Maureen Moroney – A Grocery List for the Apocalypse – Pandemic

 A Grocery List for the Apocalypse
by Maureen Moroney

Make it specific
and nutritious
and curbside-pick-up-able
and get a few fresh things
so you feel healthy and normal
but mostly shelf-stable things
so you can hunker down for a while.

Fresh greens (1 container/bunch) – arugula OR pea shoots OR baby bok choy OR snap peas OR chard
Apples (3) – Granny Smith OR Honeycrisp OR Jazz
Yellow onion (1)

Try to support local.
Accept substitutions.
Go for pickup at less busy times.

Mushrooms (1 pack) – the kind that guy sells at the farmer’s market
(any variety)
that probably won’t be held this spring

Ramen (2) – miso / kimchi
because comfort and flavor are paramount

Ground beef (1 lb)
Large vanilla yogurt

Wash your hands.
Wash your hands.
Wash your hands.
Smile, but maintain distance.
It’s OK to exhale.

Don’t deprive yourself — this is already a hard time. Be gentle.

Fresh bread – Baguette OR sourdough OR ciabatta
Cheese (1 block) – sharp/aged cheddar
Hummus (1 tub) – the good stuff with paprika on top
Frozen potstickers (1 bag) – chicken & veggie
Frozen sweet potato fries (1 bag)

Don’t splurge,
the future’s uncertain,
finances are precarious.
But support friends and neighbors,
they’re struggling too.

Delete the cheese.

Mourn the cheese.

Delete the bread. Get sliced whole wheat, the mass-produced kind, instead.

Mourn the bread.

Brown rice (1 bag/box)

Walk in the spring air, a few blocks,
passing families who wave from the porch.

Re-learn all the ways to use brown rice.
Pull all the spices out of your cabinet.
Pour sauce on it.
Mix sauteed vegetables into it.
Crack an egg.
Sweat the onion.
Stretch the ground beef.
Pull the forgotten chicken stock from the back corner of the pantry.
The can of roasted green chiles, too.
Don’t be stingy with the good flake salt.
Use milk and cinnamon and apples on the stove to make a sweet-rice breakfast.
Savor the texture.

Stand over the stove 3 times a day.
Find hope in simplicity.
Find sustenance in making.

Take inventory of what you have.
Find new ways to use it.


Maureen Moroney does research and extension at Iowa State University. She hopes you are all taking care of yourselves and looking out for each other.