It might sound familiar: flour, pasta and yeast are more difficult to find than in the past and you can no longer ignore the photos of homemade bread or cookies on social media. It seems that meals are handled in a completely different way than before the emergence of the coronavirus. These phenomena have not escaped us as researchers.
That is why FOOMS (Food, Media & Society) of UAntwerp, in collaboration with UGent and KU Leuven, launched the first #CoronaCookingSurvey, a large-scale survey into the impact of COVID-19 on how people deal with food and food-related media. In this way, shifts can be identified in terms of buying, cooking and eating habits since the corona measures.
The various surveys are part of ongoing research projects funded by VLAIO (InFlOOD) and FWO (From Food Media to Food Literacy).
We are experiencing unprecedented circumstances of which it’s not known what the short and long-term consequences will be.
The findings from this project will be very helpful to see how we adjust our behavior around one of our basic needs – food – during widespread modern crises.
Additionally, with these studies we also want to learn how to better communicate about nutrition and how we can help stakeholders to adjust their strategies.
Now more than ever, we are looking for information we can count on. In this area, our results can also show which food-related information is most important to us in situations such as this and which (type of) sources we rely on most. Finally, we hope to prevent nutritional information from polarizing or the information balance from tipping, which can play an important role in our search for reliable information.
In the hope that researchers from other countries would share our interest in changed dietary habits because of the coronavirus, we sent out a call to map these trends internationally. This call was very well received by colleagues abroad, and we currently have more than 30 countries across different continents joining us in data collection.