A shocking statistic is that, according to research done by the USDA, the average American spends only 37 minutes a day in total preparing and serving food, and cleaning up afterwards.
In practice, this more or less means that the average American is doing virtually no home cooking. As anyone who regularly cooks will tell you, it’s difficult to make anything more complex than an omelet in that time period. What the statistic in fact shows, is that the average American’s diet is made up of processed and pre-prepared food, to an enormous degree.
It’s noteworthy that this coincides with a major obesity epidemic.
Home-cooking is almost a lot art in many places, but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially considering that we live in a time when information is at our fingertips and food is, in many places, as cheap as it’s ever been.
Here are some reasons why taking home-cooking seriously can transform your life for the better.
Home-cooked meals are infinitely better for your health than processed or pre-prepared food
Home-cooked meals are infinitely better for your health than processed or pre-prepared food, even if that food is fairly “clean”.
The food writer Michael Pollan has noted in the past that pre-prepared and processed foods and commodities sold by big businesses. To improve their bottom line, those businesses are incentivised to use the cheapest ingredients they can get away with.
Pre-prepared food is made to be cost-effective and palatable, not nutritious, and certainly not healthy. Many of the ingredients most commonly found in processed foods — such as things like high-fructose corn syrup — have been directly linked with obesity and other health conditions.
Simply by cooking your meals at home from scratch, you’re likely already significantly improving your health.
There’s a real art to good cooking
Home-cooking isn’t just something you do in order to fuel your body. It’s something that has a real art to it, and that can enrich your life in an array of ways, including the simple pleasure of being able to enjoy tasty food on a regular basis.
Good cooking is an art, and the more you get into that art, the more you’ll respect it, and the more meaningful it will become in your life. Japanese kitchen knives, Italian herbs, and centuries-old recipes are tools that take on near-magical significance if you pay enough attention.
Of course, your friends and family will also benefit from the tasty food you cook.
Cooking is a great way to unwind
Cooking is a relatively slow, focused, and deliberate practice, while still being quite simple. It’s the kind of practice that we arguably need in our lives more than ever, busy as we almost all are, almost all of the time, with the demands of modern life.
Cooking provides an opportunity for you to find a bit of peace and quiet, and enjoy a more meditative approach to life. It’s an excellent way of unwinding, and getting your thoughts free from the preoccupations that might otherwise be hounding you.