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LISTEN: How The Pandemic Has Changed Cooking And Eating Habits

Marena Lin
Project Restore Us
Chef Irene Li (far left) and her staff stand outside of her restaurant Mei Mei in Boston.

What we eat -- and where -- has changed for many of us over the past year. Some people are getting more takeout, while others are spending a lot more time at home, cooking both elaborate and simple meals. The New York Times reported that cookbook sales increased by 127% from 2019 to 2020.

“I have just loved seeing how many people are really engaging with cooking in a new way because they’re working from home,” said Irene Li, who is co-owner of Mei Mei in Boston, a restaurant pre-pandemic that has since turned into a packaged dumpling company.

During the pandemic, so much is out of everyone’s control, Li said. But people regain some of that when they try a new recipe and plan their meals.

“I think that’s one way that people have found some comfort in this time,” Li told NEXT.

Li co-authored a cookbook with her siblings in 2019 called “Double Awesome Chinese Food: Irresistible and Totally Achievable Recipes from Our Chinese-American Kitchen.”

This interview was featured on NEXT from the New England News Collaborative. Listen to the entire episode here.

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