Less waste, more thanks: life in lockdown
It’s not all bad news when it comes to our current COVID situation. Acts of generosity have increased, people are reconnecting with nature and growing their own food and businesses have found new ways to create jobs and get food to the people who need it most. In other cheering news, households have been wasting less food during lockdown. And these good habits look set to continue. This is according to a new study released yesterday by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
The new social research also showed 86 percent of people are glad to live in a food secure country like Australia and 70 percent appreciate farmers more.
The Food Management in COVID-19 study was commissioned by the department for the Love Food Hate Waste program. The study aimed to understand peoples’ food management practices under COVID lockdown rules and whether changes in behaviour would endure.
Habits worth keeping
Love Food Hate Waste program manager Amanda Kane says the research shows adversity has helped NSW households appreciate food and where it comes from significantly more.
“People are wasting less food; they’re making the most of the food they buy and they’re valuing the role of our food producers and our country’s food supply chain more,” she says.
“Given the impacts of food waste on the environment, including emissions from landfill and the waste of resources in growing food only to throw it away, these findings pave the way for us all to maintain these habits which waste less food.”
Key lockdown findings include:
1. 30% of people more often checked what food they already had prior to leaving the house to shop; 19% wrote a shopping list more often.
2. 20% of people planned more often to keep extra for lunch or dinner the next day.
3. 30% tried new meals and recipes more frequently.
4. 39% bought extra food. 32% bought more “just in case”. 45% bought more food out of concern it wouldn’t be available next time.
5. 59% say they’re determined to waste less food due to the lockdown experience.
6. Most NSW people have found the new food management behaviours they’ve adopted to be very useful and plan to keep doing it after the lockdown ends.
7. 67% will continue to consider the best way to store food. 65% will continue checking what food they have before shopping. 64% will keep freezing food to extend its life.
8. 46% say they appreciate food more. 47% understand more about where food comes from and what it takes to get it to them.