Your Favorite Meat Is Out Of Stock- Now What?

by Kristen Keen, MBA, RD, LDN

Last Updated: June 29, 2020

COVID-19 has made our grocery shopping trips look differently over the past few months. Kroger has been working tirelessly at keeping the shelves stocked and the stores clean. But what about the protein supply? There has been some information in the news around some large companies temporarily closing operations, leading to lower inventory of certain protein products. This is teaching us that we need to be more flexible on the types of protein we are buying for our homes. See Kroger’s CEO Rodney McMullen speak about our food supply here.
  1. Protein – why is it important?
    Protein is one of the three macronutrients our bodies need daily. Protein is made up of amino acids, which are our bodies building blocks of life. Protein aides in cell repair and promotes growth of our muscles, bones, hair, skin, and nails. The amount of protein we should have each day is different for each person; it depends on their age, gender, activity level, and a few other things! The average protein recommendation is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

    To calculate your body’s weight in kilograms = your body weight in pounds/2.2

    To calculate your body’s minimum protein recommendations in grams per day = Body weight in kilograms x 0.8 grams
  2. Animal-based protein in store.
    When shopping for protein right now, the main goal is to stay flexible. If the store is out of your favorite brand, opt to try a new brand, or the store’s private label brand, or pick another type of protein. Not seeing a certain brand of hamburger patties? No worries, opt for another brand or branch out and try turkey patties or chicken patties. The protein amount in these items are similar, supplying between 20 and 30 grams of protein per serving. Don’t forget about fish! There are several types of fish that are well-liked and easy to prepare including cod, salmon, tuna, tilapia, orange roughy, to name a few. You can find fish frozen, fresh or even canned. Dairy also provides us with protein. Cow’s milk provides 8 grams of protein per cup. Other dairy options include cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
  3. Plant-based protein.
    Think out of the box when choosing protein foods. Protein alternatives have grown popular over the last few years, with terms like Meatless Mondays and the Flexitarian diet becoming popular. At Kroger, we recently launched our own plant-based line, with products like Simple Truth Emerge Plant Based Patty, plant based sour cream and plant based sausage to name a few. While we can utilize these meatless alternatives, we can also use the more traditional plant-based proteins – whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds! Most protein alternatives provide a nice amount of protein with the bonus of fiber.
    • 1/2 a cup of black beans = 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber
    • 1/2 cup quinoa = 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber
    • 1/4 of a cup of pistachios = 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber

    Remember to vary protein choices throughout the week to get the wide range of nutrients you need for ideal health. Here is a list of some of our favorite plant-based protein alternatives:
    • nuts & seeds
    • nut butters
    • lentils, beans, legumes
    • dairy alternatives
    • 100% whole grains: quinoa, oats, brown rice
    • Soy and soy products: tofu, edamame

As most of us are doing more cooking at home anyways, think of this as a time to experiment, try something new, and have a little fun when varying our protein routine! Wondering if you are getting enough protein and variety in your day? Reach out to our Kroger Health Dietitian Team.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Kristen Keen, MBA, RD, LDN

Kristen Keen, MBA, RD, LDN

Kristen believes having a strong relationship with nutrition is key to having a healthy life and that relationship should center around the power of self-love!