Food is fundamental to life and to so many aspects of our community. It is central to our family life and to our social interactions. Entertainment and recreation revolve around food in so many ways. Some of the most popular television shows focus on food and the experience of creating and enjoying it. Therefore, to analyse our purchasing habits, our consumption of food, our relationship with food and our values around food is an important part of social research and means a further understanding of our nation. The analysis of food attitudes and behaviour has been a fascinating experience and has revealed food personalities and social insights we would not have otherwise known.

For these reasons I was attracted to the Good Food Karma Index project. It was exciting to develop an algorithm that analysed Australia’s food and eating habits not just from a narrow nutritional perspective alone, but by looking at our relationship to food and overall wellbeing. It is a broad-based index which doesn’t categorise food into black and white categories or determine good and bad lifestyles, or healthy and unhealthy eating. The Good Food Karma Algorithm appreciates the complex and diverse lifestyles that people have, and finds encouraging aspects of all groups.

It helps us hold a mirror up to society so we can understand a bit more about the food values and attitudes ourselves. The food personalities we discovered help Australians understand how they eat. We can be encouraged by many aspects of what we have found and Dr Joanna McMillan provides some helpful action steps so our lives can be further enhanced.

Developing the Good Food Karma Algorithm and analysing all the data that has gone into it has been an enlightening and fun experience. I look forward to seeing more of the results come to light as Australians now get the chance to find out their own Good Food Karma score and food personality.

Mark McCrindle, Social Researcher