Amid a global pandemic and widespread, valid anger and tension, it seems nearly impossible to find the good news in it all. Food Matters has always strived been a beacon of hope, and support - and we know that our bodies cannot be healthy while our minds are under such stress. This isn’t to deter from the impact of what’s going on across the globe right now, but to remind you that there still is some light among the darkness. We know first-hand that positivity and compassion can be our greatest source of healing - so we want to bring you a round-up of some of the best news around the world each week.

Studies find people are eating healthier and wasting less food during lockdown

We’re firm believers that the food you eat and the lifestyle you lead can determine your overall health, so when we found out people were eating better and wasting less in lockdown, we couldn’t have been more excited. One coronavirus cooking survey found that based on an analysis of answers by 11,000 people in 11 countries, consumers reported fewer purchases of microwave-prepared foods and fewer purchases of sweet and salty snacks. The study, conducted by the University of Antwerp, found that people were even steering away from ‘healthy’ prepackaged meal alternatives and using their time to cook from scratch. If you want to add to the ongoing research, you can take part in the survey here.

Mandatory yoga for schoolchildren in Nepal

If you know the Food Matters community, you know we love yoga. It’s a wonderful way of moving our bodies, calming our minds, and connecting with the present. It’s also an incredible practice to encourage children to adopt. So when we discovered that Nepalese officials have made yoga a compulsory part of the schooling curriculum, we were ecstatic. Let’s hope countries around the world begin to follow suit - or at least encourage the option.

NZ tackles COVID, 18 days of no new cases and 0 active cases

In her first term, Jacinda Ardern has faced some of the hardest challenges as a leader. A terrorist attack, volcanic eruption, global pandemic - all while raising a newborn and leading with grace and kindness. Her response to coronavirus was a no-nonsense approach, and the small nation at the bottom of the world descended into a full-scale lockdown. But within mere months, New Zealand is on the brink of becoming COVID-free - they’re an inspiration to us all.

University professor adopts out lab-rats

One of the downfalls of science is the initial tests that are often conducted on animal subjects - and as it currently stands there is no legally-accepted alternative. But one professor went live on Wisconsin Public Radio to share his 20-year-long initiative. After watching his students bond with the lab rats they’re conducting experiments on, he offers them the opportunity to adopt the rats and take them home where they can live out the rest of their days.

Scientists discover connections between gut mucous and brain health

Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have just released a new research review of 113 neurological, gut, and microbiology studies that further indicates just how important our second brain is - the gut. Bacterial imbalance in the gut is linked with Alzheimer's disease, autism, and other brain disorders, yet the exact causes have always been unclear. Through the analysis of these studies, the researchers have been able to determine that those with compromised gut mucous are often impacted by poor neurological health. So now that we know this, the next step is, where to from here? Watch this space...

Do you know what else is a sure-fire way to make you feel good? Healthy chocolate treats. Download 10 of favorite healthy chocolate recipes today. And tell us, have you heard any good news or positive stories lately? Share them with our community in the comments section below...