wildest story around, respect.

I've spent multiple years in therapy trying to integrate just that - that this is wild. My normal prevents me having healthy relationships. Events like a plague are more dangerous to my ptsd work than my health (though I have asthma) because this stress feels like home to me. There is a relief of, like the shoe has dropped, because I've lived this. I've been waiting to say SEE I TOLD YOU ALL THIS IS NORMAL! My book is an apocalypse memoir not to be facetious but - everything is true. Every event and thought is me in the late 80s, how I perceived every non-grandparent age adult as a horrible threatening monster who could without warning rip you to shreds and then never explain why. And I was lucky. I was born white and in Canada and I met some really kind people who (because I look non threatening ) saved me - not with money or food - but by just being nice, opening up to me. Saying nice things and laughing at my painful jokes and forgiving me for being really fucking bizarre. That's really why I wrote it - so folks can empathize with marginalities and the struggles between class/race/gender/sexuality and education and identity and then see you don't need to donate money or time to make a revolution. Just like be there, emotionally. Listen and expect nothing. And, that easy, you healed part of my identity.

Interesting story!

Side note - i am Australian, have traveled the world and I find it funny in many countries (particularly Asia), everyone thinks Milo is from their own country. They are suprised when I tell them it's Australian and hilarity ensues when they looked it up online.

Oh and don't feel bad cause Aussies have loads of brands too that we thought were local but are actually from overseas. For the longest time, i thought Maggi noodles was from Asia but its actually Swiss!


That's wild! I learned about it from a friend from Jamaica and I was able to source it so cheaply. How weird that a rural Canadian girl from a town with a Jamaican mayor (who was the only West Indian family in town ) ended up living off Australian meal supplement.

Wow, what a story! If you don't mind me asking, what was your path like going from dumpster-diving vegetables to retirement at 35?

Yes well many wanted me to write a tips to retirement book and not an apocalypse memoir. I can't write some of it, or am not ready to. But, no one should do it. It's just total privation and lack of self care, or would be to someone coming from a healthy home. I started in stripping for seed money to start buying houses, but it's such boring work and dangerous too (I ended up being an activist and helping nurses immunize strippers from Hep B ) You obviously cannot drink or use drugs - I never tasted alcohol until I was 35 (retired - still don't like it). When I went out I never took money. Ever. I lived on powdered milk and horse cereals while I was making very good money. I worked constantly (various business from pools to landscaping, tenants, house flipping, production company, and went to university part time and had no hobbies except running and I started that by just running in what I had. I only buy cars with all cash and they are always old. I mean, feel free to ask questions. TL;DR: Be a hustler, but not like one from the movies. One that is really boring, hated by everyone for seemingly being aloof and judgey, eccentric and annoying.

I just got laid off and I'n trying to live cheap until I find work.

Do you have any money to apply for? I'm in Canada and my friends who've applied have all gotten it. This is the last time anyone should have to live cheap, it's the time when all the taxes you've paid do the job of taking care of you.

I'm curious about your writing, could you link to where I can find some of it?


The BookBaby links there were timing out for me, but I found it at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/apocalypse-the-memoir

Thanks for the search - it's on amazon too. It's translated into Chinese and sells very well there, especially right now.

Paradise. When we were yung, we had it tugh...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue7wM0QC5LE


I hope I'm not reading this as a refutation capitalism as exploitation-based economics. I could carry on about that, but will pick up something:

> I've never purchased shampoo or paid for a hair cut - I am female [me: this choice of quote has nothing to say about gender, please read on]

In the Soviet Union, there was a growing demand for consumer goods. Government fought to reach a balance on whether it was time to undertake those goals, and how much of it should be handled by the secondary market.

After WWII, the United States switched to a highly commercial culture of consumer debt financing, a general consumerist focus. This put the communist nations, themselves developing rapidly, under even more strain to give citizens what they saw the West was enjoying. This may have been premature, and some might argue lead to an untimely end for the USSR.

What's interesting about your story is you we're living in a world of few consumer goods, like in the era before and during Khrushchev.

So where capitalism used the newly developing marketing gimmicks to both sell consumer goods at home, and undermine the priorities of People's government abroad--you, at least, are in a place where those superfluous goods are not a sign of victory over People's governments, but actually wasteful and unattainable. At least if one wants to move out of their car one day.

I'm sure none of this is lost on you as a writer of... what was it... Biden speeches? [Fake edit: the apocalypse!]

If we are rejecting the consumerism that served some role in bringing down the USSR, perhaps it's not a wishful thought that class consciousness growing. Maybe we're fatigued, ready to accept a world without the gimmicks parading themselves as innovation and surviving for years a household names off investor money and debt like a Potemkin village.

This is a good practice, living off less, but it's a blow to Western economic theories that have bought their way into textbooks. But what's to come down the pipeline isn't just the growth of China, but also Africa and partnering nations that we're used to exploiting (look at the grooming of India as a place of new manufacture). We'll soon see less opportunities to exploit, higher prices and, well, Socialism or barbarism.


What's funny is I've been living in St Petersburg Russia for 4 months a year for the past 3 years. It's wild to live there now, where the stylish and beautiful youth are extremely enthusiastically embracing capitalism. I am not sure how capitalism is not gendered or any other economic system, but I agree, I'm very sure the failure of every economic theory is one of imagination and disciplinarity.

good observations

Its worth clarifying that the article is specifically addressing the fallout from the pandemic: Unemployment and poverty due to failing economies and shuttered restaurants and bars. In the US, Despite our country having vast and endless supplies of food from megafarms and their accompanying subsidies, there is very little safety net in America to ensure anyone is fed at all once they are unemployed.

worth posting, a crash course on making sourdough bread:

https://github.com/hendricius/the-bread-code/blob/master/bas...

I also maintain a git repo for frugal living.

https://gitlab.com/nimbius/frugal/


"In the US, Despite our country having vast and endless supplies of food from megafarms and their accompanying subsidies, there is very little safety net in America to ensure anyone is fed at all once they are unemployed."

This is where a legitimate government worth the trust of the people would say, "Do not worry America, we will feed you," and do whatever it took, including mobilizing the National Guard, to distribute that food surplus to those who need it most.

This is where a competent government would do this in the safest possible manner, including having personal protection equipment, training on how to use it properly and how to practice social distancing while getting the job done.

This is where true leaders would inspire the people to help keep each other safe, healthy, and well fed.

Recall the inspiration, organization and funding that kicked off the Space Race, the Manhattan Project, and the New Deal.

Where is the leader who can say with a straight face that "we do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard"? One that can say and be believed that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself"?

Instead of being inspired to work together on what could be the greatest challenge of this generation we're left to fend for ourselves, left to cower home alone, to hope the scraps we've managed to scrounge will be enough to last us however long it takes for life to return to some semblance of normalcy, for the most destitute of us to face starvation, with a lack of trust in each other, in our leaders, and in society.


California literally has the National Guard supporting food banks across the state right now: https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/03/21/coronavirus-governor-...

I agree with your overall sentiment that we would benefit right now from inspirational leadership with strong messages of solidarity.

But at the same time, it's not all doom and gloom. There's a lot of good happening as well.


California is and always has been an outlier when it comes to using government resources to help and protect people.

California is an outlier in most ways viz-a-viz the US.

Population is ~40M, which is more than Canada (~38M) or Australia (~28M). If California was an independent country it would be something like the 9th largest economy in the world. It's a massively productive farming region on top of having the high-end of US technology, and has other national or international-tier industries like Hollywood.

If I want a barometer for the US, tell me how Ohio is doing.


Ohio had to close all their indoor trampoline parks. It's getting real out there folks

Can’t help seeing the irony of the US being bankrupt by an ilness - someone on Twitter

It's not really ironic on either side. The US is well aware of its healthcare issues. The damage from the pandemic will not be due to a failing healthcare system, but the fallout from much of the economy hitting the pause button for weeks if not months.

> In the US, Despite our country having vast and endless supplies of food from megafarms and their accompanying subsidies, there is very little safety net in America to ensure anyone is fed at all once they are unemployed.

On the contrary, food stamps (SNAP) is pretty much the only federal welfare program that covers everyone based only on need (i.e. low enough assets and income).

There is a 3-month limit for many people (e.g. able-bodied males who don't have kids) but states have the power to extend it in times/locations of high unemployment.


(e.g. able-bodied males who don't have kids)

I doubt it is gender specific.

that being said a better safety net is needed. A savings account started in high school would be nice as well.


> states have the power to extend it in times/locations of high unemployment

The federal government under Trump took some of this ability away in December, with changes targeted to take effect April 1st. The plan was that roughly 700,000 people would lose the ability to receive food stamps in order to, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, "restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population." I wish I was making that up.

Today, the unemployment rate is likely to spike so high just about everywhere that the new rules will probably not make a difference, but it's important to keep in mind that there's a portion of the US body politic that is happy to see some people go hungry, as long as it's the right people.


there is very little safety net in America to ensure anyone is fed at all once they are unemployed.

Everything I have read and experienced suggests this is not true.

You may be unaware of it if you have never been desperately poor. A lot of the food aid available to the poor in the US is handled very quietly because it's done by local organizations trying to take care of the local people who actively want to avoid letting predatory vagabonds know where they can get a free handout.

