beholden quarantine

Like most of us these days, there’s every likelihood that you also would be overwhelmed by the influx of information and statistics on COVID 19 and the lockdown situation prevailing everywhere. People are going through tough times and we are drowning in information and are lacking too many positive stories and to strive to be grateful in these trying times. I’ve been thinking of things to be grateful for in these times. So I’ve been contemplating on some of the positive changes that have come about by this entire situation. One thing that immediately came to my mind is about food. Just like many others, here in the UAE where we are currently based, we used to rely on a local hypermarket for our regular grocery needs, and hardly would we even think of other alternate options, owing primarily to the convenience of getting everything from the same place and since the hypermarket being near our place and the grocery items being also at affordable rates. Due to this lockdown scenario, we had to stay home. Thankfully, the companies that we work for allowed us and gave us the option to work from home. Considering our safety and the safety of others, me and Netta decided to completely lock ourselves inside. We were so unrelenting with safety so much so that we didn’t even want to go out for the basic groceries and were looking for ways to get them delivered without even dealing with cash at all for the past few months and only using online transactions. But you know, unlike other stuff that we normally buy online like electronics or other stuff, getting groceries online is not a proposition that too many people would buy-in. We tried a lot of online options and had good and bad experiences with them. Eventually, we settled with certain companies with which we are happy with and reliable with the experiences so far.

Partial transition from Hypermarkets to farms

I’m pretty much sure that we wouldn’t have made this choice had it not been for the situation arisen out of lockdown. While exploring different online options for sourcing fruits and vegetables, we came across some companies that bring fresh produce directly from farm to kitchen. I was being accustomed that the hypermarket stuff was the cheapest and best. However, after trying some of these farms and particularly some of their organic produce, I’m literally changed. They taste really different and have a fresh feeling to it which we were able to discern only when we made a try. Since we have been getting farm and healthy produce online, junk consumption significantly dropped. All non-essential things ceased on their toll as well. Other hobbies such as gardening and aqua scaping had flourished and I’m able to find more fulfillment and happiness in them.

I’m listing some of the companies that were found useful here in the UAE. I’m stating up forward the obvious disclaimer that I am not advertising these but I’m just referring them as they were of great help during these times.

Kibsons – for fresh conventional and organic fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, bread, nuts, juices, healthy foods. (They’ve liaison with local farms in the UAE and other international organic farms. To my experience, the quality of fruits specifically are way different from the ones we normally used to pick up from hypermarkets)

Freshtohome – for chemical-free fresh fish, meat with no antibiotics, etc, vegetables, fruits. Fish for example might appear slightly expensive. The main difference I felt is that unlike the fish market where the cutting happens on the whole fish that you take (and thus appears free), they actually charge only for the final weight post cutting, so a fish that is cut will be much larger in final eatable weight than a whole fish.

Hobbyist stuff
Discus – If you didn’t know, I’m very much interested in aqua-scaping and maintains a small aquatic ecosystem in a tank. Yes!, you can even get live ornamental aquatic fish delivered in the UAE if you didn’t know before. The site also offers aquatic plant care equipment, scaping accessories, and tools and lot of other fish care products.

My Green Chapter – This is good if you are into gardening. They’ve soil, plants, pots, accessories, farming kits, organic seeds, compostures, etc.

I wouldn’t have discovered them had it not been for the lockdown. Walking around with trolleys in supermarkets and putting in unwanted stuff along with essentials is replaced by a culture of at least some sort of conscious and thoughtful buying so to speak. I find this change to be very positive in terms of overall well being and goodness in all aspects. Eventually, countries are lifting lockdown restrictions and hopefully, we get adjusted with the new normal.

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