The coronavirus pandemic has brought the importance of the food industry, its workers and supply chains into focus. Will it change our view of food forever? There are signs that our relationship with food will be permanently altered by the experience of the pandemic.
Many of these changes have been mentioned previously, with food industry workers being recognised perhaps for the first time as key workers vital to our health and safety, but other changes may be more related to how we appreciate and perceive our food.
Food waste has been an issue for far too long, with household food waste accounting for up to 70% of the UK total , outside a pandemic this is far too high a number but during a crisis is completely unacceptable. Writing in the Huffington Post, Too Good To Go country manager Hayley Conick explains how we got to this point, and where we go from here:
“Until a month ago, we had become completely accustomed to full supermarket shelves. We had abundantaccess to whatever food we liked, whenever we wanted it. We were conditioned convenience shoppers, mindlessly topping up our fridges without a second thought to what we already had in the house.”
“The pandemic rocked the world, and with it, our attitudes toward food. Faced with empty supermarket shelves, shrunk product ranges and closed restaurants, the penny started to drop. Maybe not so ‘easy come’ after all.”
“For many of us, it’s the first time we’ve prepared multiple meals a day, every day. For others, it’s the first time we’ve cooked from scratch at all. We’re becoming self-sufficient as we explore new cooking skills, and we’re seeing each meal’s potential for adding flavour and variation to days which can otherwise become a blur.”
“Surveys carried out on behalf of Too Good To Go show half of us are spending more time cooking from scratch, and 60% of Brits have tried new cooking techniques. We’re stepping into local stores rather than relying on big supermarkets, and the phrase ‘local, seasonal shopping’ suddenly makes a whole lot more sense.”
“Nine out of 10 adults report that they are more aware of how much food they are wasting, and over a third of consumers are throwing out less food compared to before the crisis struck. Piece by piece, our appreciation for food is returning. “
“This is good news, but we cannot be complacent. There’s a risk that as soon as we return to normality – whenever that may be – this newfound respect for food will fade in a merry-go-round of takeaways, dinner parties, and ready meals bought in the rush home from work. We must not let this happen. “
Hear more about Too Good To Go in the Table Talk Podcast