Unveiling the Shifting Dietary Landscape: Plant-Based Foods Amidst the COVID-19 Era

Usman Ali *

College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Agro-Food Processing, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China.

Farooq Hafeez

College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Zhejiang University, Zhejiang, 310058, China and Key Laboratory of Precision Medicine in Diagnosis and Monitoring Research of Zhejiang Province, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang, 310058 China.

Ameer Khan

Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China.

Shahzad Farooq

College of Biosystems Engineering and Food Science, Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Agro-Food Processing, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China and Jiaxing Institute of Future Food, 314050, China.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Manuscript addresses the present era COVID-19 pandemic as one of the global challenges. Still in 2024, the health professionals and scientists are searching and trying to figure out the complete answers about the origin of these zoonoses.In past years of pandemic, plant origin foods have become the preferred food choice for many people globally. In this article, we've discussed trends in plant-based foods around the world and some of the reasons for this change. It was found that there has been a notable shift in the sale of plant origin foods and a decrease in the sale of animal-based meat at the same time. Selling meat and seafood fell due to many factors, including lack of confidence due to the fear of viruses, rising prices and ethical standards. The marketing strategy of the meat substitute companies used may also be a factor. Although plant-based diets have continued to be adopted in these years, this trend seems to be accelerating in the Post pandemic. Another fact that post pandemic shifting towards the consumption of plant origin foods is reliance on a healthy diet which will not only boost the immunity but will also come up with other health-linked benefits. Plant origin foods are also more nutritious and health promoting than foods consisting of dairy, fish and meat. Via this study, we have analyzed that there needs to be a major change in the use of wild animals and domestic animals to prevent any risk of future zoonoses. As the global population increases, zoonosis may occur more frequently. Promoting the adoption of healthy plant-based foods worldwide and a contemporaneous decline in the animals used as sources of food is important and necessary to prevent future epidemics due to disease.

Keywords: Post-pandemic, diet, market, population, animal origin foods, plant origin foods, COVID-19


How to Cite

Ali , U., Hafeez , F., Khan , A., & Farooq, S. (2024). Unveiling the Shifting Dietary Landscape: Plant-Based Foods Amidst the COVID-19 Era. Asian Food Science Journal, 23(6), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.9734/afsj/2024/v23i6716

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Mitra P, Misra S, and Sharma P, COVID-19 pandemic in India: What lies ahead. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2020;1–3.

Yang H, Hu J, Tan BK, Wong K, Huang JJ, Cheung PC, Lin S. Lesson learned from COVID-19 pandemic for the future of food industry. Heliyon. 2023;9(4):e096871.

World Health Organization report, COVID-19 epidemiological update; 2024. Available:https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/covid-19-epidemiological-update---19-january-2024 [Accessed on 19 January 2024]

Loo KY, Letchumanan V, Ser HL, et al., COVID-19: Insights into potential vaccines. Microorganisms. 2021;9(3).

Tan LT-H, Letchumanan V, Ser H-L, et al., PMMB COVID-19 Bulletin: United Kingdom (22nd April 2020). Prog Microbes Mol Biol. 2020;3(1).

Johnson D, Ren SEC, Johnson HD, et al., COVID-19: Are Malaysians embracing or suffering the new normality? Prog Microbes Mol Biol. 2020;3(1).

Letchumanan V, Ab Mutalib N-S, Goh B-H, et al., Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV: Could this virus become a possible global pandemic. Prog Microbes Mol Biol. 2020;3(1).

Zhou P, Yang XL, Wang XG, et al., A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin. Nature. 2020;579(7798):270–273.

Ng SL, Ong YS, Khaw KY, et al., Focused review: Potential rare and atypical symptoms as indicator for targeted COVID-19 screening. Medicina (Kaunas). 2021;57(2).

Ser H-L, Tan LT-H, Law JW-F, et al., Genomic analysis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strains isolated in Malaysia. Prog Microbes Mol Biol. 2020;3(1).

