The survey, which is being carried out by the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway, is part of a European-wide research project into measuring to what extent this crisis has changed people’s relationship to food in terms of planning, purchasing and growing food as well as in the preparation, the ingredients used and in dietary aspects.
Brendan Smith of the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway said: “For some people food is purely about subsistence. For others it can be about good health, connection with nature and with family, in expressing one’s cultural identity and way of life. Have these attitudes being reinforced, increased or lessened as a result of the lockdown? There is no doubt that, in some individual cases, there has been a behavioural shift towards what is eaten and how it is eaten. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there has been a rise in the amount of people that are now growing vegetables, herbs and fruits at home; in trying to decrease food waste; in cooking and baking new types of recipes, with banana bread for instance becoming a recent social media sensation; in families sharing meals together; in concern about the impact of ‘food miles’ on the environment and society and in where one buys food. Yet there also seems to be an increase in families purchasing takeaways as a substitute to eating out. So we want to find out, amongst other things, how extensive these changes actually have been and if people intend to continue with these changes post COVID.”