DES MOINES, Iowa — During a period when families are spending more time together than ever before, new research indicates a positive impact on behavioral and nutritional health.
Surveys commissioned by the National Pork Board show despite a yearning for a return to “normal,” families report strengthened bonds and more time shared over meals than before the global pandemic.
“We can’t dismiss the hardships and stress that families are facing,” said Lori Gottlieb, psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author. “But in the face of those challenges, it’s reassuring to see families strengthening their ties and improving wellbeing through personal connections. This kind of support is needed now more than ever, and it’s happening in the most natural spot — at the family table, over a nutritious meal.”
Connections don’t just begin during the meal. Togetherness often starts with meal preparation. More than half of families surveyed say they’re cooking more over the past six months, with one in three of them trying new recipes.
What’s on the menu? When it comes to pork, bacon and pork chops are the most popular across all households. For families with children, pork cuts like sausage, pepperoni and ham deli meat are more likely to be kept on hand, with families reporting a need for foods that are convenient, healthy and fun. It’s especially important as 44% of families use dinner leftovers to help manage lunch the next day.
“We know mealtime has taken on a new dynamic during quarantine and consumers are carefully considering purchases,” said Angie Krieger, vice president of domestic marketing at the Pork Board. “During the pandemic, sales of pork have surged as consumers cook more at home, try new recipes and purchase new products. We know families have a desire for ease and comfort during uncertain times, and pork is a versatile, flavorful protein that satisfies those needs.”
In the midst of an ever-changing world, families say they will miss the togetherness of family meals. Even teenagers report enjoyment from catching up with family members at dinner. Eighty-five percent say they’ll continue eating together post-coronavirus.
In an effort to further support families, National Pork Board is offering consumer resources, including globally inspired pork recipes, videos of international chefs cooking dishes with domestic chefs and social media influencers serving up some of their go-to pork meals at www.pork.org/realpork and the National Pork Board’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest accounts.
About the National Pork Board:
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Pork Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in consumer education and marketing, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety, and environmental management and sustainability. For the past half century, the U.S. pork industry has delivered on its commitment to sustainable production and has made significant strides in reducing the environmental impact of pig farming. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or visit www.pork.org.
About Lori Gottlieb:
Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and author of the New York Times bestseller Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, which is being adapted as a television series with Eva Longoria. In addition to her clinical practice, she writes The Atlantic’s weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column and is the co-host of the iHeart Radio podcast, “Dear Therapists,” produced by Katie Couric. Her recent TED Talk is one of the top 10 most watched of the year. A member of the Advisory Council for Bring Change to Mind, she is a sought-after expert in media such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, The CBS This Morning, CNN, and NPR’s “Fresh Air.” Learn more at LoriGottlieb.com or by following her on Twitter @LoriGottlieb1 and Instagram @lorigottlieb_author.