I have read in the past that America would look a lot better on paper if we counted emergency food stores as part of our assets in the same way European countries typically do.

Decades ago, I read about a study that indicated that only one half one percent of Americans qualified as "poor" by the standards of people in India when based on metrics like food access.

I have read that most housed Americans get three meals a day and most homeless Americans only get two meals a day. There are places in the world where two meals a day would be pretty good food security.

I'm sure we are facing some very real challenges. I'm not convinced that America is as precariously positioned as some people seem to think.

I see comments in this discussion indicating that people who have known serious privation are fairly unperturbed. I think the people freaking out are mostly comfortably well off who think giving up a few comforts is a nightmare scenario.

I'm all for actively promoting information for how to feed yourself cheaply while we actively forbid a lot of people from going to work. Cooking from scratch is a terrific way to both save money and give yourself something constructive to do so you aren't going stir crazy and heading for going postal.

But there are many Preppers in this country who already had a year or more of stored food and the things I'm hearing suggest hoarding is being done in a bizarre pattern that suggests a lot of upper class emotional BS is going on.

According to the research in Diet for a Small Planet, at the time the book was written, every country had the means to feed their people. Famine was due to political and social forces, not due to absolute lack of food supplies.

More recently, I have read of cases where food aid sat on the docks rotting because the whole reason people were starving was due to civil war. The food aid was de facto intended to feed people who were more or less being intentionally starved out and the people in power absolutely weren't going to give them free food from other countries.

Venezuela was in a real world of hurt before covid19. They were hunting wild donkeys and breaking into zoos to steal the animals from zoos. They are going to see terrible problems.

The US doesn't have to. We need to figure out what works so we can avoid unnecessary hardship.

A lot of people are working on it. We aren't just sitting here idly waiting for the four horsemen of the apocalypse to show up.


You say this:

==Everything I have read and experienced suggests this is not true.==

I only see examples of things you have read. What about the experiences you mentioned?


Oh sorry. I was homeless for nearly six years.

I've gone to soup kitchens, been on food stamps, gotten food from food pantries, eaten free meals at churches, gotten handouts of food from random strangers.

I've gotten by at times on very little food and I've been seriously underfed at times. But there was usually an element of choice because soup kitchens, etc, aren't very good in terms of cleanliness and food quality and I have a serious medical condition. Being picky about cleanliness and food quality is a large part of how I stay off the drugs I'm supposed to be on.

But in absolute terms, food is usually available. A lot of it is food that doesn't do a good job of meeting my special needs, so I often pass on the opportunity and prefer to buy my own, but actual literal starving to outright death seems rather unlikely to me.

I worry much more that I will be forced to resort to eating things that will aggravate my very serious medical condition.

That isn't intended to dismiss the concerns of people saying "That's been sold out where I live." But if they go hungry, I think it will be more due to comfortably well-off people hoarding food irrationally rather than due to absolute lack of food stores in the country per se.

Maybe some of the Preppers can come out of the woodwork and give a portion of their hoards to food pantries and soup kitchens. Some of them have several years worth of food stuck away.

It would make more sense to try to reduce the degree to which society comes apart at the seams than to sit on it waiting for things to start looking like a zombie apocalypse movie.

Edit: see also: https://www.reddit.com/r/CitizenPlanners/comments/fn3jno/cou...


I'm curious if anyone has numbers on how much a homemade sourdough loaf costs on average. My experience is that flour is quite expensive (and currently not available in UK shops).

I've also noticed a spike in electricity costs since we've started baking regularly. (Difficult to calculate exactly)

My guess is that baking your own is a bit cheaper than going to some artisanal baker, but a lot more expensive than a standard load.


I'm pretty sure you would be correct.

The cost (assuming you have at least a minimal amount of equipment--including an oven obviously) is basically the flour (which, as you say, can be hard to find right now).

A 5 pound bag of flour is normally around $4-$5 in the US, and a large boule (5 cups of flour) takes about 600 grams (~1.5 pounds) of flour, so maybe $1.50. The other ingredients in a basic loaf are negligible and the electricity is about 30 cents at a typical US price (ballpark of 10 cents per KWh).

Call it about $2 all together. So, yes, less than an artisanal loaf but maybe a bit more than cheap supermarket bread (though that's a larger loaf as well.)


Is this some kind of specialist flour? 1 USD per pound seems high.

King Arthur flour (one of the big national brands) at Walmart in 5 pound bags. They probably have their own brand which is cheaper.

Great Value flour here lists for ~$0.22 a pound in a 5 pound bag. Website says they are out of stock though.

(Great Value is the Walmart store brand)


King Arthur is absurdly expensive. I'd say Gold Medal is a much better benchmark and it's usually about half the price.

Grocery Outlet's store brand of bread has been $1.59 a loaf for a long time. White or whole wheat.

Home ovens use something similar to 2KW to run for an hour.

(it's gonna vary between models and temperatures and so on, I think 2KW is good enough for the sake of discussion)

So from there, 5KW or so is probably a good upper limit for a bread cooking cycle (it's probably less than that). Here that's ~$0.50, and then small retail packages of flour are ~$0.50 a pound. $0.25 for yeast, and trivial amounts of salt/sugar.

So (here) 2 large loaves of bread is less than $2 of ingredients and energy.

Flour is out of stock on the online store I just checked here also.


For ultimate economy it is possible to filter whole grains you can find at a feed company and carefully grind it into flour with automatic means. You just gotta be careful not to ruin the grain mill. I've made bread using a waffle iron. Actually english muffins can be made with a grill. Quite good fresh!

> My experience is that flour is quite expensive

My mom loves making baked goods. At some point, she switched to buying 5+ lbs. bags of flour. It turns out that flour bags from 1-25 lbs. are priced way closer than you'd expect.


Approximately 0.35 EUR per loaf containing 250g flour, assuming you bake 3 loaves at once in an electric oven, and aren't considering the effects of the heat produced on your heating/cooling costs.

USDA is active in the state of Ohio. If you have your ear to the ground you can find when they start giving stuff away. Sometimes you can find it on church builtins or job and family services. Sometimes no proof of income is required. The USDA spring and summer give aways usually have a sign up for a year and that's all.

since you seem to be from Germany, do you now a good recipe of a Genetztes (Bauernbrot)?

Most Americans live in a state where unemployment benefits is easily enough for food.

Personally unemployment insurance does not cover my rent. It’s enough to stretch out savings dramatically, but saving on food budget would then be even more important. Especially if you’re considering cashing in some 401k stocks in a down market.

Renegotiate your rent during the crisis.

It's extremely unlikely your landlord is going to be able to rent it to someone new in the foreseeable future. Most landlords are highly leveraged and need income.

Make an offer to cut it in half and see if they bite.


I own several rental properties, and I’ve already told my property managers that I’m receptive to rent reductions - less rent still beats an empty property. Any landlord who expects to get through this without a reduction in income is just delusional.

I know an absolute ton of small businesses owners. Every single one of them has tried to renegotiate or get forbearance on rent this week.

They have had 0% success and the only response is really that rent is due on the first.

There will be a massive commercial real estate crisis soon.


I don’t know what it is, but it seems commercial landlords would rather have an empty property than accept market rent in a down market. I saw a lot of that in the last recession.

I suspect that the managers of REITs and partnerships that own most commercial property worry that accepting lower rent would make it harder for them to delude their investors into thinking their property values haven’t tanked. “We appraise this property based on a rental income of $5k/mo, it’s just between tenants right now”


I think it's sometimes because they see the value of future higher rent after a void is worth more, in straight up cash value, than accepting lower rent with a long term commitment.

I've seen it for years: Empty shop buildings, a glut of local businesses wanting to rent them, but they are kept empty until some chain willing to pay double turns up a year later. For the landlord, it's worth waiting if that will be the outcome.


Millions of Americans who are gig workers are not be eligible for any unemployment benefits.

any self-employed person who sees a dramatic reduction in income (perhaps even 100%) is also (AFAIK) not eligible for unemployment benefits.

what about rent? medical supplies? hygiene items?

If you have a way of measuring your body fat to a reasonable degree of accuracy, you can ration your food by knowing how much stored body fat your body can convert into energy per day. Your body can convert roughly 0.9% of your body fat into energy in a day. So if you're 180lbs with 33% body fat, you have 60 lbs of fat on you. You should be able to convert ~0.54lbs into energy, which at ~3500 kcal per lbs comes out to 1890 kcal being the maximum calorie deficit you can overcome with just stored body fat. Subtract that from your daily calorie expenditure (another messy estimate) to get how many calories you need to consume to avoid muscle breakdown and energy crashes.

Keep in mind that every person's body and metabolic system is unique so you'll want to put in a generous error buffer. I'd cut the calorie deficit by half, at least to start with. Also notice that each day your total stored body fat will be less, so the number of calories your body can extract from that stored fat will also be less.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15615615/


You could do that, but it is dangerous to do so during an epidemic.

Having body fat helps you if you get very sick. Having low body fat means you are at a higher risk of death when your body has to fight off disease. Being very underweight increases your risk of catching diseases.

Of course, being excessively obese has other risks.

I am not a doctor (although anyone blindly following internet advice needs to be careful!)


