Lessons From The Pandemic: Are We In Charge Of Our Health
The foods we eat and the ways we eat are constantly changing. Many driving trends determine the foods we desire today, tomorrow, and next year. The pandemic transformed many aspects of the way we live, along with how we eat, and due to the large-scale practice of inactivity and social distancing Covid-19 has made a serious impact on many people around the world.
The food industry, specifically the grocery industry, has been extremely affected by COVID. There has been a rise in online shopping since the start of the pandemic. Instacart, the nation’s biggest independent grocery delivery service, announced that order volumes increased 500% year-over-year. The Coronavirus has transformed delivery services into overnight necessities. Companies such as Door Dash, Grub Hub, and Uber Eats have stormed onto the scene giving a push to the adoption of this technology and assisting with sales in a very troubled time. As life gets back to normal, Instacart and other delivery services will be something that consumers can rely on and Coronavirus was the push that the e-commerce industry needed to go to a recognized way that customers shop for groceries.
During the pandemic, restaurant sales have declined and small owned restaurants focused on survival. With little or no options to eat out, there has been a rise in cooking and baking. Home-cooked meals have caused a large percentage of people to eat healthier than they usually do. Studies show that restaurant meals often contain higher amounts of saturated fat, sodium, sugar, total fat, and overall calories than home-cooked meals. The pandemic has led many of us to focus on our health. For example, when grocery shopping, consumers searched for healthier options which led to a rise in organics and plant-based food. In 2020, plant-based food sales were up 27% to $7 billion due to consumers looking for products they thought were better for them.
On the other hand, many people found comfort in food. You have probably heard the Freshman 15, but have you heard about the Coronavirus 15? To deal with the psychological distress that came with the pandemic, certain food consumption was a defining force. Comfort food is normally higher in carbohydrates, specifically sugar. When we are stressed, we tend to deposit fat in our gut. Belly fat is extremely dangerous and puts us at risk for Insulin Resistance, Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer. While some people switched to home-cooked meals, others depend on fast food and pre-packaged meals. With reopenings, people are starting to re-emerge from their homes and find options outside of the kitchen.
The pandemic has impacted our lives in both negative and positive ways. Whether you used the time in quarantine to make healthier choices or not, there is no “typical” experience. Covid-19 has impacted each of us differently. It caused us to switch things up and rethink our daily habits. But most importantly, it had taught us that not everything in the world, especially health, is under our control.