Culinary Confessions

The Most-Hoarded Foods of The 2020 Quarantine

May 16, 2020 by Somebody

When the initial panic of the coronavirus swept the nation in March, toilet paper and meat instantly vanished from grocery stores. After that, many citizens saw the wisdom of hoarding every food item they could think of. But how many of these items were actually nutritional necessities and how many were unhealthy snacks to be consumed while binge-watching every TV show and movie ever made? The answer probably won't surprise you. Here is a list of the top hoarded items, as reported by the Food Surveillance Division of the US Department of Health and Human Services:

Chicken Tenders - America loves these battered edibles more than life itself. An important dietary staple, they keep the kids chewing during the shutdown instead of screaming. Just add ketchup and a side of canned veggies for an instant meal. The frozen ones aren't as good as the fast food kind but they'll do, might as well grab a few bags of them at the grocery store before the panic buyers hoard them all.

Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies - Little Debbie might have easily taken the top spot on this list if the sales of all the company's products were combined, but for the sake of fairness we're limiting them to one. Cosmic Brownies are like Little Debbie's classic brownies, featuring the same dense, pasty texture and quasi-chocolate frosting, but with the addition of colorful M&M-like candies on top. They are pure guilt food, the kind of thing you purchase shamefully and consume all in one sitting while you watch late night cable TV in your recliner chair. Beware of Debbie's charms, she'll show you a good time and then break your heart.

Cosmic brownies with rainbow sparkly background

Cosmic Brownies are a must-have.

Beef Jerky - Every survival stash needs plenty of this. A man's got to have his emergency protein source. Don't worry about the preservatives, they'll put hair on your chest. If you run out of jerky during quarantine you can always make your own from road kill if necessary. With summer rapidly approaching, this requires little work. Just let the unfortunate critter cook on the hot pavement for a few days and you're ready to go.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts - The pandemic has not effected this franchise in the slightest. There are lines of cars in their drive-thrus at all hours of the night and day in spite of shelter-in-place orders. There's something irresistible about these soft pastries with the sweet sugary glaze, you can almost feel your teeth rotting out as you eat them. Krispy Kreme shops continue to be a favorite hangout of policemen across the US, who now convene in the parking lots instead of going inside, leaving space between their parked vehicles in accordance with social distancing guidelines. These doughnuts are considered a biological necessity by the officers. Eating mass quantities of them (Dunkins aren't potent enough) give the policemen the energy boost they need to patrol the streets for unauthorized social gatherings.

Dried Beans - These are another popular end-of-the-world prepper item because of their high protein content and long shelf life, and can be incorporated into an endless variety of dishes. After preparing beans for your quarantined family's consumption, make sure to adequately ventilate your home by opening windows. There are certain methane gas emissions associated with eating legumes which can pose challenges to your domestic tranquility. On the upside, climate change deniers worried about unintentionally reducing greenhouse gases can rest easy if they are forced by circumstances to eat a bean-based meal.

Ice Cream - Nancy Pelosi's recent video unveiling her high-dollar ice cream stash only underscores the universal appeal of this frozen dessert. When I was a kid in the 70s, there were only three flavors of ice cream: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. For the truly adventurous, there was also Neapolitan, which combined the Three Flavors in segregated rows in the container. Thanks to innovators like Ben and Jerry's , today's ice cream varieties are almost endless. Loaded with bits of candy, cookies, and sugary swirl, the once dignified dessert is now a gateway to all-out debauchery, providing thrills and diabetes by the spoonful.

Ground Beef - It's no surprise that this versatile protein is high on the list. It can be used in probably a million dishes in addition to the familiar hamburger. Beef can be a healthy addition to your diet, but excessive consumption will give you the physique of a bowling ball. After the meat departments of grocery stores were wiped out during the quarantine, backyard grill-outs became a common sight across America. Nothing like a charcoal-grilled slab of red meat topped with fatty cheese and sandwiched between two high-carb buns. You've got this survival thing figured out!

Doritos - Invented in 1966, this crunchy chip has spawned endless varieties in recent decades. One time when I purchased a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos with some bean dip at the grocery store, the checkout clerk asked me incredulously, "Are you going to eat these two together?" I just looked her in the eye and said, "You better believe it." It's a great combination, but these days I lean more toward the Spicy Nacho flavor. My aging taste buds need a little extra zing to wake them up. Also contributing to the Doritos brand's longevity is monosodium glutamate (MSG), the food additive that makes your brain want to keep eating forever, which is why it's so hard enjoy these little delicacies in moderation. Just remember while you're on your way to the bottom of the bag that MSG is has been linked to things like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Pop Tarts - Containing approximately 40 ingredients, this timeless Franken-pastry is a marvel of science and proves the old saying, "Nothing that tastes good is healthy." While the joys of Pop Tart consumption are beyond question, psychologists suggest the motive for hoarding them in mass quantities may also relate to increased depression due to pandemic fears and economic uncertainty. Let's put it this way: if you want to commit suicide by eating, limit your diet to two boxes of Pop Tarts a day with a large side order of bacon, washed down with a two liter Mountain Dew. Your teeth will be the first to go, followed by the painfully slow breakdown of all your bodily systems. (Please don't actually try this, we need you to stick around and commiserate with the rest of us.)

Bacon - Coming in at number one is the crystal meth of guilty pleasure foods. Bacon is loaded with fat, salt, and preservatives and Americans can't get enough of it. Want it covered in chocolate? Go right ahead. Want to put it in your wedding cake? Mmm-mmm! There is literally no limit to the weird ways people will use bacon in cooking these days, as this website illustrates. Even the chefs on the highbrow cooking shows add it to everything. Is the craze some kind of vendetta against pigs or a manifestation of a collective death wish? Hard to say, but I will continue to limit my consumption to the occasional bacon cheeseburger.

"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...