The Benefits of Learning to Cook

by Michelle on June 3, 2010 · 7 comments

in How To/Tutorial,Information,Articles

Meryl Streep as Julia Child

The Benefits of Learning to Cook

In the past cooking in families was the norm. It would be passed down from parent to child as a means of survival and a way of sharing a cultural and informational lineage from one generation to the next. Yet somehow we have lost touch with our cooking roots and aren’t cooking as much as we used to.

How has this happened?

There are quite a few factors as to why we have stopped cooking; one big reason I believe is because of the onslaught of packaged and convenience foods which definitely own the majority of our supermarket shelves and fast food “restaurants” which pose as a more convenient and cheaper way than cooking from our own kitchens.

Despite those reasons I’m here today to tell you there are benefits of learning to cook and cooking.

Why cook?
We do not have to be slaves to the industries that provide our families with food void of nutritional value. We can learn to cook and cook for many great reasons. Here, I’m going to outline a few reasons why cooking can be beneficial for your health and why we should all try to learn how to do so.

  • Taste- They say there is nothing like home cooking. Who doesn’t have a relative or friend who cooks amazingly well? Learning to cook can help us achieve flavour greatness by learning what works and what doesn’t work in the kitchen, and also how certain foods interact with each other (and in our own bodies). Cooking can help make the somewhat bland and uninteresting ingredients turn into decadent and enticing meals.
  • Experience- We can broaden our horizons by cooking from different ethnic cuisines. Different foods can take us to different places and experience different tastes than what we are used to and so we can learn about different cultures through food.
  • Quality- When we cook for ourselves we choose what goes in our food. We have the ultimate control over the quality of the ingredients.
  • Convenience- Though some may disagree, I believe when we cook for ourselves we can make our meals more convenient by preparing additional foods in advance, then we can have meals for on-the-go busy times.
  • Health- When we cook for ourselves we can make more nutritious foods than we would find in packaged foods. We can even learn how to prepare foods so they are more nutritious!
  • Pure & Real Ingredients- Cooking for yourself lets you choose the ingredients you want to use and you can make them as chemical free and artificial-anything free as you like!
  • Food Brings People Together- It’s no wonder so many holidays are centered around or are celebrated with food. It’s because food brings people together.
  • Independence- Learning to cook can give us a great sense of freedom and independence. Knowing you are able to cook for yourself can give you the satisfaction that you are looking after yourself and you can provide nourishing meals for yourself.
  • Cost- So many foods cost a lot more when bought pre-packaged. It’s amazing how much cheaper it is to make your own versions of certain foods!
  • Cultural Lineage– Teaching your family and/or loved ones to cook your family’s recipes or your favourite culinary creations can be a way to pass down information that will live on forever through food. This can help provide your loved ones with a means for  survival.
  • Expression of Love- One of the greatest benefits of cooking, especially for others, is that by cooking you can express to others your love and show how you care for them.

I hope you feel inspired by the benefits of cooking and feel inspired to whip up something nutritious and delicious for yourself or your loved ones!

‘How-To’ Series at HealthFoodLover.com

Here at Health Food Lover I’ve now created a new ‘how-to’ series which I will share with you from now on on how to cook many different things! It will be called “How To-___”, and each post in the series will have a different topic! The series starts next week with a post on ‘How to cut up a chicken (and use all of it well)’.

Do you like cooking? What benefits have you found from cooking? I’d love to know your thoughts on this post or why you like (or don’t like) to cook!

Photo Credit: EatWellGuide & thank you to Alex for editing. I shared this post at Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday June 4th.

Michelle

Health Food Lover is Michelle Robson-Garth. Michelle is a degree-qualified Naturopath (BHSc) and Massage Therapist. She is also a passionate writer, recipe-creator and all-round foodie from Melbourne, Australia. © Copyright: 2009-2012 Michelle Robson-Garth. Please ask permission first when using any text or images on healthfoodlover.com. Read the disclaimer here. Have a look at the recipe index for more health food lovin’ recipes. Join the Facebook page & follow Health Food Lover on twitter.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

erzebet June 12, 2010 at 7:39 pm

during my childhood i found cooking as oppressing for women – when i got to college i ate only fast food because i didn’t want to cook . i got sick and bit by bit i learned new recipes. in short, cooking has changed my life. not only that i do not have cavities, eczemas and gastritis anymore, but i enjoy rich foods that i never could have afforded if someone else cooked for me. I got to the point that i prefer food cooked by me to 5-star restaurant chefs because i use high-quality ingredients. In the end, nourishing my body and my mind is not oppressing at all:)

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Reed October 4, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Fantastic post. I’ve just found your website and am really enjoying your articles. For me cooking is an essential part of my day. I can’t remember a time when this was not a daily ritual… It nourishes me on so many levels, but most of all it connects me with the earth and reminds me that i am part of something bigger :)

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Michelle October 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Thanks Reed!

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