Why Cook?

In this day and age, we really don’t have to cook if we don’t want to.  There is take-out food, delivered pizzas, fast food, microwave entrees, frozen dinners.  There are all kinds of ways to avoid cooking.

Maybe the question should be…..why eat?

We eat for nourishment.  We eat so that our bodies can have the energy they need to go about our day.  Our children eat so that they can grow tall and strong.  But of course, we also eat for pleasure.  Food gives us comfort, satisfies our senses, and often, it is part of sharing life with one another.

Now, the question, why cook?

There are many answers to that question.  Food safety.  Cutting calories.  Saving money.  DIY.

Food safety:  There are many articles that I could link to about this.  The most recent is about Taco Bell.   I am not even going to go in to the problems found with baby food, packaged spinach, etc. (but you can read them for yourselves!) Now, I love a good burrito supreme.   But am I risking my health by eating them often?  You say, my Taco Bell will not poison me.  I say, I’m not so sure.

Cutting calories:  A burrito supreme:  440 calories, 18 grams of fat, and a whopping 1,330 grams of salt.  If you drive by that Taco Bell and remember that you can make a burrito at home cheaper — leftover hamburger or a can of black beans, a bit of cheddar cheese, some lettuce, tomato and onion.  Wrap it in a tortilla and eat much healthier (especially if you only put the beans in it and not the burger). Also, just because you are eating a salad at a restaurant, or grabbing one from McDonald’s, is it really healthy for you?  It can be, but look at the ingredient list for that salad; lots of cheese, deli meats, tons of dressing.  Was that lettuce washed, and was that salad made yesterday and kept in a cold refrigerator or not (see safety above)?

Saving money:  Again, see above burrito idea.  Yes, costs of food have gone way, way up.  You will find this at Domino’s as well as at the grocery store.  But you can make a pizza with pizza dough from the store if you don’t want to make it yourself, put on lots of your favorite toppings (no black olives standard!) and have your own “artisan” pizza for less cost than those “artisan pizzas.”

AND you do not have to “$$reward your driver for awesomeness.$$.”

DIY:  You can reward YOURSELF for awesomeness!!!!  Yes, doing something yourself gives anyone a sense of empowerment.  Cooking is a skill that can be learned, it can be changed, it can be improved upon.  It is a life skill.  I like this quote from author Erin Bried:

“When did I lose my ability to take care of myself?…

What is simultaneously comforting and alarming about my domestic incompetence is that I am hardly alone.  I am joined by millions of women..who either have consciously rejected household endeavors in favor of career or, even more likely, were simply raised in the ultimate age of convenience and consumerism.”

from –”How to Sew a Button:  And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew”

Another great quote from Kathleen Flinn, author of Kitchen Counter Cooking School:

“I feel there is a disconnect in this country when it comes to food and cooking. On one hand, there’s a culture of hero worship around celebrity chefs that fuels cooking-as-a-spectator-sport on television. At the same time, marketers worked for decades to convince people that cooking themselves isn’t worth their time, and that even simple dishes fall outside their grasp. All this explains why one woman in the book told me, ‘I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve eaten Tuna Helper while watching Gordon Ramsey.’ It’s a funny line about a serious problem. The rise of convenience food and decline of home cooking are inextricably correlated to the surge of obesity and diabetes. If people think they can’t cook, they put themselves at the mercy of companies whose interests are primarily financial to feed them instead.”

 If you think you don’t have time to learn to cook, give some thought to this:

“People say that they don’t have time to cook, yet in the last few years we have found an extra 2 hours a day for the internet.”

–Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma

 

It’s time to learn how to cook!

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  • "I see cooking much more as art (and magic) than as science, and I really believe it should be fun. If more people saw it that way -- instead of as a chore -- they'd be inclined to do it much more often."  --Winnie Abramson, Nutritionist, Cookbook Author, and Contributor to Food52
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