Do You Cook Anymore? 12 Benefits of Not Going Out to Eat

According to a survey conducted by Gallup-Healthways, most Americans are eating at home now but are still too busy to cook from scratch.

This is sad news in light of the fact that the overall eating habits of Americans are not improving, and may even be getting worse.

Fewer Americans are eating fruits and vegetables even though the trend has been more towards eating at home rather than eating out. However, frozen, boxed and quick meals that are already prepared are gaining popularity. People opt for spending as little time preparing meals as possible.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) also conducted a study. They found that Americans eat very fast, skip meals and take short lunch breaks.

They don’t spend time thinking about, planning or cooking meals. According to the study, the younger generation, especially, is not focused on food in a way that was common in the past. With more women working outside the home than ever before, no one has time to plan or prepare meals.¬†Eating and drinking are no longer a primary activity.

We truly live in a “fast” nation, and the food manufacturers know it and are capitalizing on it. Unfortunately, our health is suffering because of this.

The ERS study found that those who did not set aside time for cooking and eating had a higher body mass index than those who did. Other health complications such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease have risen right alongside our hurried culture.

Dr. Brian Wansink addresses some of these concerns in his book Mindless Eating. He notes that the average American may make over 200 decisions about food each day, but when asked, most think that they make only about 15. Perhaps if we actually paid attention to why, what and how we ate, we would consume less, eat healthier and really enjoy our food, says Wansink.

While it is true that most Americans spend more time thinking about what they are going to wear rather than what they will fuel their bodies with, there are some who are embracing traditional cooking methods and truly enjoying it.

soupEating and cooking healthy, growing your own food or shopping leisurely in a farmers market are all relaxing and therapeutic activities that have many health benefits. Those that enjoy growing their own food, shopping locally and really taking the time to plan their meals claim it is a hobby that they really enjoy.

Our taste buds have truly been corrupted because we have been so far removed from fresh and wholesome foods. Many who turn the clock back and take the time to enjoy cooking and eating state that they will never return to the way they used to shop and eat.

Benefits of Cooking from Scratch

Here are just a few of the numerous benefits that cooking from scratch offers:

  • Better connection to our food sources
  • Less waste
  • Cost savings
  • Improved health
  • Stress reduction
  • More nutrient-dense meals
  • Better tasting food
  • Re-visitation of lost and dying culinary skills
  • Demonstrates resourcefulness
  • Promotes responsibility
  • Supports ethical choices
  • Builds relationships

For great recipes and information about cooking from scratch we suggest the book Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig.

When did you last cook a meal from scratch?

-The Alternative Daily

Sources:
http://blog.seattlepi.com/timigustafsonrd/2012/02/19/americans-prefer-eating-at-home-but-still-don%E2%80%99t-cook-and-don%E2%80%99t-eat-more-healthily/
http://www.copywriterskitchen.com/2009/04/28/10-good-reasons-to-start-cooking-from-scratch/

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