Simple and easy tips to fight coronavirus: pork processing plant is closed – how do we eat now?

4. Eat efficiently!

On April 22, Tyson Foods said it is suspending operations indefinitely at its pork processing plant in Waterloo, Iowa, which is their largest facility. The decision came after employees at the company’s plants in Waterloo and Dakota City, Nebraska, died from COVID-19. Tyson warned that closing the plant, which can process about 19,500 hogs per day – about 4% of the U.S. pork processing capacity – would have “significant ramifications” beyond the company.

After toilet paper and facial masks, are we now facing pork shortage? 

Coronavirus is revealing that our supply chain is unbelievably vulnerable to emergencies or unexpected situations. We may have to deal with rather sparse shelves at stores for a while. Especially with food, it may be wise to eat moderately, not excessively. It will help you stay healthy, keep your budget under control, reduce trips to grocery stores and food waste. And with meat, it’s actually not difficult to reduce the amount without feeling that you are eating less or sacrificing your enjoyment. One of the easiest things we can do is to slice it. It’s very widely practiced in certain parts of the world. 

Sliced pork looks like this.

Super thinly sliced pork prepared for Japanese shabu shabu.

You may feel that it’s not enough, but actually it is. When it’s a chop or steak, you feel that you need 6-10 oz of meat per person. That’s a lot. While you could absolutely eat it, probably you don’t need to eat that much. If you slice and mix it with other ingredients, 4 oz of meat will be just enough to feel satisfied. One of the tricks is visual. What you see on a plate significantly contribute to how you full you feel as you eat, and a dish with sliced meat look a lot more compared to the same amount of chop or steak. It helps.

You can easily make a mound using sliced meat. Presentation is easier with sliced ingredients because you can stack them high to make it look a lot and aesthetically pleasing.

Pork ginger with sliced meat is an easy and yummy dish everyone would love. In Japan it’s called “shoga yaki,” and is a popular menu at casual eateries.

Ingredients (per person)
Sliced pork (4 oz) 
Onions (1/4)
Ginger, grated 
Garlic, grated or minced (1 clove) 
Soy sauce (1tbsp)
Cooking sake (1tbsp)
Sugar (1tbsp – if you like sweet flavor)

1    Marinate pork with say sauce, sake, mirin, ginger, garlic, salt and sugar.

2    Stir fry onions until caramel brown.

3   Stir fry pork with high heat. Do it quick! 

4   Combine everything, serve and eat!  

Both onions and pork need to be cooked a bit longer. I took pictures a bit too early.