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Adapting Our Shopping Habits to COVID-19

Creating a healthy shopping routine is tough enough when you’re working to balance nutrition, convenience, value, and flavor, but now that we’re adding the safety for ourselves and our communities to the equation, it feels near impossible. As a group who loves real food and sharing home-cooked meals, everyone at Square Roots is adapting quickly to the new reality.

We polled the team on their newfound shopping habits to find out how they’re balancing their love of food and community with safety. Here’s what they had to say:

“I have been trying to purchase more at a time to limit trips to the store. I have also been doing a lot of soups because you can use all the odds and ends you have at home. I even started saving my veggie scraps (including basil stems of course) to make my own stock!”
- Michelle Walters, Learning & Development Manager

“We recently ordered bulk groceries from Baldor—the food distribution company in NYC that typically sells to grocery stores and restaurants. Given how many restaurants are closed, their pivot to home delivery is super helpful for us and for them. They source a ton of items from farms in a 250 mile radius, so we're helping keep those smaller farms going as well. They're even offering CSA boxes from a few farms!

“We're supplementing with smaller items from a local store on occasion to keep stocked and also trying to order take out once a week to help keep the restaurants that are still open in business when we can.”
- Steph Miller, People Engagement Specialist

“We have created an ongoing list of things that we are out of or almost out of and only go to the store when we are almost out of everything. This time has encouraged me to be more creative with meals and find what ingredients can be substitutes for one another. Sometimes we also order food in from our local restaurants and in this way support them through this hard time.”
- Alyssa Patton, Next-Gen Farmer, Grand Rapids

“While making deliveries last week, I made the most of my time in stores by picking up groceries for myself and my neighbors on my way out.”
- Kris Liakos, Sales & Logistics Manager, Brooklyn

“I keep a running tab of things that I run out of and only go to the store (about every 1.5 weeks) when I have a long list, Meanwhile, I’m continuing to buy fresh fruit and veggies from the farmers market on Saturdays to support local farms. The farmers market is way less crowded than grocery stores, and you don't have to touch anything. The vendors put everything in your bag and wear gloves.
When I get home, I prep fresh produce to extend shelf-life, and I’m growing mushrooms from Smallhold! I’m also allowing myself to indulge in treats. :)”
- Michelle Wong, Sales & Marketing Manager

“I've been going to the store once every two weeks for the whole family, but I’m extending that to at least a month. I've also leveraged my venison supply, my parents' chickens for eggs, and have been growing a lot of microgreens.”
- Matt Gellert, Biosystems Engineer

“I use all of my leftovers for lunch and snacks. I definitely eat anything and everything but growing mushrooms helps too. When you cook them just right it gives the same searing smell as meat.”
- Josh Chilcote, Facilities Manager, Grand Rapids

We’d love to hear how you’re adapting your shopping and cooking habits to meet your and your family's needs. Show us what you’re cooking by tagging us @squarerootsgrow, and keep enjoying real food!