Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I've changed the way I look at food. Everyone approached getting groceries and dinner differently, and shifts in habits happened all over town. I noticed restaurants were struggling, so I decided to order takeout and delivery more (it was honestly a win/win for me), but that became a habit, and now, I hardly cook for myself.

Colorado State University noticed these habit changes and decided to perform a study on how the pandemic has affected our eating routines.

In a press release, CSU noted that their researchers from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (led by Dawn Thilmany and Becca Jablonski) weren't just trying to discover habits, but they also wanted to see how long these new routines would last post-pandemic.

When it comes to supporting the local community, researchers noted that many in Fort Collins were making room in their day for Fort Collins businesses:

They found that 35% had tried at least one new outlet since the pandemic struck, whether it was a farmer’s market, community-supported agriculture, or a local, independent restaurant. (Source)

How about online shopping? Many of my friends began to view grocery stores as unsafe during the pandemic, and they aren't alone: Across the board, it looks like Coloradans either decided to shop more online, or, if they did go shopping in-person, they'd hit a smaller business instead of a supercenter.

As for food insecurity? Unfortunately, it looks like more families didn't know if they'd have food on the table or not.

The researchers also asked about access to food, and found, soberingly, that 30% of respondents had experienced food insecurity since the pandemic began. (Source)

In 2019, CSU notes that that percentage was 10.5%.

Overall, we've all changed the ways we access our food. The question is, will I eat out as much as I do right now, post-pandemic? Hey, if it keeps our local restaurants open, then I'll order delicious local tacos every night. I'll do my duty. 

The NoCo Virus Tracker articles are made possible by our partners, the Keep NoCo Open campaign that reminds citizens to wear a mask, wash your hands, physically distance and support local as Northern Colorado recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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