There's a lot of space between obesity and underweight. What's being discussed here is use of excess stored body fat to extend one's food supply without impacting muscle mass or cognitive function. Perhaps I should have added the recommended minimum body fat levels but anyone getting near those levels would be unable to get an appreciable number of calories from stored bodyfat anyway, defeating the purpose of using body fat for food supply extension.

The average American has a long way to go before reaching "very underweight".

That's based upon normal metabolism and if you calorie reduce your metabolisim will also slow down, you also need vitamins to help the body work and some will be need to break down fat into energy.

Vitamins and minerals are not something you can reduce without effect/impact. So do factor that into any calorie reduction.

This and body fat only goes so far and as a metric is often flawed in measurement as any rugby or certain sports physics can attest. This is large muscle mass often mess's up those scale calculations and with that, many a fit muscular person will fall into the obese box as muscle weighs more than fat.

Also it's not just fat that gets broken down into energy, muscle is affected as well.

As everything it is a fine balance.

Given all that, eating normal alternate days is a safer approach for many.


> muscle weighs more than fat

On average, the density of fat is 0.9 g/mL, while the density of muscle is 1.1 g/mL.

It’s just not that much


Sure on average but whilst that is often bounded about, most people are not average. Bit like having 10 people with shoe sizes of 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 so you go, the average size is 8.5 and proceed to make 10 pairs of 8.5 size shoes.

Gets down to knowing yourself and how much that differentiates from the average and adjusting accordingly. Alas many look at average and work with that, so somebody small who needs may think the average alcohol limit is X, so I can drink X and still be legal to drive and yet as they are smaller, find their blood volume less and the alcohol to blood level is higher than that average and tada, drunk drives without realising as they thought they had stayed under the average limit.

Averages used as a literal are dangerous, they need to be treated as a guideline by people when applying them to themselves, can't stipulate that enough.

[EDIT a grammar I spotted]


The variance for muscle density is considerably smaller than the variance in shoe size.

https://itis.swiss/virtual-population/tissue-properties/data...

In this case the average alone is representative of the population without any additional qualifications.

Please don’t drink and drive.


Be nice to be able to click thru and see the scale of those studies as many have very few studies and without knowing the size and scale of data, I'm still open minded and SMD variations from what I have read, vary upon a greater scale.

Though handy site and will only become more handy with more data sets, but being able to click-thru to and see those studies would go a long way as not all studies are equal in quality and credibility in much the same way that people would believe data comming from `John Hopkins University` about viral data over say data comming out of `Really Greatest University in the entire World`.

I'd add, don't drink and operate any form of transport, lost cousin decades ago to a drunk cyclist. Me, I don't drive, walk and public transport, so these days, walk if needs demand. Though probably handful of times I've even drunk even close to any limit. But very mindful that not everybody is as thoughtful of others, though easier to identify them as they are the ones with 4x4's full of toilet roll :).


You can satisfy your scepticism, the list of all publications used to generate the database (with complete reference) is included in the full download.

Are you certain it only subtracts from fat? From my understanding, you will also lose muscle too (especially without exercise)

The body has a very strong preference for burning fat rather than muscle. Breaking down muscle for energy is a last resort. The reason why conventional wisdom says you can't lose fat without losing muscle is because most diets put the dieter into a larger calorie deficit than the body can support through burning stored body fat. The 0.9% number is very important here. Go over it, and yes, your body will try to find energy elsewhere which includes your muscles. That's why I said to start with a 50% margin of safety. Also it's important to keep in mind that the body isn't a set of binary switches. There are many feedback loops, buffers, and redundant systems beyond the simple model I presented, which is another reason to not go 100% on this. 50% though will help ration food out for a longer period of time without getting into a situation at the end of the crisis period with too large of a calorie deficit to function properly or to prevent muscle breakdown.

Regarding losing weight by calorie deficit, I'd like to suggest an alternative solution that does not require knowing your body fat percentage.

First, start estimating how many calories you need per day on credible sites like [1]. Then, buy a scale, measure it twice everyday--first, in morning when you wake up (and peed) and second, right before you sleep. The subtract these two and get an approximate drop in weight (for me, it's usually 1-1.2 lbs over night for average type of food that I eat). Use that to approximate how much food you should eat in the evening and what type of food you should eat so that you can reach your weight goal.

Keep adjusting your portion of food (start from the portion size that will fill you up until your next meal) over the next 10 days to see which one keeps your weight under check or make it go lower.

I have lost 20 lbs between Dec '19 and end of Feb '20 just by doing this. In summary, measuring your weight diligently (just twice a day or even once a day in the morning if you want) is a good enough start to lose weight.

[1] https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary...


I've discussed my weight loss hear before, but I want to reiterate that when I was "trying" to lose weight, I only ate one medium/light meal a day. Ran about 2 miles a day (3 by the end) and still only lost 15 lbs in one month of this.

If people are frugal/miserly with their meals and careful starting now, and have long lasting food, we can live a long time.

Side note: After this experience, I've been eating one meal a day for about 2 years now. (I am a desk jockey so I don't need much) I can control my weight, and I eat more if I need it, and less if I don't.


I don't think I've discussed my weight before here.

I once lost 65lbs over 8 months by eating two small meals a day. I went "cold turkey" in to that diet, and the first week sucked, but I got through it. I transitioned to a normal diet after that and maintained my weight for a year and half until I got a job that stressed me out and I stress-ate.

I got sick a month ago (symptoms unlrelated to COVID) and couldn't keep food down. I used that opportunity to transition again to a very-low-calorie diet once I got better. Being sick made the transition much easier (no hunger pains).

I already feel better after one month. I think I can pull this off again for another 8 months and get to the top-end of the recommended weight range for my height.

Here's to looking forward to the months ahead (I suppliment with multivitamin and magnesium/zinc suppliments).


One thing that helps me to this day is to remember that being hungry is normal. When people are hungry for something they have drive and are motivated.

I find being hungry every day (for at least an hour or two) before my single meal makes my food taste so much better.

I experiment with very light mid day meals at times. Nothing more than 2 fried eggs and maybe some saute'd onions with it. (I am hunger an hour or after eating this, so it doesn't disrupt my eating patterns)

I hope you do well with your weight control. It sounds like you have a great start on things.


Thank you.

Prior to this (a few months ago), I noticed that I was overeating just to maintain the feeling of being full/stuffed. I knew that was unhealthy, but I just wanted to feel good because I was going through probably the highest-stress time of my life.

Luckily things are much better now. Even with this virus going around, I should be pretty well off.

On this new attempt, the only time the hunger seems to become annoying is in the late evening. My solution: go to bed. I can't be hungry if I'm asleep, and when I wake up, I can eat my first meal.

It's going to take some mental adjustments, but I think I'll be able to adjust to not noticing minor hunger and not desiring the feeling of being full.


As an aside, it is striking that we are discussing this strategy on this forum and that it's actually decently-accepted advice given the current context.

What a world ahead of us all.


Good list. The problem, at least here in the UK, is that these cheap foods/ingredients are exactly what we're seeing empty on the shelves now. Unfortunately for those who live cheaply, expensive things go last.

If you have any ethnic food stores near by, try them. They tend to have cheap dry goods, with high food value. Although you may not be so familiar with everything, some initiative helps.

Also, keep your eyes open for unobvious cheap food - people panic buy the food they know e.g. in NZ: wheat flour, pasta, tinned tomatoes. But while there was no flour, there were still dried beans and other products that have more food value on shelves that were still great value per $.


Good advice. Although I do worry about how long that'll be true for given the empty shelves seem to expand to a new product every few days. Hopefully the supply chains will adjust or panic buying will slow down before it becomes an issue.

I bet all of the survivalist guys are sitting guys are sitting in their bunkers with their prime rib MREs and laughing at us right now.

At least people are panic buying a range of items, usually it’s just milk, eggs, and bread. What is the grand plan there? French toast three meals a day for a month? Custard? Really runny scrambled eggs on toast? You might want some raisins if your going all-in on bread pudding. I bet a lot of it ends up getting thrown away.


Rice and beans have been gone here in the USA at my local stores.

Flour and Sugar are also gone here.

Bread is limited supply


I find it funny that we can find plenty of bread but flour is a completely different story. I'm a little surprised the demand - I recognize how useful flour is, but I'm surprised so many people actually feel confident enough to do anything with it (not that baking is that uncommon, but I only know a few people who know how to stuff like bake bread). On the other hand I guess it is the perfect time learn

> I recognize how useful flour is, but I'm surprised so many people actually feel confident enough to do anything with it (not that baking is that uncommon, but I only know a few people who know how to stuff like bake bread).

No offense but you sound incredibly sheltered. No one did any cooking in your house growing up? Most of the uses of raw flour are incredibly basic, straightforward recipes.

Literally add water, some kind of fat or oil, and maybe a leavener to flour and you're in business. Cakes, pastry, bread, roti, whatever. Use it as coating for fried chicken, or to thicken a stew. Make flour tortillas, or yorkshire puddings, or muffins, or all verities of noodles. Hard tack will last forever, if you hate yourself but want to store something for years.

The learning curve is trivial -- my mom made me roll out biscuits when I was 11 -- and flour will last forever as long as it stays dry and bug-free. Old flour isn't as tasty as the freshly ground, but you can still make a fine loaf of bread at home with 8+ month old flour; source: made a high hydration loaf last night.


I suspect that many people are just buying it because they found it on a list of things to buy from the internet

Many of them will probably stick it 20 pounds of flour in their cabinet and never use it for anything.

