Last Call: What pandemic impulse food purchase did you never use?

Illustration for article titled Last Call: What pandemic impulse food purchase did you never use?
Photo: MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images (Getty Images)

Remember the panic of the early pandemic? Remember how everyone was terrified to go outside and masks were passed around like contraband and it was impossible to get an Instacart slot less than two weeks in advance and grocery stores looked like old photos of communist Europe? Desperation led, in some cases, to unusual purchases.

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But look at how far we’ve come! Now we’re all showing off our post-vax selfies and bragging about how we’re no longer afraid of grocery shopping. And now it’s time to go through our cabinets and unload all the crap that we bought last year and never used.

My friend Kate Silver, for instance, rediscovered a can of Campbell’s Creamy Cauliflower Cooking Soup in her pantry. She shared the photo with the world on Instagram. “Canned cauliflower soup, which i have never bought before (but have made, and it’s great when not out of a can....)” It is now bound for her neighborhood Love Fridge.

When I shared this story on Takeout Slack this morning, staff writer Lillian Stone countered with her friend Patty who ordered 140 cans of beans and fruit last year (“lots of mandarin oranges”) and has eaten approximately 40. But Patty plans to continue chipping away at their stash. If the nuclear war or zombie attack ever comes, they’ll be in fantastic shape.

What did you buy during the early pandemic panic? And what do you plan to do with it?

Associate editor of The Takeout. Chicagoan. Owned by dog.

DISCUSSION

It is now bound for her neighborhood Love Fridge.”

Please do not use your local homeless/needy population as a garbage dump for your canned waste, muffin stumps, or other forms of refuse. If you want to do good at a food drive, donate stuff you actually buy for yourself on purpose on a regular basis.

Ahem. Anyway. During my four-month fight against the state unemployment office, I was living mainly on canned pasta and other “emergency rations”, including enough canned tuna that I finally just got through the last of it a couple of weeks ago. My food budget was down to three dollars a day before I finally won that fight with the state and got my complete unemployment from July through November in one lump sum (over six grand!) deposited into my account just as the rent I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to make was coming due.

If I never see a can of Chef Boyardee again, it’ll be too soon. I’m getting too fuckin’ old for “rations”.