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If there is someone who cooks in your family, one thing they may say is that cooking is such an undervalued skill. The reality is that they are right– there are so many people actually don’t like cooking all that much. Take a poll of your friends, and most will be in the middle. Many like to cook but wouldn’t say it’s their passion, while others will settle for anything pre-made and leave it at that.
Why is that? Why has cooking fallen to a skill only a minority use? Today we’re going to answer that.
One of the biggest contributors is the food networks that are all over the place. Food and cooking are two separate things as so many of us love food and cooking shows, and drool over what’s being presented. But at the same time, the food network has also raised our own standards for cooking up to insane levels. Think about it. How confident do we feel about our cooking skills after watching Iron Chef or Hell’s Kitchen? It’s for this reason why so many people eat out as opposed to visiting the local grocery store and buying fresh produce.
The second contributor to cooking less is the mismanagement of inventory and shelf life. Today, grocers strive to provide the freshest produce for customers so that people buy it. The problem comes when we see the sell-by date. That’s the date you’ll find on milk, some canned products, and maybe even produce. This is a problem because the customer reads those dates as the date where the food is bad and should be tossed out. The reality is that date is used by grocery stores for when they should throw that product out and replace it with something fresher. That’s because the food is still good, but it may not be the most visually appealing so customers will buy it. This misconception seeps back into cooking because it creates a sense of urgency for the consumer. They need to use up all that food very quickly and that might be challenging. Especially if they have a very busy lifestyle.
The last big reason people are cooking less and less is due to our own innovation. The food industry has changed drastically over the years and why so many people buy packaged meals is because we invented them. While now the technology is common, when frozen veggies or frozen meals were first introduced, these were new concepts. Even canned goods was once a revolutionary aspect. But these creations have created a set standard and expectation for us. People buy pre-made meals because they are faster and more convenient in their own eyes.
Because of these contributing factors, more and more people have focused on cooking less from year to year. Grocers will need to be more innovative these days than ever before to bring more people back to their stores, however, that’s not going to change peoples passion for cooking. For that, people need to be more open to the idea of cooking and realizing you can make a wholesome, delicious meal without having to spend hours in the kitchen.