What This Survey Reveals About American Pandemic Eating Habits

Cooking at home can have a ton of benefits. According to the Harvard Medical School, cooking at home can help you live longer, teaches you basic skills, and may even evolve into a fulfilling hobby! Despite the prevalence of restaurants available at our fingertips via Uber Eats or Seamless, finding the time to cook up something special has a unique quality that take-out just can't touch. Since so many of us have had fewer opportunities to go out to our favorite restaurants this past year, home cooking has been on the rise, and it looks like this trend won't slow down anytime soon.

According to Food Dive, 71% of Americans say they plan to continue cooking at home once the pandemic comes to an end, ushering in a whole new era of home cookery. The same study, which came from a "public relations and marketing communications consultancy" named Hunter, also found that food waste at home decreased by 16% during the April 2020 quarantine, but by December, 56% of polled participants had returned to their eating habits prior to the pandemic and 20% of people eat more takeout than they did prior to coronavirus altering our lives.

While these changes in American eating habits ebb and flow with the times, the overall outlook appears good for anyone who wants to pursue a healthy lifestyle and cook at home.

A new era of home-cooked meals

The specifics of the Hunter study show off the most exciting changes in the way American home kitchens have changed. According to PR Newswire, the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, saving money, and generally feeling good led to the impetus that drives us to cook at home more frequently. These factors have led us to discovering a ton of new ingredients, rediscovering recipes from our past, and even trying new brands we might not have encountered in the past.

If you jumped on the sourdough trend earlier in the year, you weren't alone. The 2020 baking craze reflected in the study, showing that 51% of participants found greater joy in baking than they had previous to the quarantine (via PR Newswire). Toward the beginning of the pandemic, multi-person households faced some greater stress, reflected in the increase of alcohol and snacks that these households consumed. Fast forward to December 2020, and these unhealthy trends in multi-person households have come back to pre-COVID levels, while single adults now show an uptick in snack and alcohol consumption.

While experts could interpret the results of the study several ways, the surface information seems overall positive. With any luck, we can continue our healthy new ways deeper into 2021 and thrive based on the new experiences we have picked up in the past year. Only time can tell, but the future looks bright for home cooks.