22 February 2013

Eating

In the early days of this blog I posted about how little attention it appears some folks pay to the food that they eat.  Food that is convenient, cooked for you and has in some instances little in the way of raw ingredients that I would use.  I have been reminded once again of the reliance on convenience foods with the recent revelations in the media regarding certain meat products.  I am not one to eat this type of food I much prefer to make my own from scratch.  It does take longer and requires more thought but it is in my opinion tastier and, whilst I have no proof, I am sure is nutritionally better for you.

I have been pondering for some time why some people rely on these foods.  I know for many it is the convenience they lead very busy lives.  It is possible to be very busy, working long hours and still eat fairly well, if you have the money, there are some very good quality ready made meals that you can buy.  For some though I wonder if the convenience is because they are unable to cook.  To some of us it may seem unbelievable that anyone is unable to cook.  But if you grow up in a house where nobody cooks a meal from scratch how will you ever learn.  Cooking is a skill that is passed on from one generation to another.  I rarely if ever cooked when I lived with my parents my mother, however, cooked a meal from scratch every night.  When I left home I continued to do the same, it was the only way I knew how.

The abundance of ready made convenient foods is, I believe, further eroding a declining skill.  It's enabling those that have money to work longer hours and or be busy doing other things and then pop a meal in the oven or microwave when they return home however late it is.

For those on low incomes it is often cited as an affordable way to live.  It is cheaper than buying the raw ingredients and sadly in many cases it often is.  Although the ingredients that have been used are often dubious as has been demonstrated in the last month.  In the days before refrigeration their diet would have been other convenient foods such as bread which could be bought daily and at little cost.  The need for convenience was I suspect due to very basic, if any, facilities for cooking on.  Over the years and with the introduction of refrigeration the demand for cheap convenient food has not diminished and will continue to grow with each generation as cooking skills are not there to be passed on.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a stay at home mum and have bought the odd m&s ready meal now and then, when I'm short on time or simply can't be bothered to cook. I'm human after all.

    I think you've touched upon the two main issues - money and skill. It is possible to make food from scratch on a budget but this requires the knowledge and confidence that many families might not have. For me, I think it's crucial that kids learn to cook as children and teens so that it's a basic skill like writing and reading. Ideally in the home, but if not then in school. I think many school are doing more with food tech/cooking lessons but I think more could still be done. I learnt to cook partly from my mum, and partly when I went off to Uni.

    Gosh, what a long comment, sorry. This is a great post and got me thinking.

    Gillian x

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