The Most Bizarre Foods People Are Hoarding During Coronavirus

COVID-19 is impacting individuals and families around the world. As the public braces for this novel coronavirus to hit communities, schools have closed; telework has become the new normal; once-busy restaurants have closed their dining rooms, and instead, are offering take-out and delivery options in hopes of "flattening the curve" to help slow and prevent the spread of this virus. Fear and anxiety have also led to what some have called panic-driven "pandemic pantry shopping."

In Auckland, New Zealand, supermarket spending shot up 40.2 percent due to fears of the coronavirus pandemic (via New Zealand Herald). These fears have spurred people to buy and hoard some of the most bizarre foods that, under normal circumstances, they would never buy. David Savage, associate professor of behavioral and microeconomics at the University of Newcastle in Australia told the BBC, "It is rational to prepare for something bad that looks like it is likely to occur. It is not rational to buy 500 cans of baked beans for what would likely be a two-week isolation period." So why do people do it? According to one expert, it is so they feel in control of an uncontrollable situation.

Who needs 32 packets of yeast?

Delish recently asked its Instagram followers to share their weirdest panic purchases and some of their responses may help you feel a little better about your own. One woman humorously made fun of her father after a run to Costco: "Was at Costco with my father. He went one way. I went one way ... 45 minutes later, this man meets back up with me with a case of SpamThen he goes on to tell me he hasn't had Spam in over 34 (years) since before I was born, when he came to America. But he bought it because, 'Hell, we might as well get some now, because everything else is running low. And at least I remember what it tastes like!'"

One Delish follower confessed, "I bought 32 packets of yeast and don't know how to bake bread." Another said they were preparing against a condiment coup, saying, "8 massive bottles of ketchup. I can't go through the apocalypse with 3 kids and not have ketchup. They'll kill me." Panic-buying is even prompting shoppers to buy food they don't like. One woman said she bought quinoa, which isn't bizarre at all, expect for the fact that she admitted, "I don't even like quinoa." 

A freezer full of ice cream isn't the worst thing in the world

Even celebrities took to social media to make fun of panic purchases. Iggy Azalea roasted her mom on Twitter, saying, "I will not stop trying to get my mother to admit panic buying is stupid UNLESS she eats all her canned fish and uses alllllllll her toilet tissue."

Twitter user @fartmagnets tweeted, "I bought three 2 pound bags of Brazil nuts because they are rich in selenium which research suggests prevents infection from viruses. Thing is you can only eat up to four a day before it rises to toxic levels so yeah a bit much."

Of all the panic purchases, though, @margaretfiles may have had the right idea about what to hoard. She tweeted that she bought "every pint of ice cream I touched because I felt guilty touching things and putting them back."