The public have been invited take part in a NUI Galway survey which aims to find out how people’s attitudes to food has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The questionnaire, 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 how people’s relationship to food has changed in terms of planning, buying and growing food.
Brendan Smith of the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics at the university said that for some people, food is purely about subsistence and for others it can be about good health, connection with nature and with family, and expressing one’s cultural identity and way of life.
“Have these attitudes being reinforced, increased or lessened as a result of the lockdown?” he asked.
“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.”
Brendan Smith added that 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.”
To support the European-wide citizen science project please complete the questionnaire at https://www.food-covid-19.org/