Food

Chris Descheemaeker ranches black angus, red angus cross with her family outside of Lewistown, Montana. The coronavirus pandemic, she says, comes after a few tough winters and an already tough market.


I-5 Design & Manufacture

Residents of Park, Sheridan and Campbell County went to grocery stores and pharmacies more often during March. That's according to Google data from users who have opted in to location history for their Google account.

wyomingfoodbank.org

The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies is deploying its resources to help people who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Food Bank Director Tony Woodell said they are delivering twice the amount of food they regularly bring to their partners across the state.

It’s hard to keep some items stocked in stores these days. We’ve all heard about the toilet paper shortage. But what about eggs?


The vast majority of the country is under lockdown right now. But stay-at-home orders come with a few exceptions — like grocery shopping.

Many of us are still venturing out to stock up on food and toiletries. But what's the safest way to shop during this pandemic? And what should you do once you've brought your haul home?

We asked infectious disease, virology and food safety experts to share their tips about safe grocery shopping — and what you can stop worrying about.

Know the dangers — focus on the people, not the food

Ivy Engel

On March 19, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon issued an order requiring all food establishments to halt sit-down services and move exclusively to delivery or to-go orders. Just a couple of weeks later, the order was extended through April 30.

Jake Billington has worked at the livestock auction at the Twin Falls Livestock Commission in southern Idaho for 28 years.


Charlize Branch

Ethel Branch is the former attorney general of the Navajo Nation. A few weeks ago, when she went grocery shopping in Flagstaff, Arizona, she noticed that the shelves were already pretty bare. That worried her. For shoppers from the nearby Navajo Nation, a grocery store can be hours away.

Walk into many grocery stores these days, and you’ll see two things: crowds and empty shelves. You may also notice narrow aisles and checkout lines that make it hard to practice the social distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While many businesses are shutting down to help stop the spread of COVID-19, grocery stores don’t have that luxury. And grocery workers like cashiers don’t make that much - at most, around $15 an hour. But like health care workers, they’re considered essential.

As the Mountain West braces for more coronavirus cases, one community service has become even more vital: Meals on Wheels.

FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Grocery store shelves across our state are empty due to stockpiling and panic-buying. Many grocers are responding by making special accommodations for the elderly, immunocompromised, and others at high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thousands of Mountain West residents who were slated to be kicked off food stamps will retain access to benefits next month. That's after a federal judge blocked a Trump administration rule mandating work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or SNAP.

Sunday Vinyl

The Mountain West is very well represented in this year's James Beard Awards, the semifinalists for which were announced last week.

Makenna Greenwald

Back in 2017, the first USDA-inspected full-service meat processing plant in the state of Wyoming in over 40 years opened up shop in Cody. Now, Laramie is set to open its first-ever meat processing plant as soon as March. 

CC0 Public Domain via (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Senior research scientist Thomas Foulke first learned about these ancient grains in France, where he takes students for a yearly agriculture program. He was flipping through an old French cookbook when he came across a recipe that called for spelt. Unfamiliar with the word, he looked it up and found that it was a grain, one of the first ever cultivated.

As we get ready to chow down on holiday foods over the next couple of weeks, a new study has some grim news. It projects half of Americans will be obese and a quarter will be severely obese in the next decade.

Epi’s is a Basque restaurant in Meridian Idaho, just west of Boise. In mid-morning, things are still pretty quiet, but owner Eric McFarland and a few others are prepping food.


The holidays often mean Christmas hams, mulled wine and potato latkes. But in the Mountain West, our food occasionally comes from the forest and not the grocery store. Tom Healy is a hunter living in the small town of Wisdom, Montana. This holiday season, he tried a gamey twist on traditional, eastern European cabbage rolls, called halupkis. Check out his recipe below. 

The lack of access to nutritious food is a major issue across Indian Country. One program in Nevada is looking to increase healthy habits among youth on reservations and the rural communities surrounding them.

Catherine Wheeler

Wednesday mornings at the Food Group in Sheridan are usually busy.

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, which means extra food — and extra food waste. But one man’s garbage is another’s renewable energy.


uwyo.edu

The University of Wyoming has hired a new dean to oversee the Department of Agriculture. Barbara Rasco is a food scientist, engineer and attorney known around the world for her work on food safety.

Now she's bringing that knowledge to bear on Wyoming's deep history in ranching and its new progress in local food entrepreneurship.

Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies

The Wyoming Food Bank of the Rockies' mobile pantry will be visiting Gillette over the next couple of weeks to support people affected by the recent mine closures.

Maggie Mullen

When it comes to beef, Made in America doesn't necessarily mean it was made here. That's because if the cow was raised in another country it can be labeled with a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sticker as long as it was processed here. That has American ranchers in a beef with each other over what to do about it.

According to a new analysis, proposed changes to the federal poverty line could mean big changes for low income people in the Mountain West.


Sean Sherman

The town of Wilson will host an event on Indigenous foods and their healing potential and well known Native American chef Sean Sherman will attend. The event, called "The Food Sovereignty Gathering" will offer workshops on Indigenous identification of various plants, berries, and roots. During the event, people can also check out booths featuring wild foods and products.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon is touring the state with a focus on combating childhood hunger.

Wyoming Business Council

The Wyoming Business Council is offering grants to communities to build vertical gardens.

Amy Martin

Wyoming might be the Cowboy State, but lots of livestock producers here ship their animals out of state to get slaughtered because of a lack of U.S.D.A. meat processors. But now the Laramie Planning Commission has approved a conditional use permit for a new one on the outskirts of town. 

Melodie Edwards

The Wyoming Department of Family Services has been working overtime to issue Wyoming families their SNAP food benefits a couple weeks early. That's because with the government saying they'll reopen, but for only three weeks, it's unclear when they'll get benefits again.

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