Diet in a time of Coronavirus

At a time when Australians are hitting the supermarkets to stock up on food and other essentials, I’m appreciating being so acutely aware of how little food I need to survive.

A third of Australian adults are overweight, which means a lot of people in this country overeat, not to mention the food waste from households (and the whole industry and supply-chain).

That translates to a lot of people currently buying more than they usually buy, which is already more than they actually need.

In my approach to diet I’ve become more and more mindful of why I eat, and why I sometimes eat too much.

Once you distinguish between eating for nourishment versus eating for pleasure, escape, comfort, and socialisation, it’s startling how little is needed.

I’m pretty sure a lot of the panic buying is driven by the need for food as an emotional support. People are anxious, and obtaining large quantities of food brings a primal sense of security.

I’ve literally brought home the bacon, and not only is survival now assured, but so is the crispy, delicious, fried and salty sensory overload, should I need it to help me feel better about the unfolding catastrophe around me.

Except I’ve been progressively reducing my use of food for emotional support, and taking some of the emotional complexity and codependence out of eating. I don’t need the food to make me feel better, just to give me enough energy to live.

In a healthy serve of irony, right before the panic buying began I was already thinking about reducing the amount of food I buy and cook for myself and my family.