Eating well in sustainable way more important during pandemic: Study

Video Credit: ANI
Published on August 8, 2020 - Duration: 01:10s

Eating well in sustainable way more important during pandemic: Study

In the midst of a global pandemic, eating well in a sustainable way is more important now than ever, suggest experts from Flinders University, Australia.'Eating local' and growing your own fruit and vegetables can save money, provide families and local producers with vital income -- and also improve health and immunity."The COVID-19 pandemic provides many good reasons to eat in healthier and more sustainable ways," says Flinders University researcher Associate Professor Kaye Mehta.

"Gardening or being part of a community gardening or local food swap group lifts social connection, reduces anxiety and stress and improves mental health by nurturing plants out in the fresh air."In a new study, the researchers warn the Australian diet is not sustainable, with high rates of eating meat, excessive packaging and food waste and unhealthy consumption levels.But how much time do people spend weighing up food decisions for their nutritional content, environmental sustainability and fairness, ask Flinders University nutrition and public health experts in a new paper in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia."At the supermarket and when you eat out, do you investigate where the food comes from?

In an ideal world, the food supply would not only be healthy but also be environmentally and socially sustainable," Associate Professor Mehta says."Our dietary choices are made within a complex, powerful and unsustainable food system, which contributes to rising problems of food insecurity, malnutrition, chronic disease, climate change, loss of biodiversity and unfair food trade practices," she says in the new study of food literacy awareness at Flinders University.The 47 participants of the online course -- all staff and students of Flinders University -- found their understanding of the food system and their attitudes towards food purchases changed to consider social and environmental sustainability, as well as health."Food choices that help the environment will also be healthier because people will eat more locally-produced vegetables and fruits, less meat and less processed foods," says dietitian-nutritionist Associate Professor Mehta, from the Flinders University Caring Futures Institute.

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