I do use it, I make biscuits, and gravy every sunday... I have enough flour to last awhile and was not in the market for any but I did notice that section that normally had a pallet of each was empty in my store.


A family can use 200 pounds of flour up before it spoils. Hard to freeze that much bread.

And then there are lots of people where a $100 hedge is a pretty simple choice.

(I bought 5 pounds of flour, about on the normal schedule)


Under normal circumstances I make a loaf of bread every other day for sandwiches, using a bread making machine. So that is 500g of flour, 350ml water, 25g butter, 1 tsp of yeast, 1.5 tsp sugar, 1.25 tsp of salt.

My 'peacetime' rationale is to have fresh bread with no additives in it. There are spin off benefits such as the baking smell.

Over the last decade I have worked in different companies and never met another person with a home baking of bread routine. Sure some people have a bread making machine in the loft or have a mum that does it on occasion but making bread from flour is a rare thing in the UK.

So what is going on with the supply?

Truth is that bread flour is not a fast moving item. If I buy a 1kg bag on a Monday and another on a Friday then there won't have been a lot of restocking in between. I will be buying from the same batch.

Therefore it does not take a lot of panic buyers to take all the stock off the shelves for the few people who regularly buy to find themselves with 'flour anxiety'. If you do use a kilo or two of flour a week then you don't have more than two to three kilos on hand. This will be for variety, e.g. strong white and wholemeal, which can be combined with something else, e.g. spelt or granary, for variety.

In truth flour does not keep indefinitely, it will develop a horrible taste over time or even get weevils. Flour is also heavy, so if you have to carry your shopping by bicycle or on foot then you are not buying sacks of the stuff.

Car drivers with large boots/trunks can behave like a horde of locusts, snapping up vast quantities of items like flour that don't cost them a lot to pay for, store or carry. Meanwhile, people who are buying flour partly due to reasons of making their bread more affordable are less likely to have a car or even large cupboards.


Flour and yeast were one of the first things to go. As was regular bread.

Either all the bread machines were dug out of the closets or those bread recipes from Pinterest are getting put to work.


I normally buy a premium brand bread, and right now all I can get is generic store brand white bread....

At a Sunnyvale Safeway yesterday, there was a full wall of breads spanning multiple brands and grains. I paid $1.49 for a loaf of their own multigrain bread (e-coupon price).

The standard size in the US is a 5lb bag, or about 2.26kg

it is not uncommon to find 10 and 15 lb bags in most stores as well


In that case, expensive things won’t be expensive for very long.

This seems like a misunderstanding of how supply and demand acts in the real world. I didn't say people weren't buying premium products at all - they very much so are. They're just not selling out at the insane rate everything else is. If anything this suggests that the inexpensive products would (assuming we were operating an idealised free market, which we're kind of not because stores are now attempting to limit purchases) become more expensive to match the premium products - but then of course the premium products would sell more (more utility for the same money) so things would balance out again.

Retail pricing logic suggests that brands would rather price relative to the baseline pricing anyway. It's more likely to be generally inflationary unless of course suppliers manage to meet the current demand and even if they do there's a big risk that demand will crash suddenly at some point which could cost the suppliers or retailers greatly as well as they overproduce items that never get bought and cost money to store. It's a big mess, really.


But you realize the reason expensive things are expensive is because there are enough people willing to pay the premium. If demand for premium products diminishes, premium product producers can either lower prices to meet demand at lower price point, or lower production to new lower levels of demand.

Either way there is a present glut of expensive things without enough demand, so existing oversupply is liquidated. So expensive things get less expensive.


> If demand for premium products diminishes,

This is the crucial part, there is no reason to believe this is happening. There is not a 'glut' of expensive things as many are forced to buy the expensive alternative when their preferred choice is gone, and regular consumers of the premium brands still buy them. They just sell out less fast.


The economy is 75% of what it was 3 weeks ago. Numerous industries have laid of 50%+ of their laborers. I’m going to wager there is less demand for premium products.

Perhaps we are each talking too generally and need a bit more specificity. If we're talking about premium products in the sense of iPhones, new cars, video games and other kinds of irregular purchases like that then I expect you're right at least in the short term. But the relevant point of discussion here is what you tend to need from a supermarket in day-to-day household consumables and their respective economy/premium products which contribute to a household's regular expenditures. In the household consumables case, the premium products are definitely still selling.

I don't understand - something that is already expensive, that will get more essential over time if other stuff runs out... will get cheaper?

Does the UK also have price gouging laws in this crisis?

Those are what produce the empty shelves.


Do you have any evidence for this? I don't meant referring to economics textbooks. I mean concrete evidence that empty shelves right now due to this epidemic are the results of price gouging laws. For example, showing that states with price gouging laws have empty shelves and states without do not, when controlling for other factors.

> I don't meant referring to economics textbooks.

If you don't allow referring to the vast empirical literature on price controls, you've already decided what you want to believe.


Economics textbooks takes on price controls are very different from price gouging controls, as they operate on different time scales. Price gouging controls are much more likely to prevent shortages than cause them, as they prevent market manipulation, which is another topic that economics textbooks have some good takes on.

Flu can cause fever. Every fever is not caused by flu. Every flu does not cause fever.

I am like a patient asking the doctor is they have evidence this fever is caused by flu, not for example COVID-19. I wouldn't want to be referred to medical textbooks telling flu causes fever as your only evidence.


You can't control for other factors in an economy.

Every economic textbook will have a demand and supply graph, it's not hard to see what happens when you fix a price arbitrarily and shift the demand curve in that graph to simulate a higher demand. Demand and supply no longer meet -> shortage.


Price gouging seems like a good way to incentivise the five-finger discount if anything.

yeah, much better to have £100/dozen eggs. That way, at least they'll be on the shelves so rich people can still have them.

I saw one ad for hand sanitizer where 1 bottle was regular price, 2 bottles was 100x price. I support that kind of "price gouging."

Market prices keep items on the shelf, and also incentivizes increased production, and redirecting supplies to where demand is highest.

Price fixing incentivizes hoarding and empty shelves.


> redirecting supplies to where demand is highest

Which is what the gp said.

> they'll be on the shelves so rich people can still have them

Complaining about word choice is a tradition around here, I know.


> Which is what the gp said.

They didn't say that at all, they said something completely different, thereby proving that they don't understand the point.

Not raising prices at all evidently leads to empty shelves. Nobody can buy any eggs, except for the first lucky person that can get all the eggs at a bargain and then waste them without significant financial loss. In the case of toilet paper, there isn't even a loss - you were going to buy it anyway.

As prices rise, demand goes down. The hoarders buy less, or at least pay handsomely for the privilege, which is more fair. Nobody will raise prices until there is no demand whatsoever ($100 eggs), just for the sake of stocked shelves.

This system works strictly better, it's just that people don't understand it. That's why supermarkets don't raise prices. They can blame empty shelves on "a few idiots" (who aren't really idiots) and avoid complaints for price gouging, which could cause severe regulatory fallout.


Nobody is going to buy eggs for a hundred pounds, unless they're literally at the brink of starvation, in which case they're worth that much.

However, let's just say eggs are five times as expensive: You're going to think twice about buying a whole shelf of them "just in case".

Rich people are going to get their eggs either way.


> Rich people are going to get their eggs either way.

This bootlicking fatalism is the real problem, imho.


Clearly, the biggest sorrow of the socialist is not that the people are starving, but that the rich aren't starving alongside them.

This, but unironically.

"These recipes will be based on Potatoes, Milk, Flour, Eggs, and Kale. (Honorable mention to Pinto Beans and Carrots)"

Been a week since I saw any of those in shops, and can't recall the last time I saw kale.

As always the cheap staple foods and tins are the first to go in panic buying and you just know that all the stuff we usual meh at and lob into the food bank box's are the exact stuff people are now stocking and hoarding up upon, pasta, meal in a tin and all those other cheap meal options are now everybody's emergency cupboard of hardness.

Coz, 6 months or so - food banks are going to be flooded with everybodies reality hoardings, just to appease their own karma when in reality the damage is already done and the impact of fear has been born and played out.


Where are you living? I’m in Seattle, which, as far as covid-19 impact goes, is easily at-or-near the top of the list of impacted cities.

I have not seen a shortage of anything aside from Clorox wipes in any of the groceries around me. It’s surprising to me reading about such shortages, especially in less impacted cities. Maybe the panic factor is higher for those who aren’t directly in the midst of it?



The Newton Kansas Walmart has been out of a lot of stuff for a while. Like all the beans, rice, bread, sugar, flour, facial tissue, toilet paper, vitamin c, hand sanitizer, detergent, potatoes... They get stock daily, but within an hour or so it's cleaned out again. Definitely panic buying.

Yesterday, QFC in Interbay was nearly out of canned beans, flour, and milk. I’m sure there was more that was low, but I noticed those bare sections in particular.

Where is that 6 months estimate from? I’ve seen as low as 2, all the way up to a cyclical 18 months from the Imperial College, so I’m just curious over the rationale behind 6.

It was an arbitrary point of time - hence I said "6 months or so", but my feeling is that is when things will settle down and with that, be less fear and more common sense tractioning in society and either things sorted or daily life would of adjusted.

