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At my neighborhood grocery store, only the most odious pastas remain. The sight of cleared-out stores, once teeming with customers, has become a familiar one as people around the United States respond to the intensifying COVID-19 crisis.
As stores restock, and nationwide social-distancing mandates continue, Americans will need to reconsider their approach to not just grocery shopping, but also food consumption altogether. Maximizing any one ingredient (or meal) is even more urgent now, when food suppliers are struggling to meet the sudden surge in demand, but it doesn’t have to be prohibitively hard, or even boring.
To get you started, my colleagues and I put together this guide to cooking smartly during a pandemic. Below, you’ll find a collection of tips sourced from our resident newsroom chefs, those Atlantic writers and editors who are as talented with a whisk as they are with a pen.
As the days of isolation and repetition drag on, it’s useful to remember that people have always adapted their eating habits to the times, however difficult. “No matter what’s been going on in the world, whether it’s another pandemic, which there has been, or a recession … people have always cooked through these times,” the cook Julia Turshen, author of Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers, told me.