At the beginning of May 2022, the Minister of Agriculture of Indonesia, Syahrul Yasin Limpo has officially announced that Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) or Penyakit Mulut dan Kuku (PMK) has become an outbreak which has infected thousands of farm animals like cows and goats in dozens of provinces and more than 50 cities/districts in Indonesia, and it keeps spreading for these past few months.
However, even though we haven’t heard if FMD infects any humans in this country, but is this plague able to change people’s habits and behaviors, just like Covid-19 does? To answer this question, at the end of July 2022, we asked our respondents whether this animal disease might affect their lifestyle, or even not?
From 1000 samples who used to consume beef and goat meat for these past few years, our study found out that during FMD outbreak, 13% Indonesians choose to stop consuming beef and goat meat, but most of them still consume these kinds of meat yet only 16% who do it often.
The number of those who often consume these types of livestock animal meat actually has decreased. Because our survey also figured out that before the spread of FMD, the percentage of Indonesians who used to consume beef or goat meat frequently is 43% (once every 2-3 days (11%), and 30% eat those meats at least once a week).
This behavioral change might be the result of the high level of public alertness toward this plague, where majority of our respondents confessed that they are worried and quite terrified of this disease.
Furthermore, our survey also found interesting facts on their shopping habits. Before the spread of FMD, most Indonesians used to buy beef and goat meat at vegetable vendors or traditional markets. Meanwhile during FMD outbreak, the number of consumers who shop at modern meat shops is increasing 5%, and vegetable vendors/traditional markets are still become most people’s favorite! But on the other side, the number of consumers who buy beef and goat meat at supermarkets and minimarkets is decreasing after the occurrence of this plague.
Not just for personal consumption, during the latest Eid al-Adha (July 10, 2022), the influence of FMD was also experienced by a lot of people. Even though most people (36%) said they received “Eid al-Adha” meat as much as in the previous years, but 35% also said that they got less portion of “Eid al-Adha” meat in this year.
According to a study that was conducted by tSurvey by Telkomsel which shows majority of Indonesians chose to be more careful while buying cow(s) or goat(s) to be sacrificed for Eid-Adha, we might interpret that this case happened due to the awareness of most people toward FMD, which made them think that this year, the health level of the sacrificed animals is far more important than the animals’ body size/weight.
According to the infographic at the beginning of this article, we know that during the occurrence of FMD outbreak, some people stop consuming beef or goat meat. In our survey, they confessed that they mostly choose foods that contain vegetative protein like tofu, tempeh, beans, etc (65%), eggs and fowl meats (63%), also vegetables (62%) to replace those two kinds of livestock meat for their daily consumption in these past few months.
Moreover, despite the fact that they will consume beef and/or goat meat again if FMD outbreak is over someday, but 23% of them have different choice; they choose to not eat these types of farm animals anymore in the future. And interestingly, instead of fearing to get contracted by FMD, losing interest toward the taste of those meats is the most popular reason for their decision.
Thus, our study found that for some people, at this moment FMD indeed has a little bit influence on their habits and behaviors. But for another, FMD has driven them to change their consumption habits and/or lifestyle forever!
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