> can't recall the last time I saw kale

In the Bay Area, I saw it Thursday. For the most part, produce has been pretty available, probably because hoarding it makes little sense.


I hope you right but I see don't see a recession or a depression. I see a siege.

If you are lucky enough to have any land at all, kale is extremely easy to grow

I don't, but have a few herbs growing I kicked off 2 months ago indoors on the window ledge. Oh and some spring onions, brought a bunch months ago, used for crispy aromatic duck, popped the ends into water and regrown a few times, reminds me I need to pot that now.

Also planted out some sunflowers in the area I'd grown indoors, brighten up the neighbourhood and birds love them. Also some wildflowers I'll be starting soon, ninja out and about in a months time or so as well as some vegetables I don't have space to grow in my flat, but hey, planning ahead and may work out well for the greater good and good spirits are just as important than your 5 a day.



Another great resource for more affordable recipes with costs broken out per meal is Budget Bytes:

https://www.budgetbytes.com/


A lot of penny dreadful here in the thread. https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f8/Int...

But kidding aside. Most of the recipes are bullshit. You have nothing to eat? Eat what is available. Nothing available? Start with tree bark soup.

If you are still able to buy groceries the best basic ingredients are rice, beans, possible some tomato sauce (for flavor). Add some Olive oil for the fatty acids if you can afford. You will be able to eat this for a pretty long time before showing any deficiencies compared to the other suggestions on the website.


The linked recipes are nutrition focused. The goal is to minimize cost without risking heath problems that occur if you try and live off of say instant ramen.

No-Knead bread is a godsend on every level: taste, cost, ease. Even the worst loaf I’ve made is amongst the bread I’ve ever tasted, for ~ 15 min of unskilled effort.

//

430g Flour (3.5 cups) .5 gram of yeast (1/4t) 9g salt (1.5t) 320g ~70° water (~ 1.33 cup)

Mix the dry stuff then stir in water. Cover the bowl with a big piece of parchment paper and let it sit on the counter for 12-36 hours.

Uncover, dust some flour on the parchment and use it as a work surface. Use a wet spatula to fold it in on itself a few times, and dust flour to keep it from sticking to itself or the paper.

Leave it for 2-4 hours, then lower the whole piece of paper into a dutch oven you’ve pre-heated as hot as your oven will go. Bake for 30 min with the cover on, then without for 15-30+ min to crisp the outside. Go darker than you expect.

//

You’ll find a million variations but same principles: 1) use fermentation to develop both flavor (ala sour dough) and the gluten strands, obviating need to maintain a sourdough starter or to manually knead it 2) bake it in effectively a very small and super hot oven, using the excess moisture in the dough to steam it then, when finished uncovered, cooks the already near-finished bread in a really hot oven to create an ideal crust. This cleverly mimics two features of commercial ovens unavailable to home cooks: steam baking and ultra high heat.

The cheapest all purpose white is ideal too, putting a loaf at what, 50 cents? I’ve gleefully lived off these loaves multiple days with some butter, cheese, anchovies etc.

Fun side benefit: having a glut of delicious bread got me to start making a lot of crostini (aka tartine, toasts, etc), which are great vehicle to quickly experiment with flavor combinations and techniques. It helped me develop as a cook immensely.


> Go darker than you expect

Worked in a bakery in college. As my old boss would say, "we don't want blonde, we want em brunette". Big improvement to taste once it cools down, similar in concept to the fond at the bottom of a pan.


Someone had mentioned (can't remember where) that watching the television show "Chopped" might be useful while dealing with all the odd ingredients that haven't been hoarded.

In the UK we have Jamie Oliver on Channel Four with a programme called "Keep Cooking and Carry On". https://metro.co.uk/2020/03/20/james-oliver-launches-emergen...

We also have Jack Monroe doing a thing on Twitter. #JackMonroesLockdownLarder https://twitter.com/BootstrapCook/status/1241045501090332679


Another suggestion: eat seitan, if you can. It’s basically wheat gluten, made into dough and baked like bread, but it has a meatloaf-like texture. Add in spices and nutritional yeast or grated Parmesan, and it’s delicious.

On top of that, powdered wheat gluten has never been cheaper, probably because it’s now an unwanted by-product of so much gluten-free baked goods and pasta. You can find it online for about $4/pound.

http://vegweb.com/recipes/baked-seitan-best-meaty-texture-ev...


To add to this, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is often in stock despite other dry proteins being unavailable due to most people not recognizing it as food. It's incredibly filling (digests for hours), fairly inexpensive (~$3.50/lb), and quite high in micronutrients like potassium [0]. This is what I switched to after not having a kitchen in which to make pseudo soylent [1].

I'd recommend preparing TVP in the following manner:

1. boil some water and add to TVP (add chia seeds, if possible, for fiber and extra fat-soluble vitamins)

2. in a separate bowl, partially microwave diced cheap vegetables (alternating carrots and whatever was on sale was my go-to)

3. add steamed veg to TVP, add spices/condiments, and microwave for a bit longer

4. stir in peanut butter

should take about five minutes total

For breakfast-y TVP, I replaced the vegetables with cocoa powder. Peanut butter can also be subbed with any free food that you might find (e.g., from lab meetings).

[0] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/339371/n...

[1] https://github.com/nhynes/pbean


If you're on a keto diet and/or want to eat well and save big, I suggest going to McDonald's and ordering 1/4lb patties which, depending on your location might be $1 to $2 tops each.

Despite what they say, McDonald's patties are a 100% beef and they're relatively good quality.

More info McD keto hacks here http://www.zerocarbhealth.com/zero-carb-ordering-from-mcdona...


How does this “save big”? Isn’t supermarket ground beef about $5/lb?

1. Many people live in studios and don't have a kitchen

2. Here in SF and every other city I lived ground beef is $9-10/lb


$9-10/lb for ground beef is 3x what I buy it for in SF.

Costco is obviously cheaper but you need a subscription and you need to commute there.

Not even talking about Costco. The neighborhood Asian grocery I shop at has it for $3-4 per pound, pretty much all the time.

If you can still get it, frozen self rising pizza costs less than $3 for about a kilogram of food. As I live alone I would buy a pizza like this and chop it into pieces before cooking it so it is fresh every serving. I add a few chunks of butter to the bottom above foil. Similar taste to pizza hut for a fraction of the cost.

Speghetti is also good when cooked with butter. Instead of adding the usual tablespoon of olive oil to the boiling water try butter instead.

My immigrant ancestors lived on a diet of spaghetti, home made bread and pork preserved in lard. I haven't tried the lard trick but maybe might be useful.


Spaghetti is also good when cooked with butter. Instead of adding the usual tablespoon of olive oil to the boiling water try butter instead.

Cacio e Pepe is another easy enough recipe that one can make without needing an excess of ingredients, it’s in the name :)


Looks good. Gnocci with butter is also delish. Can be made from mashed potato flakes and flour. Or fresh potatos. Manufactured food is so cheap you can get a pound of it for a couple bucks already made.

You may want to look up Marcella Hazan’s spaghetti sauce recipe

Very nice. I have found my spaghetti making skills have been very primitive for some time. I'm always on the look out now for how to make it better since the staple is so cheap and easy to store. I've owned spaghetti still sealed in a plastic envelope that was good over 9 years later. I ate all of it. The only thing is it needs a little more time to cook.

Another recommendation Good and Cheap :

https://www.leannebrown.com/good-and-cheap.pdf


This would be a lot more useful if any of those things were in the store. Our stores here in Las Vegas are constantly being stripped. My mom said she had gone to go pickup some milk for my nieces and had two quarts that she could find and even then people were complaining about her "taking so much" and one lady tried to take one. It's hard to find places that have stuff. When you do, it weird stuff that you just have to use because there is nothing else.

Do intermittent fasting - no need to eat for 3-5 days at a time.

Careful giving medical advice. Fasting can be dangerous in some cases.

The advice I got from my doctor is to start with 24 hour fasts. And then try 48 hours. And then probably stop there.

(I am not a medical expert)


A lot of intermittent fasters follow something less extreme: a 16:8 hour fast. You eat normally during an 8 hour window (lunch, a snack, and dinner, for example) and then don't eat for 16 hours (no after-dinner snacks and no breakfast).


Interesting - thanks for posting. The difference in cortisol is useful to know about.

spacing out meals does not magically turn the body into a perpetual motion machine

Somewhat on topic; I experimented with making my own soylent-like derivative back in university. I think that was about $2.5 per day for 3 meals. Prettty miserable but the whole process was a lot of fun, felt like a mad scientist.

These days I just bake my own bread, mostly because it's 100x more delicious. I'm probably not saving any money due to experimenting with all these expensive-ass flours


Dry beans or lentils and rice, maybe some spices if you have them or some veggies. Less perishable and not based on Eggs and Dairy.

I can't determine if "chicken boolean" was a typo or an in-joke.

Came here just to make sure it wasn't only me

I’ll also suggest nuts. Plenty of fat, and lots of varieties.

Personally, a handful of salted peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, or almonds. According to the package, 1 oz (28 g) of walnuts are 180 calories, and 18 g of fat.

Very filling.


I love nuts, but I personally don't find them filling, but more so satisfying. I usually have a hand full (~1 oz) of almonds or peanuts in the morning for breakfast, and I have noticed I'm a lot less hungry immediately after than when I used to eat a sugary granola bar.

