NewsCoronavirus

Actions

University of Michigan professor: Grocery stores not equipped to keep up with level of demand

How to keep groceries safe in a hot car
Posted at 9:21 AM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 14:22:18-04

(WXYZ) — A University of Michigan sustainability expert discussed grocery shopping behavior during a pandemic.

Shelie Miller, a professer at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, says panic shopping increases the potential for household food waste, since large quantities of perishable items are likely to spoil.

Miller says there is no expectation that stores will run out of food or that grocery stores will close.

"It is important to only buy what you think your household will consume before it goes bad," Miller says.

As long as everyone only purchases what they can reasonably expect to eat, there will be less stress on grocery stores to meet demand, Miller says.

She explains that stores are running temporarily low on some items because they are not equipped to keep up with the current level of demand.

After the initial rounds of panic shopping, Miller says she expects the food system will be able to catch up.

Although online grocery shopping is a better option than going to the grocery store, Miller says most online systems are not currently designed for the demand volumes that are being experienced.

However, she says that as the current stress on the food system decreases, online grocery options will most likely become easier to schedule.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.

See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.