How Padma Lakshmi is stocking her pantry during the coronavirus outbreak

We are living in uncertain times, and it can be easy to let our anxiety and fears get the best of us. When it comes to stocking up on supplies, many are unsure of what measures to take to feel safe and prepared for the worst-case scenario. While the impulse to run to the grocery store and buy as much as our homes can possibly hold is powerful, ProPublica strongly cautions against this. They claim that waiting in the long lines and crowded stores is adding an unnecessary risk of exposure to yourself (or to others if you are an asymptomatic carrier), especially if you already have the supplies you need.

Celebrity food expert and television host Padma Lakshmi is here to help you navigate the confusing and ever-changing situation by sharing her possible quarantine pantry essentials. Lakshmi uploaded an Instagram video on March 14, which the expert then captioned, "You don't need to [be] hoarding 30 boxes of macaroni, just remember that we're all in this together. #coronavirus #quarantine #helpeachother"

Don't panic! Padma Lakshmi is here to help.

In her video, Lakshmi jokes about her priorities, saying, "I need ginger! Everybody is like purell, alcohol, vitamins! I need ginger." She recommends stocking up on frozen vegetables if they're available, which can have as much nutrition as fresh vegetables if they are flash-frozen when picked. 

Lakshmi also suggests cooking and freezing meals like stews in individual portions and stocking up on dry goods such as beans, lentils, quinoa, and orzo. These are shelf-stable sources of protein, which are cheaper than alternative protein sources like meat. Saving money is very important right now, with so many temporarily out of work due to the outbreak. CNBC reports that in China, where the pandemic was strongest in January and February of 2020, around 5 million people lost their jobs. This represents a 1.5 to 2.5 percent increase in unemployment over 2 months, which had hovered steadily between 4 to 5 percent over the past 20 years. 

Lakshmi emphasizes the need for items that will last a while if you do not need to use them, suggesting you also buy canned tomatoes and canned tuna. She stresses at the end to remain calm, stating, "It is a very serious thing that is happening to all of us." She is also worrying about her friends and loved ones near and far. She reminds fans, "It is important just to help our neighbor, and it is important to get what you need, but also remember your humanity. We are all in this together."