I'm no nutritionist, but I guess it's something about carbs causing us to want more carbs, so keeping everything fatty helps reduce that bodily crave.


Blood sugar spike and crash.

I ended up cooking for next to nothing by accident one time. I didn't notice it until I discover all my money was still in the bank end of the month.

To make things more ironic my goal was to create superior food which absolutely worked.

The main invention was this: For most meals we take a bunch of ingredients and mix them into a deliciously flavored mix and give it fancy names. The grand mistake we made is that the entire meal tastes the same. The second mistake is that every ingredient we use really is an experience to eat in it self. Every 2 ingredients offer 3 different experiences. A, B and A+B

With 3 ingredients you get A, B, C, AB, AC, BC! Thats 6!

With 4 ingredients you get A,B,C,D,AB,AC,AD,BC,BD,CD! Thats 10!

So I needed some kind of structured platform to carefully plan out this adventure. Pizza was my medium of choice but an oven dish should work too. (I make small 25 cm pizzas)

So I got the Gouda, the mozzarella, the camembert and the goat cheese. (there are many more of course) (4)

I got some varieties of mushrooms. (2)

I got some meat, chicken, bacon, salami, ham. (4)

I got some different kinds of fish. (3)

Some fruit is fine too. (2)

But the largest diversity of tastes are in the vegetables(!)(20?)

The "problem" the above presents is that you cant put a lot of anything on there. My pizza is only 25 cm or 490 cm2. Lets say there are 60 bites on it. The goal was to zone it into an adventure of identifiable tastes. More than 4 flavors per bite would ruin the experience.

With 35 different ingredients..., at least 1 slice of olive (or it isn't a pizza) oregano, thyme, basil, onion, garlic, slices of red pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper.... you just have to many combinations to put everything on it.

Each pizza will have to be a sub set.

I know it instinctively feels weird and disgusting to put a slices of carrot on the pizza but in practice it really takes the journey of flavors some place else. You wouldn't want 3 bites of it but the single bite really creates an additional moment of "oh?" (hilarious note: guests feel the need to tell me the pizza is delicious roughly every 3rd bite)

I just buy different boxes of frozen vegetables but you could cook or bake and/or freeze your own.

We (there is a "we" now) (bake if needed then) sparsely spread the sub-selection of meat and/or fish over their own region. Take a hand full of vegetables mix and place each chunk strategically. Put a lot of thought into the adventure and improve it every time. Take the minimum amount of each cheese you've picked and spread it into similar regions as the meat so that they overlap.

Really put a lot of thought into it. It helps if you look at an ingredient and ask yourself what kind of meals are prepared with it. Then you take the [for example] chunk of cauliflower, put 2 cubes of potato next to it and some Gouda on top.

The end result should be a slab of flour with vegetables on it, good spices and as little meat, fish and cheese as possible. Not because meat, fish or cheese are not wonderful but because they get in the way of the vegetable flavors.

Being cheep as fuck is just a side effect.

The only down side is that you have to keep making pizza 2 or 3 times per day week after week after week. It never gets boring tho.

Final note: Keep as much stuff frozen as you can or your adventure ends up chasing expiration dates.


Very cool approach. Using combinatorics to create a recipe space is kinda inside out from how people conventionally approach cooking, but it makes sense that it is actually a far a more frugal way to prepare food assuming you can actually come up with a suitable space that yields tasty outcomes.

When cooking for others you have to learn which things to avoid and what they like. For people who like spicy food I zone the pizza in regions of sliced red pepper, cayenne pepper, black pepper, white pepper, wasabi and sambal. One said it was the most interesting meal he ever ate.

What are the various dimensions that you categorize flavors into? You just named spicy as one. What would the others be? I remember looking at a list[1] a while back and feeling a little underwhelmed by the dimensions used for categorization, although I did think it was a good start. Perhaps it's intrinsically hard because of how things overlap.

For what it's worth they're the following: bitter, cooling, earthy, floral, fruity, herbaceous, hot, nutty, piney, pungent, sour, spicy, sulfury, sweet and woody.

[1] https://www.spicesinc.com/p-3743-flavor-characteristics-of-s...


I don't really know a lot of spices. For a while I put a lot of spices on everything then got bored with all of them. If something needs it I buy a premixed package in stead of the laundry list of separate things.

Now I just go by what a person likes and doesn't. Those often end up rather similar to others.

"will eat anything" is a fun category. These are people you can serve blue cheese, olives, liver, tongue, slugs, insects, brains, placenta (I'm joking)

Interesting article, thanks.


Yeah my cousin has been dong this for years. He started as a way to feed homeless people at scale but downsized the pizzas and started doing it at home too.

Right, I can imagine one would come to something similar in that settings. It was much less noble but a lot more funny getting there from the other end. The mileage you get out of a single carrot using 1 slice every other day. 1 cm from a 4 euro 40 cm salami sausage is 10 cents. I use it ideally on 1/3 of the pizzas. Its not enough to finish it before it expires.

We don't have that many homeless people in the Netherlands but I've been pondering a business plan for a free or crazy cheap restaurant. There are lots of weird legal constructs if people are not buying food. It is the moment you start selling a product it becomes a business.


What is the feasibility of the postal service delivering non-perishable food to every residential mailbox? I just received a census form in the mail, why not dried beans?

Similar things have been suggested before as a replacement for SNAP but there are so many edge cases where the household receiving the food has some type of dietary restriction that it becomes difficult to administer. It's easier to give people money (in the form of food stamps) and let them decide for themselves what to buy that best fits their dietary needs. Seeing that soft drinks are the number one item purchased with SNAP benefits, we know many miss the mark but it's still a simpler system that allows more money to go to food instead of paper pushing.

you have just witnessed the fed govs priorities. they could have sent literature or items that would inform you and make things easier.

Great list for the minority of people out there who have lactase persistence.

Been eating cheap from before the COVID-9 pandemic. Here I will contribute two recipes:

(1) Pizza.

This pizza is good on cost and preparation time, okay to good on nutrition (I'm thinking mostly of calories), and, IMHO, flavor.

Can make a pizza for one for about 9 cents of flour and the whole pizza for 40 cents.

For the dough for 8 such pizzas, I use 650 milliliters of water, 1 kilogram of flour, 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast, and 1 tablespoon of salt.

For one pizza, I form the dough into a flat circle about 8" in diameter, pre-cook in a microwave for 2 minutes, add tomato sauce, Mozzarella cheese, and sliced pepperoni, place on a cast iron frying pan, add a cover, and cook at 1/3 power on a common, large electric stove-top burner for 14 minutes, slice, add 2 tablespoons of grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

More details at

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20666008

and the responses there maybe from some people who assumed I was claiming to do better than their favorite pizzeria.

Also more details at

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18851878

with a cost analysis indicating that one pizza costs 39.203 cents.

(2) Pork BBQ

At Sam's Club I got two fresh pork "Boston Butt" (shoulder) pieces.

One at a time, I put them on a wire roasting rack in a big 'granite' covered roasting pan, placed in an oven at 221 F. About 10 hours later a fast reading meat thermometer reported that the internal meat temperature was 195 F (I was shooting for only about 185 F), and I declared the meat done.

Meat was soft and juicy. There was a lot of liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan.

I used a slotted kitchen spoon to scoop the (soft) meat from the wire rack and roasting pan into a clean plastic dishpan. From there I moved batches one at a time to a cutting board.

There was a small, thin, clean, dry shoulder bone; discarded that.

On the cutting board, I included and mixed in the fat still with the meat.

With a chef's knife with a 12" blade, made parallel cuts about 1" apart and then at 90 degrees again. I grew up in Memphis and there the BBQ sandwiches were from picnic pork shoulder BBQ chopped essentially as I did it here.

From the two pieces, scooped into a total of 6 covered plastic containers, each with 2 quarts of volume. Put 5 of those in the freezer and the 6th in the main part of the refrigerator.

Data:

     Raw Weights:

          9.69 pounds

          10.14 pounds

     Costs:

          $11.41

          $11.97

     Cooked weights:

          2,466 grams

          2,810 grams

     Yields:

          100 * ( 2,466 /
          28.3495 ) / (
          9.69 * 16 ) =
          56.105%

          100 * ( 2,810 /
          28.3495 ) / (
          10.14 * 16 ) =
          61.095%

     Total cost per pound
     of cooked BBQ:

          ( 11.41 + 11.97 )
          / ( ( 2,466 +
          2,810 ) / (
          28.3495 * 16 ) )
          = $2.010

     Total cost per ounce
     of cooked BBQ:

          ( 11.41 + 11.97 )
          / ( ( 2,466 +
          2,810 ) / (
          28.3495 ) ) =
          $0.125,627
One sandwich can do well with 2 2/3 ounces of the BBQ or costs

     ( 2 + 2/3 ) *
     0.125,627 = $0.335
or 33.5 cents for the BBQ pork.

Add a bun, some BBQ sauce, some hot BBQ sauce, and some homemade coleslaw (shredded green cabbage and bottled Ranch dressing), and have a good soft, moist, chopped, BBQ pork sandwich.

So the effort put

     ( 2,466 + 2,810 ) / (
     28.3495 * 16 ) =
     11.632
pounds of cooked, ready to eat, soft, moist, chopped pork BBQ.

