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Are public health restrictions affecting your dietary decisions?

 
Posts: 11
Location: Vietnam
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I'm curious to see if the recently imposed social restrictions (closed restaurants, loss of income, stay and home orders, etc.) are affecting what people are choosing to eat.  Have your dietary choices improved because you are cooking at home more, have they taken a step back as you load up on items that last longer in the pantry (maybe electing to eat junk while you binge listen to the Permies podcast), or would you rate them as unchanged?  Would you say that these changes have been dramatic or subtle?  What would you say is the most prominent reason for the shift?

For my part, I'm pretty sure I'm not doing myself any favors but it isn't drastically different.  I think the largest impact is that I am not walking as many places because there is nowhere to go.  My income hasn't been so severely impacted that it changes what I buy, but restaurants here tend to be healthier than my home concoctions.  One of the big impacts in the positive column that we've seen in my corner of Asia is that there is much less air pollution than there was last year, still plenty, but less.  
 
pollinator
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Not really at all as I was already cooking a lot and that has continued. We order in a little Thai food, but mainly because they’re friends and we want to support them.

The main difference is we have become more sensitive to our food stores and prioritize eating the fresh produce and meat or freezing what we don’t eat and left overs so nothing, or almost nothing gets wasted. I fear many people we saw on tv who ran out and purchased piles of food will be throwing much of it in the trash due to spoilage for lack of planning or storage solutions.

Vietnam? I envy you the local food. I cried the day our nearby Vietnamese place closed. They had a guy who delivered by bicycle and we liked that.
 
gardener
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Location: South of Capricorn
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Here for us, nothing is unchanged (I still work at home, my husband still takes a box lunch from home), but our local delivery places (pizza, hamburgers, fried fish/chicken) are doing a killer business.
From what I'm hearing from colleagues, the big difference is in lunches- people used to go out for lunch every day (most companies pay a lunch allowance) and had grilled meat and fried crap. Now they are making do at home. Some are trying to health it up, while I hear from others that it is chicken nugget and french fry city. My daughter went to lunch at her boyfriend's parents and it was frozen lasanha, nuggets, and something else. Many people don't cook (no time, don't know how, also it is sort of a cultural thing, many families have a maid who cooks) and now are having a hard time.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1981
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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For me almost no change. But as I was on an almost zero carb diet, I have increased carbs to save meat. Those who really need for their health to stay on a pure carnivore diet are having a hard time.

A lot of european countries rely on foreign workers for harvest, and miss hands, so it will impact food avaibility!
 
master pollinator
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I have seen minimum changes, but I have seen changes. But my changes have been for the better. I had already noticed that it cost us $35 to eat at a modest restaurant. That falls in the neighborhood of $150 a month.  We no longer eat out.  Also, we are experimenting with new recipes.  I am working on the many half done projects I have.  Fence posts are going in. New stalls in the barn.  Going with this activity, I am dropping weight.  
 
gardener
Posts: 662
Location: PNW
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Great question.

I'm getting take out from my two favorite restaurants more frequently than I ate there (and got gift cards as well) because I really want them to make it. So where I would eat out maybe once a month before, now I get something once a week. Otherwise, I'm eating pretty much what I always ate and cooking healthy for myself.

It IS harder not to stress eat comfort food with all this crazy and lack of people comfort. I'm SO grateful for the decent weather days when I can spend evenings and weekends outside working on projects instead!
 
pollinator
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When I saw all this starting back in January I figured the best thing I could do for my health was to use it as an extra incentive to eat better and boost my ability to fight off any disease.  While I certainly haven't been perfect, esp. during the month I was away from home, I have been predominantly eating whole plant foods.  This isn't a huge departure from my norm.  I'm just doing a bit better at it with the extra motivation.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1055
Location: Denmark 57N
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Not much difference for us, neither of us work away from home, and there is only one take away place within 15 miles it is still open, but we've not been there since before Christmas. I would guess we might have missed one meal out, like a cafe lunch or a Mc donalds. but we don't eat out much as we don't have the money for it. The only thing we have done is switched from weekly shopping to 2-3 weekly shopping. which means I make more bread but everything else is about the same.
 
pollinator
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Our household has backed off Keto, and is just doing low carb at this point. We are not in production of enough of our own dairy and meat to enable Keto long term here. And both my daughter and I ended up with inflamed pancreas due to not eating enough on Keto. Thankfully we already had stockpiled enough rice and pasta, it's just our way.
 
