May 5, 2020 Moonshine Minutes
Part 1 (Hoeft)
Good morning, and welcome to Moonshine Minutes. It’s a hopeful week as we look forward to a phased reopening and wonder if spring may bring positive changes to the restrictions we’ve seen due to the crowned virus. I’m Alex Hoeft, news reporter for Moonshine Ink.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s noon address yesterday announced the state’s movement into stage 2 of the modified “stay-at-home” order this Friday, May 8. Stage 2 will allow lower-risk businesses to reopen with modifications in place to prevent the potential transmission of the novel coronavirus as much as possible.
Nevada County health officer, Dr. Ken Cutler, said in a press release, “For local businesses, stage 2 may look like meeting state requirements and creating a physical distancing plan before opening. Because of our community commitment to following the stay-at-home orders, health impacts have been limited and we are prepared to move into this next stage.”
This summer’s Fourth of July celebrations have been canceled, per Truckee and North Lake Tahoe regional officials. This includes the fireworks shows in Donner Lake, Truckee, and the North Shore; the Fourth of July parade; and Concerts at Commons Beach in Tahoe City through the Fourth.
Some events later in the summer, however, are still being planned for as of now.
A new COVID-19 testing site is now open in Kings Beach at the North Tahoe Event Center. To see if you’re eligible for testing, call 1-888-634-1123 or visit lhi.care/covidtesting. Placer County officials say this location will be able to offer up to 132 tests a day.
And in Reno, the Saint Mary’s Urgent Care Clinic at 6255 Sharlands Avenue has its own new drive-thru testing facility, able to offer 200 tests per day.
Many local businesses who are classified as nonessential and have dealt with no business as usual,have found ways to persist in all this uncertainty, like Tahoe City’s Art Haus, now sharing films digitally. Virtual cinema is a way to keep us connected through movies, and give you a way to support the Art Haus while they’re physically closed. It allows the independent theater to continue their mission of bringing thought-provoking films to the community. All movies and links can be found at tahoearthauscinema.com.
Or Tahoe Sports Hub, where each person who buys a gift card during the closure will be entered to win a pair of skis or a snowboard the day the store reopens. Their doors may be closed, but you can still reach the team by emailing TahoeSportsHub@gmail.com.
Messages like these are part of Moonshine’s community corkboard — a chance for you and yours to share uplifting messages. The corkboard isn’t just for businesses, but anyone wishing to spread some positivity. Remember those senior ads in your high school yearbook? This is Tahoe/Truckee’s opportunity to preserve the memories of a trying time that brought us together as a community while keeping us physically distanced. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part 2 (Loux)
Now, let’s talk about food waste. As we’ve all learned what “essential” truly means in a modern society, maximizing the potential and longevity of our sources of sustenance is crucial.
I’m Becca Loux, Moonshine editor and reporter.
In a piece titled, Waste Less, Save More found in Moonshine’s current stay-at-home print edition (still available in limited Moon Boxes at essentials locations), Truckee local Dana Gunders Rivero put together an excellent guide to maximizing your life-sustaining resources, in or out of quarantine. Rivero is a board member of Tahoe Food Hub and executive director of ReFED, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating solutions to food waste. She’s also author of The Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook and founder of Next Course, which develops strategies toward an efficient food future.
Rivero writes: “Wasting less food is one of those uniquely win-win efforts that helps both the environment and your wallet. The average family of four spends over $120 per month on food that never gets eaten, and wasting less food was ranked the number one climate solution out of 76 evaluated by Project Drawdown. Plus, saving just one hamburger from being thrown out is equivalent to saving a 90-minute shower’s worth of water.”
Especially now, when some have been hoarding food, the tips she provided are aimed at making sure you’re using every inch of what you’re stocking up on.
First, Rivero recommends carefully planning your meals. She says a good strategy is to rotate through “meal sets” of two or three meals that utilize ingredients of which you tend to have excess (e.g., cilantro or celery). “Acknowledge that lazy nights of frozen pizza or takeout happen and plan them in. Include “eat down” nights when you empty out the fridge to make use of anything that still needs using up.”
Next, buy local food, which has had less of a journey to get to your plate and is thus fresher and will last longer. Tahoe Food Hub’s new Harvest to Order program is a local option in which your produce is harvested the day before you take a bite.
Storage technique is just as important for longevity. Rivero wrote: “Strawberries do best laid in single layers with cloth or paper towels between them; nuts keep better in the refrigerator; meat should be kept on the bottom shelf; and eggs belong in the main fridge (not the door).”
“Friend your freezer,” too. Half-used milk, cheese (best shredded and used for cooking), eggs (out of shell and raw, scrambled), bread (sliced), and tomato products (pasta sauce, tomato paste) are all freezable foods. Pack products as airtight as possible to avoid freezer burn — which, Rivero reminds is “only an issue of taste, not safety.”
Learn the “myth of expiration dates.” “Best by” and “sell by” dates are manufacturer suggestions for when the food is at its peak quality — not an indication the food is bad past that date. “Most food,including dairy,can safely be eaten after those dates. As a rule of thumb, foods that pregnant women are told to avoid are the ones to be careful with.”
Rivero also suggests reviving older food. You can re-crisp wilting veggies by soaking them in ice water and reverse the staling process of bread, crackers, or tortilla chips with a one- to two-minute toast.
Lastly, she reminds us to be creative: “The best food waste warriors approach the kitchen with a use-it-up mentality. … Don’t be afraid to open that fridge and go wild. Leftover stir fry can make fun “world tacos,” and wrinkled fruit is excellent for infused vodka.”
Rivero recommends finding out more at savethefood.com. Find the full article in our April issue, in the flesh around town or on moonshineink.com/print-edition, and as you’re digesting your waste-free meal, remember to feed your head too with our in-depth investigations and live updates into the coronavirus pandemic in the area at moonshineink.com/coronavirus. That’s all for this Cinco de Mayo. Hang in there, everyone.