NEW YORK — Sorry grandma, your apple pie recipe just doesn’t hold a candle to offerings by TV chefs and online bloggers. A new survey finds more people are relying on the internet for cooking guidance than their loved ones.
The recent study of 2,000 Americans looked at people’s food knowledge and found that more people turn to YouTube (35%) and food blogs (32%) for culinary tips and tricks over friends and family (21%).
Time to throw out the cookbooks?
While half of Americans rely on TV shows for the latest food trends, alternatives like social media (45%) and online blogs (42%) are nearly as popular, as the average person follows at least four food-related accounts on TikTok and other social platforms.
Conducted by OnePoll for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the survey also finds that three in five active social media users have been inspired by a post to make more environmentally sustainable food choices.
Nearly all of those respondents (91%) are likely to change their eating habits after learning about sustainable foods on social media. Seventy-two percent also agree TV shows and social media are crucial when it comes to learning about how suppliers source foods.
However, simply getting the information is half of the battle. While two-thirds agree it’s important to know if a food option they plan to purchase is environmentally sustainable, 59 percent say they’re not able to buy as many sustainable foods as they’d like to.
Many attribute their inability to buy more sustainable foods to a lack of options they actually like (53%) or perceived cost of these items (49%).
Another two in five say they don’t know how to identify environmentally sustainable foods. Even though 64 percent believe the majority of foods they regularly eat come from a sustainable food source, there is a sharp decline in the number of people who say the same about the seafood they buy at grocery stores (27%).
“People want to make purchasing decisions that are good for the ocean and good for their family, but that choice doesn’t always feel easy to navigate. Independent certification labels on seafood provide one way to ensure you’re making an environmentally sustainable choice,” explains Erika Feller, regional director for the Americas at the MSC, in a statement.
“These labels assess the sustainability of a particular fish population to make sure it has been caught following environmentally-friendly standards, and can be accurately traced back to a sustainable fishery.”
For those who can’t find the right food option, 57 percent say they experience guilt after purchasing products that aren’t environmentally sustainable. When asked about other food shopping challenges, two in five have trouble spotting “greenwashing” or food fraud and nearly two-thirds (63%) don’t know how to identify if a claim about a product’s food sustainability is credible.
While shopping locally has its benefits, 71 percent are aware that foods don’t have to be locally sourced to be environmentally sustainable.
“In the last three years alone, certified fisheries have made 372 improvements to the benefit of endangered, threatened or protected species, stock status and harvest strategies, fishery management, government and policy, and ecosystems and habitats. These requirements help drive innovation and improve fishing practices,” Feller adds.