Business & Finance / Going Green

How The Coronavirus Is Exposing Our Over-Reliance On Supermarkets

empty supermarket shelves, coronavirus

The Coronavirus has swept the world by storm and with that, it has become clear how something like this can fracture our systems and way of life. Consequently, this global pandemic has cemented the fact that we must all start relying less on our supermarkets. In this article, I want to talk about how the Coronavirus is exposing our over-reliance on supermarkets.


We rely on our supermarkets too much


It’s impossible to go to a supermarket anywhere in Australia at the moment and see fully stocked shelves. In this article, I really want to talk about how we can all learn from this and become more resilient so if something like this happens again in the future we won’t all be struggling to provide the basics for ourselves and our families. It is clear to see how much we all rely on our supermarkets. We buy all the essentials from our supermarkets and now they are finding it hard to stock the things we need and we are starting to see panic and stress among shoppers.

The effects of this virus are not just being felt here in Australia but in many parts of the world. The tips listed below, therefore, can be applied no matter where you are in the world.


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Food supply chains have been hit hard


COVID19 is the icing on the cake on what was a horrible summer here in Australia. Severe drought, devastating fires and even flash flooding hit many parts of Australia and we are still recovering from that. Now COVID19 has hit and is also having an impact on our food supply chain.

Prices for fresh produce have already increased due to a combination of short supplies and high demand. It’s also likely prices will only increase further. Our supermarkets have had higher than usual activity. Many shoppers have been stocking up on canned foods and long-lasting staples like flour, rice and pasta leaving our supermarket shelves bare. Due to lower than normal supplies, Coles and Woolworths have changed their opening and closing times and have placed limits on the amounts you can purchase of certain products.




Below are some small solutions that you may want to try. Note, not all of these solutions are possible for everyone however if we all adopted just one we can become better prepared for something similar like this in the future.


  • Grow Food


This is a great time to start learning how to grow a range of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Even in small apartments, you can grow food. There is no need to grow absolutely everything, but even a small amount helps you to rely less on the major supermarkets. Vegetables such as tomatoes and herbs including basil can be grown in indoor pots. If you’re interested in buying seed packets to start your own home gardens, check out Biome’s range of heirloom fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers here.


  • Pickle and ferment food


If you start growing foods you can pickle or ferment any excess foods you have. Pickling and fermenting will allow you to extend the shelflife and create great, tasty foods. You may also want to create sauces, dips, jams and fruit juices. Check out this book Not Just Jam and learn how to create jams, preserves, sauces, pickles and relishes.

You might also want to check out the book Ferment by Holly Davis too. In this book, you will learn how to ferment and culture foods.



  • Bake bread


Bread is another staple item being cleared from our supermarkets very quickly. By baking your own bread at home you can stay away from the supermarket. If you can’t do this then support smaller, local, family-run bakeries.


  • Make pasta from scratch


Rather than buying pasta you can make your own at home. Invest in a good pasta making machine like this one and you can create lasagne sheets, fettucini, spaghetti and more. If you don’t have the time to create pasta from scratch you may want to consider another method of creating pasta. Start creating spaghetti-style noodles with vegetables like zucchini or carrot using a vegetable spiraliser tool like this one.



  • Raise hens


If you have enough space in your backyard then it might be a good time to invest in a few laying hens. Having hens will allow you to collect your own eggs. No more having to head to the shops to buy eggs.


Hygiene products


Normal everyday hygiene products have been the hardest to come by in the past few weeks. New stock is being snapped up immediately. We have come to expect our supermarkets to have all these products available for us at all times. The advice that has been given to us is to stop the spread of germs by cleaning and sanitising our hands and hard surfaces and to blow our noses into tissues. However, it has been extremely difficult for many, (myself included) to actually find tissues, soap and hand sanitisers in stock. Luckily, there are alternatives that you may want to try.




  • Create your own soaps


You may want to start creating your own hand and body soaps. Our favourite eco-friendly website Biome has a long list of DIY natural recipes that are great for the environment and will save you the hassle of trying to find these much-needed products at the lowly stocked supermarkets.



  • Create your own house cleaners


Creating your own everyday cleaners is as easy as combining vinegar, bi-carb soda, citrus peels, castile soap, cornflour and a few drops of essential oils. These cleaners are so easy to make and smell amazing. You can create your own cleaners for general-purpose, glass, mirror and window, stoves and sinks and even floor cleaners. Check out the recipes at Biome here.


  • Use handkerchiefs


Tissues and hand napkins are also extremely hard to come by at the moment. You may want to consider investing in some handkerchiefs. Handkerchiefs are reusable so are also really great for the environment. Just make sure they don’t come into contact with anyone else after you have used them. Just remember to wash your hands after each use. Check out these amazing handkerchiefs at Biome, they have an array of different patterns.


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About Author

Dan is an Australian landscape photographer, blogger, outdoor enthusiast and travel addict originally from South Western Sydney, now residing in Wollongong.