Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Coronavirus: New study launched as pandemic changes our food habits

Post Thumbnail

Researchers from Dundee have joined an EU project to explore how our behaviours around food are changing during lockdown, and whether they look set to last.

Recent evidence suggests that people are buying more local produce, while supermarkets and online retailers are experiencing record growth.

That is why researchers at The James Hutton Institute and their colleagues across Europe have launched this large-scale study of the pandemic’s impact on how people relate to food, including food waste, during this time of crisis.

Scientists are particularly interested in finding out if people are adopting more sustainable behaviours, and to see if these habits become the norm and continue once the lockdown and pandemic have passed.

A questionnaire has been created here for anyone over the age of 18 and will be open until the end of June, to help with the research.

Dr Liz Dinnie, a social researcher leading the research at the JHI, said: “We are currently experiencing unprecedented circumstances where most people are forced to spend much more time at home.

“That also means many people eat more meals at home than before the lockdown. So far, we have no idea what consequences that has, e.g. in terms of how balanced the diets are, or how food systems in rural and urban areas might be affected.”

Data from Google Trends shows that searches in Scotland for chocolate and cakes have increased during the lockdown period, with takeaway searches also proving popular, while searches for healthy eating have declined.

Dr Dinnie added: “There are many contradictory trends, for instance a focus on healthy eating for strengthening the immune system, yet an increase in the sales of sweets, chocolate and snacks.

“With our research, we want to find out how food-related habits are changing in the population and what this means more widely, particularly in terms of food systems, sustainability and for tackling food poverty.

“We hope the results will give recommendations to decision makers in the food sector and at policy level on how to respond to changes and make food systems fit for future food-related habits following the current pandemic. In Scotland this will include recommendations under the Good Food Nation Bill, which aims to put social justice and sustainability at the heart of Scotland’s food systems.”

Recent government research on the impact of the pandemic on British people shows that just over 45% of people say that cooking has been helping them to cope while at home, while 65% said that the impact of coronavirus has made them worried about the future.

Professor Colin Campbell, the JHI’s chief executive, commented: “Our food systems need to change if we are to change our trajectory on climate change. We also need a new relationship with food for the sake of our health.

“As the current pandemic has shown, underlying health is critical to how we come through this, so we desperately need to know what people think and how they are changing if at all. It is only through understanding the changes taking place at this time that we can help to design food systems and value chains that are both socially just and environmentally sustainable.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in



More from the Press and Journal Food and Drink team

More from the Press and Journal