Is home cooking on the way out?
Home cooking has dropped by 30% since the 1980s!
When I was a child I was lucky enough to always have a freshly cooked dinner. Microwaves were just not around then. Freezers only just appearing in homes. Fast food? ready meals? No such thing!
Every morning the table was laid for breakfast. The full monty. Porridge, eggs, bacon, juice, coffee, real bread toasted with butter. Nothing more, nothing less.
Lunch time was a home cooked meal with my Nan until I was full-time at school. Then it was school dinners and a home cooked meal at night. It was good old fashioned home cooked meals which featured plenty of locally sourced meat and vegetables. Puddings were made from home grown rhubarb, strawberries or apples.
I grew up watching my Nan and Mum cook. I joined in and I remember the smells of batch cooking and baking throughout the house on a Sunday afternoon! I never remembered worrying about my weight in those days. My how things changed!
My mum left home when I was 9. My Dad had never cooked until that point. He had to work 6-7 days a week just to keep us fed and watered. So in crept the microwave, the deep fat fryer and cheaper shop bought frozen pies. Back in the day we didn’t think much of it. Except that it saved time and money!
Despite managing to pull of the single Dad role I remember the magic of mealtimes slowly disappearing and soon I was struggling with my weight.
I would be left instructions to start dinner before Dad arrived home later. We would eat dinner at different times and often it was very beige looking. This was a typical day:
- 5.00pm heat oven to 180c
- 5.10pm put frozen pies in the oven
- 5.15pm peel potatoes, chop and put in pan of boiling water
- 5.30pm boil potatoes for 20 mins.
- 5.40pm open can of processed peas and put in pan and heat gently
- 5.50pm mash potatoes with skimmed-milk and margarine (yes we had started to buy ‘low’ fat foods in an attempt to be healthy!!)
- 6.00pm Serve up and place Dad’s on a plate and left to warm in oven until he managed to fight motorway to get home to us!
Apart from the occasional dinner party or sunday family get together, home cooked family meal times were a thing of the past!
Even baking appears to be in decline and despite the popularity of TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off. Just 20 years ago home baked cakes accounted for a half of all cakes eaten in the UK; now just 20% are homemade.
The fast-food and meals-on-the-go lifestyle sits alongside a recent survey that found British women are officially the most overweight in Europe, and British men are the second most overweight.
Now it is very different. Children are growing up not EVER experiencing home cooked food! Skills are being lost for many reasons and as a result we are getting fatter and sicker!:
Yep, I hate cooking, I can cook, but don’t have the first clue how to just put something together, I find it stressful, takes too long to prepare, just pees me off from start to finish!! – CD
- People are having kids later and grandparents are no longer around to share cooking skills
- Families are moving away and living greater distances from their grandparents and other family members
- People are having to work well into their old age meaning that they are not around to pass on cooking skills to their grandchildren
- Cookery is not taught at schools in the same way as it was many years ago
- Both parents are working full-time meaning there is no longer anyone at home preparing food
- Food appears cheaper ready made or pre-prepared compared to the cost and time needed to cook from scratch
- People work far longer and spin far more plates than ever before
- Fast food joints make it easy and cheap for you to eat on the run
In the past two years frozen food sales have grown by 11% (up 20% among skilled working class groups) and spending on chilled ready meals is up 19% (25-30% among working class groups) as hard pressed consumers seek “recession buster” value. Partly as a result, the proportion of home-made food eaten by children is decreasing, fuelling a further erosion in cookery skills.
The study revealed kitchen nerves are more prevalent among the under 35s, who find cooking more stressful than older generations.
Research by kitchen appliance maker Kenwood found one in seven Brits do not feel confident enough to cook a meal from scratch.
What do you think? Does this effect you?
I would LOVE to know what things challenge you about home cooking. Do you still cook? Do you struggle to cook from scratch? If so why? I have compiled a little on-line survey and would love it if you could take a few moments to take part: Tell me more about your cooking challenges
In the meantime if you would like help and inspiration to cook from scratch please do join our group. It’s FREE and full of great advice and recipes! Click here to join!
I have lost 5lb in 4 days! How’s that happened? I have been dieting for years and it’s taken ages to get that much off. Not touched anything but meat and veg xx – SM
Big love, small tummies
Jill – The Fat Controller