Todd O'Brian
Posts: 11
Location: Vietnam
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Followup question:

My father, who lives in Stepford-esk, dense, suburban development that makes my skin crawl a little, reported that many of his neighbors are forgoing their usual ornamental landscaping in favor of edibles this year, so much so that the local garden center was out of seed packs for most veggies.  I realize that most everyone here does that already but has anyone else seen an atypical change in their neighbor's or community's gardening habits?  

Here in Vietnam, even if the big cities, most everyone keeps a vegetable/herb garden on their portion of the sidewalk, balconies, and/or roofs.  Ornamental plants are only for special occasions (lunar new year, weddings, funerals, etc.).  The trees that line the street are also mainly fruit trees that had sidewalks built around them once development came to town, so there doesn't appear to be any change in my part of the world.  I even saw a family harvesting and shelling tamarinds on the main drag through town today.  
 
Tereza Okava
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Location: South of Capricorn
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My mother may live in the same development in the US, Todd!! (and people wonder why I moved so far away....). She is in this house for only a year and has a HOA with a lot of stupid rules, but she was talking about starting seeds to grow in containers in the back yard. Said she went to the local stores (little and big) and that things were all out. There was also an article in the NYT last week that chicks and seeds were all back ordered, and that people all over the interwebz are seeing a lot of new visits from people wanting to start farming (I know the youtube channels I follow are directly responding to this).
Here in Brazil few people have gardens anymore since the population is so urbanized, those of us who do eat from them on a regular basis and so there is not much of a difference. I had to go to one of my local ag supplies this week (still no rain, needed to step up my irrigation efforts) and they were still very well stocked (as were the food stores). But most people are terrified to spend any money, as most of us are locked down and unable to work.  
I have noticed my neighbors all very curious about the seeds I`m starting in my front yard and asking about the garden in the back. We aren`t yet at a good harvest point (early fall.... in another month or so we will start getting passionfruits and citrus, and there are a lot of "escaped" citrus in public spaces that can be harvested) but I think in another few months we will see more people out harvesting wild stuff, not because of shortages but because money is so tight. I hope more people do start to grow in their own spaces.
 
pollinator
Posts: 257
Location: Southern Germany
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Basically no change here.

I have always cooked from scratch, the only pre-made things we use are breakfast cereals for our teenage kids (the muesli stuff, not the nasty stuff).
Same as Skandi, I have switched to grocery buying every 2 weeks (by car) instead of 2-3 times a week (by bike).

In normal times I would also buy raw milk at least once a week, but as the kids' school is closed and there are no ballet dance classes I don't go to the next village where I can get it. I might take the bike one of the next days if temperatures get a bit higher.
 
Stacy Witscher
pollinator
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Location: Southern Oregon
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My local extension office has been offering vegetable gardening courses online during this crisis, the initial facebook post went viral and over 18,000 people ended up signing up for the course. It's crazy. My son in California can't get yeast, so last night I texted him options, sourdough starter or quick bread.
 
Skandi Rogers
pollinator
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Location: Denmark 57N
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Stacy Witscher wrote:My local extension office has been offering vegetable gardening courses online during this crisis, the initial facebook post went viral and over 18,000 people ended up signing up for the course. It's crazy. My son in California can't get yeast, so last night I texted him options, sourdough starter or quick bread.



If he can get an artisan beer he could use that to. Probably not too hard to get hold of in most of California.
 
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