Lam TT, Jia N, Zhang YW, et al., Identifying SARS-CoV-2-related coronaviruses in Malayan pangolins. Nature. 2020;583(7815):282–285.

Chan JF, Yuan S, Kok KH, et al., A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet. 2020; 395(10223):514–523.

Fiebrig I, Bombardi LM, and Pablo N. Hypothesising on the emergence of SARS-CoV–2 through bats: Its relation to intensive pig-factory farming and the agro-industrial complex (discussion paper); 2020.

Kumar R, Valuing variability: Agriculture, ecology and COVID-19. Society and Culture in South Asia: SAGE Publications India. 2021;2393861720975222.

World Health Organization. Zoonoses; 2020. Available:https://www.who.int/news-room/factsheets/detail/zoonoses [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Fooks AR, Jackson AC, Rabies: Scientific basis of the disease and its management. 3rd ed: Academic Pressl; 2013.

Jones KE, Patel NG, Levy MA, et al., Global trends in emerging infectious diseases. Nature. 2008;451(7181):990–993.

Guarner J, Three emerging coronaviruses in two decades. Am J Clin Pathol. 2020;153(4):420–421.

Halabowski D, Rzymski P, Taking a lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic: Preventing the future outbreaks of viral zoonoses through a multi-faceted approach. Sci Total Environ. 2021;757: 143723.

Lu R, Zhao X, Li J, et al., Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: Implications for virus origins and receptor binding. Lancet. 2020;395(10224):565–574.

Weston P, Standaert M. Make ban on Chinese wildlife markets permanent, says environment expert; 2020. Available:https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/30/makecoronavirus-ban-on-chinese-wildlife-markets-permanent-says-environment-expert-aoe [Accessed on 17 May 2021].

Cohen J, Mining coronavirus genomes for clues to the outbreak’s origins. Sciencemag. 2020; 31.

Wartecki A, Rzymski P, On the coronaviruses and their associations with the aquatic environment and wastewater. J Water. 2020;12(6):1598.

Greenfield P. Ban wildlife markets to avert pandemics, says UN biodiversity chief; 2020. Available:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/06/ban-live-animal-markets-pandemics-unbiodiversity-chief-age-of-extinction [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

Aguirre AA, Catherina R, Frye H, et al., Illicit wildlife trade, wet markets, and COVID-19: Preventing future pandemics. World Med Health Policy. 2020;12:256–265.

Maron DF. Wet markets’ likely launched the coronavirus. Here’s what you need to know; 2020. Available:https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/04/coronavirus-linked-to-chinesewet-markets/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

SPINSscan. PBFA retail sales data showing performance of plant-based foods during pandemic makes headlines; 2020. Available:https://www.spins.com/new-data-shows-plant-based-food-outpacingtotal-food-sales-during-covid-19/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs. United Kingdom slaughter statistics – October 2020. National Statistics; 2020. Available:https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Biannual report on global food markets. Food outlook; 2020. Available:http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cb1993en/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Research Dive. Southeast Asia meat product market expected to surpass $117,259.2 million by 2026 – Exclusive report [176 Pages] by Research Dive; 2020. Available:https://www.globenewswire.com/en/newsrelease/2020/10/19/2110311/0/en/Southeast-Asia-MeatProduct-Market-Expected-To-Surpass-117-259-2-Million-by-2026-Exclusive-Report-176-Pages-byResearch-Dive.html [Accessed on 17 May 2021].

FAO, How is COVID‐19 affecting the fisheries and aquaculture food systems. Rome: FAO; 2020.

Orlowski A. Small-scale fishermen suffering significantly from COVID-19 pandemic; 2020. Available:https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/small-scale-fishermen-suffering-significantlyfrom-covid-19-pandemic [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Federal Emergency Management Agency. Region I: COVID-19 long-term recovery task force; 2020. Available:https://agriculture.vermont.gov/document/region-i-covid-19-long-term-recovery-taskforce-funding-opportunities [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Reiley L. Commercial fishing industry in free fall as restaurants close, consumers hunker down and vessels tie up; 2020. Available:https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/08/commercialfishing-coronavirus/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Durand-Moreau Q, Adisesh A, Mackenzie G, et al., COVID-19 in meat and poultry facilities: A rapid review and lay media analysis. The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine; 2020.