Let's see: At 2 2/3 ounces per sandwich, what I put in the refrigerator in the six containers is good for

     ( ( 2,466 + 2,810 ) /
     ( 28.3495 ) ) / ( 2 +
     2/3 ) = 69
sandwiches!

Wished there were pictures of final results.

Chicken franks, rice, and mustard.

It's sad that people in the USA have to think about how to live on 1.50 USD per meal. You guys should vote for a more socialist government next elections.

I hope this serves as a wake-up call for a lot more people to spend a modest amount of their income saving for a rainy day when this is all over. And not just in terms of cash, but in terms of enough staples and essentials for a few weeks of weeks of interrupted supply chains, a go-bag in case your residence needs to be evacuated suddenly, the ability to teach your own kids stuff. These sound paranoid to some. It's a burden for others. But look where we are right now. And as possible apocalyptic events go, this is minor.

The desperation and helplessness I hear from people after literally days of being affected by other people's panic and by public health orders is completely avoidable. It doesn't matter where you live, natural disasters, pandemics, job loss, closures of basic services and other not-THAT-impossible events are a thing. It doesn't even have to be real. If a handful of people THINK there will be a TP shortage, there will be. Things like hygiene supplies, rice, etc. won't go to waste if the world doesn't end. You'll use them eventually. Just buffer a little.

Be prepared.


This is good advice for people who make a living wage. But for many people, an emergency fund is a luxury. I remember not too long ago when I had to decide between paying utilities and buying food. Every single month. Saving just wasn't an option. Many of my friends and family are still in this position, and they've all lost their jobs simultaneously.

I'm not surprised that people are scared right now, because they're used to the anxiety of being one paycheck away from homeless for their entire lives. And now they don't have a paycheck.


You're literally commenting on an article called "Eat for $1.50 per day". If you can't, over years of plenty, build up a few weeks reserve then we're having a different discussion because a mere broken bone or car battery failure will then wipe out your independence. And yes there are people in that situation. But most people are a little beyond that. And even those WAY beyond that are helpless and dependent on rushed government solutions and the preparedness of others right now.

I agree with this. For most of my adult life, I lived paycheck to paycheck. And when I look back on my earlier years, I didn't have to. There were opportunities to start building up a reserve, and I failed to recognize them or take them. And when the previous recession hit, I learned the hard way fast that having no reserve can quickly lead to bad times.

In addition to your point, I'd dare say that one has a duty to his fellows to build up a small reserve during times of plenty, not just of monies, but basic living supplies, like food, water, hygiene products. When one has just a bit more security of his own, he's better able to help others. One's less likely to panic buy and contribute to a shortage. It's easier to remain calm when others are freaking out. The reduced stress makes it easier to not get sick(er) and remain as able-bodied as one is normally. And that's the kind of person I'd want as a neighbor or part of my community in a crisis.


You might want to check official govnt stats on this. A surprising number of american households are not a little beyond that, they are exactly there, where a $400 expense would put them over the edge. Or, in this case, $400 in lost income.

Looking at the person you are replying to, who for many months had to choose between utility bill or food, please show a little compassion for how difficult saving can be when you have an unstable income (i.e. you are a shift worker at any of the many US companies that uses shift workers and computer algos to only schedule people for when there is workplace demand).


It sounds like you're making my point. A $400 expense will put them over the edge. If they can find a way to eek out 1 extra can or box of shelf-stable food a week and put it aside. Within a year they can easily absorb having to go a couple of weeks with no trip to the grocery store because of that expense.

I have compassion on all the people who felt absolutely fucked this week because they had never done that.

Also I did this on minimum wage for 4 years. I'm not judging I'm giving advice. If you disagree, I an my supply of toilet paper, rice and pinto beans will keep on truckin'.


> You might want to check official govnt stats on this. A surprising number of american households are not a little beyond that, they are exactly there, where a $400 expense would put them over the edge. Or, in this case, $400 in lost income.

That just says people don't save any money, not that they can't save any money.

That's not to say that saving money isn't difficult for some people, but by itself that number doesn't prove your point.


There are many more people who can save but don’t than there are people who genuinely can’t save.

They have no bearing on those who can't. The people who can't still need food.

There are people who live in situations where they have no stove or no room in or access to a fridge. Historically many people got food from the market each day.

I am not saying your situation is like this, but I know many people that say "I dont make enough money to save" but then if you look at their daily life they eat out often, stop a Starbucks routinely, have the latest iPhone, have subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and a 100 Channel TV Line up, have massive credit card debit from buying things they did not need, etc etc etc

Again you may actually be in a bad spot financially and if you are I hope you get out of it soon, but I know many many many many people that simply can not budget properly, and even when they make more income their "needs" raise to consume that extra income about 2 seconds after they get the increase


There are shit loads more people in a position where they don't have the money. You probably just encounter more of the type who are frivolous because of where you live and who you interact with. Step outside your neighborhood, your county your state.

It is more my experience working with Housing Authorities in 5 different states, and the stories from front line Social Workers that see some of the abuses of these systems first hand

Do you feel that those anecdotes give you enough confidence to make broad statements like the below?

"if you look at their daily life they eat out often, stop a Starbucks routinely, have the latest iPhone, have subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and a 100 Channel TV Line up, have massive credit card debit from buying things they did not need, etc etc etc"

Show me your bootstraps folks I know you all got em. Put down your iphones and pull up your pants. Listen up I'm here to condescend.


[flagged]


Please don't post in the flamewar style to HN. Especially not now.

If you'd please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and stick to the rules when posting here, we'd be grateful.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

peteradio 7 days ago [flagged]

WTF are you even responding to? I'm responding to a person other than you first of all. State as in New Jersey or Ohio, not state of mind. Chill the fuck out. What is the intent of your messaging here?

I'm responding to your comment. Scroll up to see my initial interest in this thread. Yes, State as in New Jersey. As in, you're in the United States. Where there are far better WIC-like programs than many other countries. You are better off than people who are happier than you are. Poverty is relative. It sucks, but if you are eating when there's no pandemic, a very slight change over a long time will prepare you for pandemics, job loss, other such events. You will have more freedom, more well-being.

If you don't like that, great, be unprepared in the next pandemic if you insist, but I actually do a lot of work with and donate a huge amount of money to various shelters, kitchens, and other assistance programs. But every time I comment with actual common sense advice, there is always some comment like, "well ACKTUALLY... there's just people who make less money than you do now, so clearly you lack compassion and understanding".


WIC is all well and good but I want to know who in USDA was so petty as to keep cilantro off of it? I saw a mother at save a lot denied it once and it made no sense.

I'm responding to the dickhead making generalization about poor people buying tvs iphones and eating avocado toast or whatever politically motivated talking point they are clearly pushing. I'm definitely not responding/repudiating to your point.

Ok, but I've gotten out of my state and met with lots of people on assistance, and that is rampant in the US in a way that's almost unheard of in other countries I've worked in. I've seen people coast off the system, but they still generally live somewhat minimalist lives. Having new flat screens and game consoles, cases of Mountain Dew and a pantry full of nothing but prepackaged junk food when you can't make rent? I know how that sounds like a judgmental stereotype, but that seems like a uniquely American epidemic to me.

[flagged]


I think your point could be stated better but the sentiment behind is worth exploring. If the economy collapses there will certainly be an increase in misery, spousal and child abuse, suicides, and murders. This may be a time where hard choices need to be made. Maybe we really are confronted with a "lesser of two evils" type situation.

It's a false choice. Allowing a pandemic to run rampant would wreck the economy for a lot longer than an effective lockdown. Especially now that a lot of younger people are showing up in ICUs.

China is already done with the hard part. Lock down, get the virus under control, make a lot of test kits, and before long you can rely on mass screening, contract tracing, and targeted isolation, and get people back to work.


It may be a false choice now but it might not be a false one in the future. At any rate, it is worth exploring the idea and it’s an interesting question regarding the circumstances that must be present in order for it to longer be a false choice.

If hospitals are faced with a massive influx of people suffering from COVID-19 in ways that require hospitalization, what do you think happens to the rest of medical care?

If 20% of the population are simultaneously suffering from "a bad flu", what do you think happens to supply chains?


I think a lot of your downvoters will be reconsidering their positions after a few months of horrific economic effects. In my experience, people are much less altruistic when that altruism has a real, personal cost associated with it.

but at least we can keep as many elderly alive as possible

Your information is out of date.

Younger adults are large percentage of coronavirus hospitalizations in United States, according to new CDC data

White House officials warn millennials they are not immune

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/19/younger-adu...


> More than raw numbers, the percent of total cases gives a sense of the risk to different age groups. For instance, just 1.6% to 2.5% of 123 infected people 19 and under were admitted to hospitals; none needed intensive care and none has died… In contrast, no ICU admissions or deaths were reported among people younger than 20.

> In South Korea, for example, which had an early surge of cases, the death rate in Covid-19 patients ages 80 and over was 10.4%, compared to 5.35% in 70-somethings, 1.51% in patients 60 to 69, 0.37% in 50-somethings. Even lower rates were seen in younger people, dropping to zero in those 29 and younger.

"Immune" is not an accurate word but... "almost unaffected" is accurate. These are the most recent numbers. Warning millennials about risks is almost entirely to protect the old, not to protect themselves.

