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Buying in Bulk is Not Just a Pandemic Thing (Neither Are These 5 Pantry Goods)

July 20, 2020

With the state of our country in a bit of a seesaw, it can be nice to focus on those things you can control. When news first began to erupt about Coronavirus back in March, it was frightening that many who are typically food secure suddenly found themselves wondering “am I really not in control of our food supply?”. This is a thought nobody should ever have to consider. Yes, we understand there are some deep-rooted issues with the nation and world’s food supply chains that branch in every which way on any given day (pandemic aside), and we wish as much as the next guy that those issues could be resolved some day. They won’t be fixed overnight but they will be fixed in a collection of tiny moments and decisions, such voting with your dollar for just and fair food systems that are not driven entirely by profit.

With the arrival of Coronavirus, the buzz of buying in bulk and meal prepping has grown louder and louder. Yet, this has always been a great way (if we’re talking about buying from the right source) to vote for that food system that we need. That the world needs! In fact, it’s been a great option for so long, we wrote about it back in 2017 in our blog, Why Buying Grass Fed Beef in Bulk Makes Sense. :-) We also wrote about a simple method of meal prepping that particularly utilizes proteins and makes home cooking a breeze but not boring. Our theme of the latter post was for back to school purposes but the main concept is ideal for any “frantic time”, which many can agree is alive and well at this very moment.

On the other hand, we understand many of our customers are from urban areas and potentially living in smaller residences, maybe apartments or condos, and it’s not always ideal to buy meat in bulk. For this reason, we have a two suggestions:

  1. Consider splitting a bulk order with family, a friend, or member of your community. Maybe you don’t have the space for a whole order but you could accommodate a half or quarter?
  2. Consider purchasing a compact freezer for additional space. You may be surprised with the options that are out there today. This is a great buying guide to check out if you’re starting from square one.

Once you’ve purchased your bulk meat, be it the Griller Box Bundle or maybe another Grass Fed Beef Bundle, it’s important to mix up your meals. Just because your ingredients are semi-consistent, doesn’t mean the dishes and the flavors have to be. Since you saved so much money on your bulk meat purchase, considering stocking your pantry with a few shelf stable ingredients that are perfect for reinventing a classic meal and boosting the flavor of your meat to the next level, like these:

Beans

We prefer cooking large batches of dried beans but a good canned brand will work just as well. These are great as a side, a supplement to your main ingredients, and also for sauces, dips, and soups. BONUS - they’re great for you!

Canned Vegetables

We obviously encourage going with fresh produce whenever you can but, similar to the beans, it’s always good to have quick options on hand and canned vegetables are especially great for making quick sauces, dips, or soups, which are all incredible options for pairing with your main meat course and giving it a new life.

Coconut Milk and/or Coconut Milk Powder

Again, when you don’t have fresh raw milk from Dutch Meadows on hand, or if you’re looking for a different kind of flavor profile, Coconut Milk or the equally shelf stable powder form are excellent additions to many recipes. They make incredible sauces as well, especially in ethnic dishes, and we’ve even used them in the crockpot to slow cook meat while keeping it moist.

Vinegars & Oils

The list of vinegars and oils is really pretty endless, not to mention the many brands and different parts of the world they can originate from. Similar to the aforementioned ingredients, these are excellent for making sauces but they are also key when it comes to marinating meats, which is a fun and flexible way to change up your meals. Also, let’s include honey and maple syrup in this lineup - both fairly shelf stable and, when sourced responsibly, make for excellent additions to many meals.

Spices

These options are even more endless than the vinegars and oils and, again, allow us to explore flavors of the world with a simple pinch and sprinkle. Pretty cool, right? Here are a few of our favorites and must-haves:

  1. Quality sea salt or other quality coarse/finishing salt
  2. Peppercorns (and a peppercorn grinder of course)
  3. Crushed red pepper
  4. Fennel seeds
  5. Mustard seeds
  6. Garlic powder
  7. Dried oregano
  8. Turmeric
  9. Chile powder
  10. Cumin
  11. Sugar
  12. Paprika

There you have it. Now time to get that fridge, freezer and pantry stocked and support a better food system in the process!

Dave Stoltzfus

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