Dyal JW, Grant MP, Broadwater K, et al., COVID-19 among workers in meat and poultry processing facilities - 19 states, April 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020;69(18).

Donaldson AI, Aerosols in meat plants as possible cause of Covid-19 spread. Vet Rec. 2020; 187(1):34–35.

Ser H-L, Letchumanan V, Law JW-F, et al., PMMB COVID-19 Bulletin: Spain (18th April 2020). Prog Microbes Mol Biol. 2020;3(1).

CBC News, Cargill Meat-Processing Plant South of Montreal says 64 Workers Infected with COVID-19; 2020. Available:https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/cargill-chambly-covid-19-shut-down-1.5563539. (Accessed 14 March 2023).

DW, More German meatpackers hit by virus; 2023. Available:https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-breaks-out-in-third-german-slaughterhouse/a-53389860, 2020. (Accessed 14 March 2023).

Cnn, Germany reports 650 new coronavirus cases in a meat processing plant, in: Available:https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/18/europe/germany-meat-processing-plantcoronavirus-cases-intl. (Accessed 14 March 2023).

Coronavirus Bbc, Guidelines Issued for Food Factories; 2020. Available:https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-53198297. (Accessed 14 March 2023).

Dyal JW, COVID-19 among workers in meat and poultry processing facilities–19 states, April 2020, MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2020;69. Available:https://doi. org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6918e3.

Ešegović D. HNU Working Paper - A pandemic as the starting point of a corporate crisis using the example of tönnies. Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Neu-Ulm; 2020. Available:https://publications.hs-neu-ulm.de/1838/1/Esegovic_WP_43_Pandemic-1[Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Halliday J. Over 450 cases of COVID-19 reported at food factories in England and Wales; 2020. Available:https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jun/25/over-450-covid-19-cases-reportedat-food-factories-in-england-and-wales [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

EFFAT. Covid-19 outbreaks in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants. European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions Report; 2020. Available:https://effat.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/09/Covid-19-outbreaks-in-slaughterhouses-and-meat-processing-plants-Stateof-affairs-and-demands-for-action-at-EU-level-07.09.2020 [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

Attwood S, Hajat C, How will the COVID-19 pandemic shape the future of meat consumption? Public Health Nutr. 2020;23(17):3116-3120.

Yaran Y. Shift towards vegan in China during COVID-19: An online behavioral survey study. In 2020 2nd International Conference on Economic Management and Cultural Industry (ICEMCI2020) Atlantis Press; 2020.

Forsa. Ernährungsreport 2019/2020. Ergebnisse einer repräsentativen Bevölkerungsbefragung; 2020. Available:https://www.bmel.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/_Ernaehrung/forsaernaehrungsreport-2020-tabellen [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Andria C. As meat supply chains face disruption, plant-based players like beyond meat see an opportunity. Forbes; 2020. Available:https://www.forbes.com/sites/andriacheng/2020/05/05/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Anna S. Popularity of meat alternatives on grubhub spikes by 463 percent in 2020; 2020.

Available:https://vegnews.com/2020/12/popularity-of-meat-alternatives-on-grubhub-spikes-by-463-percent-in2020 [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Spector K. 104 more vegan venues now on Happy Cow since the start of COVID-19; 2020. Available:https://vegconomist.com/market-and-trends/104-more-vegan-venues-now-on-happycow-sincethe-start-of-covid-19/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

Chiorando M. Subway UK. expands vegan options after sell-out success of Meatless Marinara. Plant Based News; 2020. Available:https://plantbasednews.org/lifestyle/vegan-subway-more-options/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Starbucks stories & news. Plant-based menu innovation at Starbucks; 2020. Available:https://stories.starbucks.com/stories/2020/plant-based-menu-innovation-at-starbucks/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

Mumbai PA. Smokers, vegetarians at lower risk of contracting Covid-19: Study; 2021. Available:https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/smokers-vegetarians-at-lower-risk-ofcontracting-covid-19-study/article33598138.ece# [Accessed on 20 Jan 2021].