[source] https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/18/coronavirus-new-age-anal...


People keep pointing this out without addressing the compositional issue.

The % of people hospitalized within an age rage tells us nothing without the % of that age range infected.

To me, this statistic just means the young & old don't commingle much compared to Italy/China.


...or how to get fat and sick on 1.50 per day.

this comment is spot on. carbs are cheap, and shitty.

And, at least, better than starvation.

I don't get the downvotes since this is a concern to those wanting to maintain healthy diet, there are plenty of fat and protein rich non-perishables out there. Ever heard about canned sardines and other fish in extra virgin olive oil? Or pure protein powder? For fats, well why not having a bit of that olive oil? Mediterranean cuisine puts it literally everywhere. Cheap doesn't have to mean junk food automatically. One just has to have a bit of resilience when tastes become not so exciting.

I'd argue that canned fish and lots of fats makes the flavors more exciting. But there are plenty of people who find canned fish gross (the idea if nothing else.)

Eggs and milk are still perishables, especially if electricity is rationed.

It's a quarantine not an apocalypse.

Truth. But, people aren’t thinking clearly.

Two things could make this situation a lot worse.

1. A worker strike because of panic, or overwork, or opportunity, or inequality, or whatever. I hope everyone has realized the truck drivers and shelf stockers are way more important than Hollywood celebs. But I wouldn’t “rely” on shelves just being magically stocked as panic increases. There is unfortunately a smug level of “well of course they’re going to drive the trucks and stock the shelves! They need to because they’re poor, they wouldn’t do these jobs if they weren’t”, wether people have that as a conscious realization or not.

2. Terrorist attack (terries getting froggy). Obviously this is a bad time to try and blow up a car at Times Square, but, what do you think the reaction would be if 5 people across the country went and shot up three or four grocery stores each? It would be BAD with let’s say compared to 9/11 it would take extremely little effort.

All that’s needed to make this worse is more panic, and the media is trying their hardest on that.


>I hope everyone has realized the truck drivers and shelf stockers are way more important than Hollywood celebs

The issue with pay isn't just how important a job is. It also depends on how replaceable people are in a job,and how much skilled and educated you need to be in order to do that job. Pretty much anyone that isn't too old or disabled can stock shelves, including kids. Not everyone can entertain millions of people to a high degree, or be a doctor or lawyer.

A strike in this situation will probably result in automation being pushed harder, because there will be a sense of "these people will abandon their duties just when they're most needed". There is also a sense of duty that nurses and doctors have towards their professions. Plus there are hundreds of thousands who got laid off or got their hours cut, and those would gladly take any jobs of strikers right now.


Yea, for stocking shelves, sure.

But for truck drivers? No, I don’t think you are right. If you think trucking is a no skill no experience needed job with instantly replaceable workers, there isn’t much we’ll agree on.

I think the side you aren’t considering is forget “striking”, what happens if there is enough panic to make people not do the things they’re supposed to do? Or whatever reason that keeps people from keeping the gears moving. How long do you think it takes to run out of the “replaceable” people?


I agree 100%. Hurricane season will start before we're through this. You've still got tornadoes in the midwest. We could have major storms/flooding. All the normal disaster risks are still here.

im sure elevated wildfire risk hasnt gone away for good.

We're all gonna die!!!

upvote for terries getting froggy, is that from key and peele?

Merely coincidence I’m sure. To my original point, draxx them sklounst.

Maybe it’s just my area but I’m not seeing any rational panic buying anywhere.

My stores have PLENTY of non-perishable items, but you know what’s missing for me?

Russet potatoes, bottled water (which will last you like a week without a means to make more), frozen pizzas, bananas, bread, milk, eggs.

I don’t get it.


keep in mind X being missing from the shelves doesn't necessarily imply that X is being disproportionately purchased by customers. it can also imply that X is relatively harder to restock. the supply chain can maintain much deeper buffers of canned goods without risking spoilage.

the water is probably panic buying, but the other missing items in your list could just be the result of an above average number of shoppers buying a typical distribution of items. also, you don't consider frozen pizza a non-perishable?

the store I go to seems to have recovered from the initial shock. everything seems to be stocked except sanitizer, which is short everywhere. the only other thing empty is the fresh meat display, which I assume is one of the harder things to restock.


That sounds like pretty rational panic buying to me. We can be confident at this point that the pandemic isn't going to sever the food supply; the threat model is that you might get a fever, and have to stay at home for a week or two without being able to re-up on pizza and milk and eggs.

>the threat model is that you might get a fever, and have to stay at home for a week or two without being able to re-up on pizza and milk and eggs.

Also, not wanting to make unnecessary trips to the supermarket where you can potentially come in contact with infected people.


I think my point is, if that’s your panic buying, you’re going to have to do that every two weeks (minus the pizzas).

Plenty of milk, eggs, water here. Oddly enough, bananas, bread and chicken are what disappeared. I went this morning though and chicken, fruit, bread, etc.. is fully stocked again. Just missing paper and cleaning products.

My goto 'cheap' meal is bacon, eggs, sautéed tomatoes/mushrooms. It's more than $1.50/day, but has good nutrition and tastes good. Potatoes have also not been an issue here. So another feed the family, reasonable meal is pot roast.


You know the annoying thing about potatoes here? It’s ONLY russets. Yellow, red, and whatever the black ones are called, all day long. It’s like people know something about Yukon/russets that I don’t.

I think sweet potatoes (more nutritious) are even on sale.


hahaha, you noticed?

they are more expensive. that's all. same thing is happening where i live, all other potatoes are disappearing but them russets are just staying there. but our store restocks potatoes in the morning.

pasta, noodles, tomato cans, and rice are not being restocked though.


you should try stocking potted garden veggies perhaps even growing them on in the produce section if they stay on shelf that long.

you know the cool thing about potatoes? the parts [eyes, sprouts] that we dont eat can be used to grow more potatoes

If your emergency plan is; “ima let these sprout and grow more potatoes”... but you aren’t hoarding oils, yeast, flour, beans and rice, cans of meat... well, that’s an interesting plan :)

my plan also includes the not-potatoes.

thing is where i am we do these things as a matter of course,

at any time we could have supply failure ,major earthquake major fires or a really bad winter.


you have glanced off a big point.

Water takes space and needs maintenence to keep in large quantity

its better to be able to generate clean water than try to keep large quanta of water clean


Definitely.

Propane to boil takes up a lot less space than water itself. Sawyer filters cost less than a couple days of water. Etc

If I was in a city I might understand collection of a water is the issue, where I am and seeing bottled water disappear we have no shortage of non-potable water.


Eggs don't need to be refrigerated. And they'll last a month or more after being laid.

Depends where you are. In some places (us) you have to refrigerate them in others (eu) you don't.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/should-you-refrigerate-...


reality prevails here CYA regulations are not something to cling to for a little while

The article explains - in the US, the eggs are washed, which removes a protective layer from the eggs. They are therefore less safe when kept at room temperature than in other countries.

yes and washing like that is not nessecary and removes a protective layer of albumen. regulations that are about promoting quick consumption are out of place in this situation, so in US unless you produce your own eggs, parboiling/blanching, and oiling will keep it good.

In the US that's debatable. We wash our eggs before selling, but I guess we also wash off the bacteria in the process? I've personally kept eggs on the counter for weeks and not gotten sick, but the taste might have been a little off.

the biggest issue is fresh eggs that have chicken guano on them. the bacteria can move through the pores of the shell and produce toxins in the egg, the egg itself has enzymes [lysozymes] that attack bacteria, but not perfectly

I see the logic there, but since whole EU and much more (ie Switzerland) works on purely non-washed non-refrigerated eggs, and nobody bats an eye, I think this concern is overblown. I mean we talk about trillions of eggs over the time. You should rather worry about toxic chemicals present (hopefully only) in non-BIO eggs, those are rather guaranteed

the whole point is clean your eggs but dont wash them down unless you want to go the whole nine yards and seal them up again. they may taste funny but eggs canbe cracked into a bakeing pan and freeze dried or airdried for shelvage. i do this all the time and keep egg powder in jars and cans.

eggs can be par boiled , sanitizing the shell but not cooking the egg, serious hikers do this to extend packlife.

eggs can be OILed to inhibit contamination through the pourous shell [naval eggs]


_if_ the eggs are not washed, unfortunately all the eggs that's sold in the market is fully washed before packaging and has shorter shelf life.

Powdered or canned milk should be fine.

Eggs are an issue.


you can make powdered eggs if you want spend the effort, eggs have a lot of water in them so a little egg powder goes a long way

Eggs are only a problem in the US. In Europe they aren't cooled as they weren't washed after collecting.

Eggs aren't refrigerated in supermarkets, but even unwashed eggs keep better if refrigerated, so most people refrigerate them at home. Supermarkets have enough turnover that it's not worth the cost.

Eggs can also be frozen if you remove the shells.


I've never been to a supermarket where the eggs weren't refrigerated. They're usually right next to the milk.

In Europe? I (european) have never been to a supermarket where the eggs were refregirated

Norway, and none of the supermarkets or similar shops here have unrefrigerated eggs. Then again, our egg manufacturers have also paid for ads saying their eggs last a lot longer than expiration date they're mandated by EU to put on the boxes.

in europe and a lot of the rest of the world they are not refrigerated

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