Is isolation changing our relationship with food?

Madeleine Raine discusses how we are making the most in the kitchen out of this isolation period

Madeleine Raine
7th May 2020
It’s day 1453 of isolation and most of us are beginning to wonder if it will ever end. Most of us are going stare crazy, yearning to finally be freed from the four walls of our home. As we have been given more time for reflection and contemplation, many of us have begun to form a different relationship with food.

With so much extra time on our hands, the majority of us have taken to baking. The amount of banana bread, brownies, and cinnamon buns I have seen on Instagram is unbelievable. But are we looking towards the wrong kinds of food?

Everyone loves to bake. Whether you’re the next Mary Berry or, like me, struggle to bake muffins without undercooking or burning them, it’s something we all love to do. It’s a simple and easy way to fill in the endless hours of boredom. What many of us fail to realise, however, is the amount of sugar that actually goes into these sugary treats, sugar that most of us tend to make a conscious effort to avoid in normal circumstances. As we all know, cakes and desserts don’t last forever, creating the temptation to eat more than we normally would.

Whilst the first few weeks of lockdown certainly involved overindulging and snacking like there was no tomorrow, as the weeks have worn on, and the end of isolation is not yet in sight, an increasing amount of us are choosing to make home deliveries to friends and families to avoid this. Not only has our sense of community blossomed over the past weeks, but we are really beginning to adapt to this new lifestyle and make positive diet choices.

Social media has been crucial to this, providing a platform in which friends and strangers alike can share photos of their finished products as well as recipes. Over the past couple of weeks, I have snatched up a few exciting new recipes myself.

As many of you have probably already noticed, takeaways have begun to shut their doors for various reasons, leaving many of us saddened with the new difficulties of finding somewhere to get our Chinese on a Friday night. Rather than sulk, more and more of us have begun experimenting with our own recipes and creating our own dishes. I know my favourite dish at the minute is coconut and chickpea dahl, inspired by various Instagram posts I’ve seen over the weeks, but I have also seen countless recipes for Indian, Chinese, Thai, and Italian dishes.

All in all, isolation has actually contributed to a healthier and creative population. Flour sales have gone through the roof with people wanting to make their own bread or pizza bases. Despite isolation appearing to be the storm devastating our lives and routine, it has actually encouraged us, as a nation, to become healthier and more active in our lifestyle choices. No longer can we order a takeaway at the click of a button for delivery in thirty minutes. Things are harder, but it is making us more conscious of what we are putting into our bodies, and encouraging us to have a more positive relationship with food.  

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AUTHOR: Madeleine Raine
MA History student with a BA in English Literature and History. Lifestyle writer and avid traveller who has recently branched out to also cover news articles. Twitter @RaineMadeleine

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