Lazar V, Ditu LM, Pircalabioru GG, et al., Aspects of gut microbiota and immune system interactions in infectious diseases, immunopathology, and cancer. Front Immunol. 2018; 9(1830):1830.

Yeoh YK, Zuo T, Lui GC, et al., Gut microbiota composition reflects disease severity and dysfunctional immune responses in patients with COVID-19. Gut. 2021;70(4):698–706.

Asnicar F, Berry SE, Valdes AM, et al., Microbiome connections with host metabolism and habitual diet from 1,098 deeply phenotyped individuals. Nat Med. 2021;27(2):321–332.

Rishi P, Thakur K, Vij S, et al., Diet, gut microbiota and COVID-19. Indian J Microbiol. 2020:1–10.

Tomova A, Bukovsky I, Rembert E, et al., The effects of vegetarian and vegan diets on gut microbiota. Front Nutr. 2019;6:47.

Craig WJ, Health effects of vegan diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(5):1627S–1633S.

Jovic TH, Ali SR, Ibrahim N, et al., Could vitamins help in the fight against COVID-19? Nutrients. 2020;12(9):2550.

Hiedra R, Lo KB, Elbashabsheh M, et al., The use of IV vitamin C for patients with COVID-19: A case series. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2020;18(12):1259–1261.

Grant WB, Lahore H, McDonnell SL, et al., Evidence that vitamin D supplementation could reduce risk of Influenza and COVID-19 infections and deaths. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):988.

Japelt RB and Jakobsen J, Vitamin D in plants: A review of occurrence, analysis, and biosynthesis. Front Plant Sci. 2013;4:136.

Wang SC, Chen Y, Wang YC, et al., Tannic acid suppresses SARS-CoV-2 as a dual inhibitor of the viral main protease and the cellular TMPRSS2 protease. Am J Cancer Res. 2020;10(12): 4538–4546.

Chef's Pencil Staff. Top most popular countries and cities for vegans in 2020. Food Industry News; 2020. Available:https://www.chefspencil.com/top-most-popular-countries-and-cities-for-vegansin-2020/

[Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

Clarys P, Deliens T, Huybrechts I, et al., Comparison of nutritional quality of the vegan, vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diet. Nutrients. 2014;6(3):1318-32.

Willett W, Rockstrom J, Loken B, et al., Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. Lancet. 2019;393(10170):447-492.

Vernelli T. New study finds vegan meals cost 40% less than meat/fish. Veganuary; 2020. Available:https://veganuary.com/vegan-meals-cost-40-percent-less-than-meat-fish/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

International Labour Organization. Impact of the COVID-19 crisis on loss of jobs and hours among domestic workers; 2020. Available:https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

Acumen Research and Consulting. Vegan food market — Global industry analysis, market size, opportunities and forecast, 2019 – 2026; 2019. Available:https://www.acumenresearchandconsulting.com/vegan-food-market [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

FAO‐OIE‐WHO. The FAO–OIE–WHO collaboration: sharing responsibilities and coordinating global activities to address health risks at the animal–human–ecosystems interfaces. A Tripartite Concept Note; 2010. Available:https://www.who.int/influenza/resources/documents/tripartite_concept_note_hanoi/en/ [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021]

World Bank. People, pathogens and our planet: the economics of one health. Washington, DC. World Bank Group; 2012. Available:https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/11892 [Accessed on 5 Jan 2021].

Usman A, Meiqing L. Significance of PUFA and blending impacts on physiochemical and nutritional properties of edible oils: A review. Journal advances in nutritional science and technology. 2021;01(3):125-135. DOI: 10.15228/ANST.2021.v01.i03.p04