The pandemic brought upon countless changes to students’ daily routines, including changes to the food they eat.
Since March, students have found themselves at home with the time to explore the food trends that flooded social media.. Loaves of banana bread, the TikTok famous dalgona coffee and sourdough bread were only a few of the popular trends circulating the web.
“I tried a lot of TikTok food trends early on, so I cooked a lot of pasta and banana bread,” said Vittina Ibanez, a second-year film major. “I think I really only tried them because they looked good and I was like, ‘I literally have nothing better to do.’”
Ibanez faced some difficulty during the beginning of stay-at-home orders when it came to finding consistency in meals. The change in her daily routine pushed her to look for ways to try and a healthier eating lifestyle.
“Quarantine has changed my eating habits quite a bit. I’m pretty much completely plant-based at this point,” said Ibanez. “I was really inconsistent in the beginning, but I’ve gotten really good at watching what I eat.”
Trendy foods aren’t the only things that have changed in students’ diets.
Third-year environmental science major Alyssa Wendt wanted to incorporate environmentally friendly eating habits into her lifestyle and looked to an Instagram page called @zerowastechef. While at home, Wendt tried her hand at pickling foods. She pickled cucumbers and cauliflower following a recipe she found from the account, using glass jars from her house.
Wendt is vegetarian and is constantly looking for ways to create better lifestyle habits for the environment. The stay-at-home orders gave her an opportunity to try her hand at building a more sustainable lifestyle, starting simply with how she eats.
“You can do a lot of stuff with leftover ingredients,” said Wendt. “It’s also a better way to just create less waste.”
Food accounts have seen a surge of popularity on Instagram. People have taken to the trend of “the phone eats first” by documenting the foods they try and sharing them online, and many look to these pages for inspiration if they’re looking to try something new.
“In the beginning of quarantine, I was more experimental with cooking, but I mostly bake or try to make quick, healthy snacks,” said Loudres Parra, a second-year liberal studies major. “I try to look at TikTok or healthy lifestyle instagrams. Some good ones are @thecarolinalifestyle and @katelynnnolann, their accounts are so positive and healthy.”
Parra found herself looking to social media for inspiration to try cooking healthier meals. She has made a point of decreasing consumption of meat and increasing her intake of matcha lattes.
“I think quarantine has changed my eating habits,” said Parra. “I sometimes eat a lot of not so healthy snacks, but I do often try to eat healthier meals since we are indoors and it’s always good to practice self-care.”