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Consumers' Preferences for Safe and Organic Food during and Post-COVID-19

Shaikh Tanveer, Hossain; Md. Sakirul Islam, Khan and Sheikh Mohammad Fazle, Akbar (2020) Consumers' Preferences for Safe and Organic Food during and Post-COVID-19. Paper at: Food Science Virtual 2020, Virtual (UK), 13-14 July 2020.

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Since January 2020, we have been experiencing a pandemic of a new strain of coronavirus, SARS-coronavirus-2 or
COVID-19. There have already been 10 million confirmed cases with more than 0.5 million deaths, which have shuttered
most types of businesses worldwide. As of June 2020, researchers had not yet developed an effective vaccine against COVID-19,
and despite global efforts, an antiviral drug to treat infected patients had not been approved. These realities mean that there is
a pressing need to explore all relevant factors relating to healthier lifestyles during the pandemic and for the post-COVID-19
The World Health Organization advises that maintaining a healthy diet is critical in preventing, fighting, and recovering
from infections and supporting a strong immune system (https://www.who.int/campaigns/connecting-the-world-tocombat-coronavirus/healthyathome/healthyathome---healthy-diet). There has thus been increased focus on boosting host
immunity, the only factor that has shown potential for containing and controlling the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic
(Martinez MA. 2020. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00399-20). Previous studies highlighted that safe food and consumption of food
under restricted stress conditions can positively modulate the immune system, allowing innate immunity to prevent SARSCoV-2 from passing from the upper to the lower respiratory tract and thus lowering the incidence of pneumonia (https://
www.healthline.com/health/coronavirus-pneumonia). Taken together, the evidence shows that the consumption of safe food
may raise immunity and downregulate stress, which in combination may contain the spread of COVID-19 and block the
development of infection-related complications.
Maintaining a healthy diet is gaining more attention, and several surveys by e-marketing food companies, mostly in developed
countries, released in the COVID-19 era have revealed consumers’ increasing interest in safe as well as organic food for
boosting immunity. The changing food habits of consumers can be accelerated and continued by adopting practical measures
at policy levels so that the simple message of the “new normal life” can be spread. While COVID-19 has had disastrous health
and socioeconomic consequences, the pandemic has had a positive impact on the number of consumers and policymakers
considering the need for providing more nutritious, safer food from “farm to fork.” Consumers may now be willing to pay
more for safer food to build up immunity, depending on their incomes, job security, and likelihood of a long-term recession.
However, challenges remain in delivering safe, high-quality products to consumers, particularly in resource-constrained
economies where trust and transparency are issues.
The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the need to strengthen awareness of food safety and hygiene, although its
implementation remains an ongoing global challenge. Studies show that practicing food safety hygiene is more important
than ever, especially in relation to host immunity. If this can be properly addressed, it would help to fight other emerging
novel pathogens in the future and be a potential value-adding activity for agribusiness enterprises.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Consumer, Organic and safe food, COVID-19
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Food systems > Markets and trade
Food systems
Environmental aspects
Research affiliation:Bangladesh
International Organizations > Other organizations
International Organizations
Deposited By: Hossain, Dr Shaikh Tanveer
ID Code:39836
Deposited On:09 May 2021 04:01
Last Modified:09 May 2021 04:01
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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