Have our eating and cooking habits changed since the Covid 19 lock-down? And how has the Fife Cook Well, Live Well cooking project adapted?

Prior to the lock-down, a wide range of cooking groups were run across Scotland. Unfortunately, these had to stop, and some organisations have been busy posting recipes, tips and ideas on their social media sites instead.

In Fife, the Fife Council Community Food Team and Fife Health Promotion Food and Health Team are working together (in their own kitchens, of course) to put recipes and cooking videos online as part of the Cook Well, Live Well project.

I spoke with Lyndsay Clark from the Health Promotion team about how the teams anticipated how people’s eating or shopping habits may have changed, and how they planned for this.

How have our eating or shopping habits changed?

The teams in Fife were keen to adapt the Cook Well, Live Well recipes they use in their cooking groups to peoples’ current needs. This included being aware (particularly early on in the lock-down) that some ingredients may be unavailable, some may cost more than usual and people may be shopping less frequently and have less money to spend.  

Their ideas about these anticipated needs were complemented by a recent survey of 2000 people by Hubbub an environmental campaigning organisation based in London. Hubbub’s survey asked people about the impact of Covid 19 on their eating habits. The results showed that 43% of people were worried about the cost of food, but a third of those surveyed also viewed the lock-down as an opportunity to develop their cooking skills. Some people reported buying fewer takeaways and around half of those surveyed believed they were wasting less food. Those reporting they were wasting less food thought this was because they were planning meals better or/and they were making better use of leftovers, including freezing these for another time.

The Fife teams’ online cooking tips and videosFeeding Fifers!

The Fife teams had provided people with recipes as part of their cooking courses before lock-down and had also already thought about complementing these with videos. After the lock-down, they put these plans into action and worked together to consider the most suitable channels for the videos and recipes. They have used facebook to post the #feedingfifers videos and recipes, and added recipes to their Twitter accounts. One of the facebook videos has been viewed over 1,500 times so far.

Key to their approach is to keep the videos short, informal, and focus on meal ideas as much as recipes, including ideas on using: leftovers; store cupboard ingredients; alternative ingredients; and produce that some people may have growing in their garden. They also plan ideas for ‘fakeaways’

The teams have been posting these ideas and videos online for just a few weeks. However, their future plans include: running a competition; continuing to keep track of comments and viewing figures: as well as planning how they will use their new skills and experience when communal cooking courses are able to begin again.

Here’s a link to one of the facebook pages where the #feedingfifers teams are posting tips, recipes and videos: https://en-gb.facebook.com/OurLevenmouth/

You can also read an earlier case study about how the teams run cooking courses in Fife here 

For more information contact Lyndsay Clark: lyndsayclark@nhs.net

kim.newstead@nhs.net

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