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Surviving the ‘apocalypse’ as a picky eater

Madeline Fuerstenberg

More stories from Madeline Fuerstenberg

November 2, 2020

When Riverview Cafe doesn’t sound appealing, Midwest Meals prides itself on being a healthy alternative.

I am a very picky eater. It is a curse, really, and I don’t know what to do about it.

In the midst of all the coronavirus-related chaos we are currently enduring, this curse of mine is really beginning to rear its ugly head.

As Americans “panic shop” and prepare to bunker down in their homes, terrified soccer moms and the elderly are flooding the nation’s grocery stores in search of all non-perishable canned goods they can get their hands on.

But what about me — the picky eater with a very sad, limited diet? If I end up being confined to my apartment for who-knows-how-long, what can I buy that will last until the COVID-19 apocalypse ends — or at least until the panic shopping dies down?

Well, luckily for me, the main staples of my diet are noodles and frozen meals. 

My favorites:

  • Stouffer’s Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Stougger’s Fettucini Alfredo
  • Basically any sort of chicken strip or nugget by Banquet

To be very clear: I am aware that I eat like a child. I am ashamed of it, but I also don’t have the time or motivation to change.

These meals are ideal for the impending pandemic lockdowns we are sure to experience in the coming weeks. They don’t go bad, they’re quick and easy to make and you can buy them in bulk.

Pasta — the best friend of the picky eater — is another reliable lockdown meal. 

A few of my key recipes:

  • Elbow noodles, butter, melted colby jack cheese.
  • Spaghetti noodles, Rao’s marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese covering the top; bake in the oven at 350 degrees for half an hour if you’re feeling adventurous (not too adventurous, though) 

All of these options are cheap and simple. Plus, noodles can be boiled in large quantities for the sole purpose of saving leftovers. 

Having said all that, I feel it would be irresponsible of me not to stress the importance of eating healthy while under lockdown. They make frozen foods with vegetables, too. Try those if you’re opposed to obscene amounts of carbs. 

Stay away from non-frozen vegetables, though. Those don’t last very long. Also, most of them are disgusting.

In addition to meals, I recommend stocking up on lots of snacks for the apocalypse. Granola bars, protein bars and fruit snacks are a few examples of foods that don’t spoil quickly. 

A piece of advice, though: do not eat all your quarantine snacks on the first day. Been there, done that. 

If none of these options sound appealing, canned foods like soup are always valid options. I’m not a huge soup person, though. 

Hopefully, all this COVID-19 panic won’t last long. Maybe we won’t be forced into a statewide or nationwide lockdown. Maybe all this panic shopping is a premature overreaction. We will just have to wait and find out.

Even if — by some miracle — the world returns to normal within the next few days, I would still be happy to recommend all of these food options. 

I’m not proud of myself and my life will probably be short, but at least I will die happy.

Fuerstenberg can be reached at [email protected]