How Eating In A Pandemic Is Improving Our Relationship With Food

The Lempert Report
July 22, 2020

Stephanie Meyers an instructor in Nutrition at Boston University and a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist writes in The Conversation that she is noticing “noteworthy patterns” in consumption that she feels could lead us to new food habits with long term benefits.

The Conversation is an independent and non-for-profit global network of newsrooms, staffed with academics that has strict guidelines to adhere to intelligent discussion and free speech.

She makes 5 points:

1. Eating family meals together

For the first time, some kids now have two parents home for weeknight dinners. Research has found that eating as a family helps kids have better self-esteem, more success in school and lower risk of depression and substance use disorders.

2. Kids learning to cook

Some families are making time to get kids involved in the kitchen. That’s good news, because research shows it leads to healthier eating as an adult. A long-term study found that adolescents who learned to cook by age 18 to 23 were eating more vegetables, less fast food and more family meals a decade later.

3. Eating more plant-based proteins

Now suddenly everyone’s stocking up on all kinds of dried beans and lentils. They’re trying tofu and homemade veggie burgers and finding out that, with the right recipes, these foods can be delicious.

4. Buying food locally and lending a hand in the hunger crisis

In the early weeks of COVID-19, some grocery shelves went bare while farmers plowed ripe crops into fields and dumped fresh milk down drains. Problems in the food supply chain that have been magnified by the pandemic have prompted people to seek local sources of food.   

5. Changing mindsets about wellness to include self-compassion

Eating is one of the most basic ways we take care of ourselves, and disruptions in food and activity routines have people rethinking how they define wellness.

She writes that people have come home to roost around food in these unprecedented times, discovering new habits and insights about what it means to truly nourish themselves.