Barbara Bray MBE, a nutritionist and food safety consultant, noticed something strange going on as the coronavirus crisis began to take hold in Europe. Google data showed that searches for the words immunity and veg were much higher than usual.

In the latest episode of Fruitbox, Fruitnet’s series of conversations about the fresh fruit and vegetable business, Bray joins host Chris White to discuss the potential lasting effects of lockdown and the pandemic on our diets.

As consumers, for example, are we eating more healthy products, more unhealthy snack products, or in fact both? And what happens in the longer term if, as expected, spending power decreases? How accessible will healthy eating be for the estimated 820m people worldwide who are already undernourished or the two billion adults around the globe who are reckoned to be obese? And could concerns over future food supply cause ripples of tension in domestic politics or international trade?

“Before the pandemic we ate out a lot and ate a lot food on the go, so we weren’t really putting together meals that were well balanced. More people have had time to do that now, so we’re starting to reap the benefits of that,” Bray comments.

“The only problem is that, once we’re into that post-pandemic world, if we pick up our old routines we could slip back into old habits and start to lose some of those qualities we picked up about preparing healthy, balanced meals. I really hope there is a lot of drift into eating more fruits and vegetables., but I guess it’s inevitable there will be some slowdown.”

Hosted by Chris White in London, Fruitbox now attracts a big audience across the global fruit and vegetable business that tunes in twice a week to hear exclusive interviews and expert analysis.

Produced by Fruitnet Media International, the show is essential listening for everyone in the fresh produce industry.

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The latest episode of Fruitbox, as well as all previous episoides, can be found on any of the following podcast services: