Feeding Ourselves: Thoughts on Cooking and Convenience

Drawing of a bowl a fruit and a pear and orange on a table

I came across this article yesterday that reported the findings of a study showing that “[o]nly 10% of consumers now love to cook, while 45% hate it and 45% are lukewarm about it.”  The 10% number surprised me, as many people in my social circle cook most of their meals and seem to enjoy making their own food.  I’ll admit that I tend to fall into the lukewarm category, though it’s more accurate to say that my desire to cook ebbs and flows.

I know that cooking my own meals is generally healthier and more cost-effective than eating at restaurants.  Cooking can be a lot more satisfying, too.  I don’t live in a big city with an endless number of restaurants, and sometimes I’m just not that excited about my options for eating out.  On occasions when I want a specific dish, my chances of satisfying the craving are sometimes better if I make the dish myself rather than trying to find the precise offering at a local restaurant.  I also imagine that for families with kids and hectic schedules, eating at home is probably easier than going to a restaurant.

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Becoming a More Conscious Consumer

A square still-life painting of vegetables and fruits.
Farmer’s Market Finds, 2012. Private Collection.

Over the past year, I’ve made a few significant changes in my purchasing habits. These changes weren’t part of any resolution or major life overhaul. They came gradually as I educated myself on certain issues and decided I no longer wanted to contribute to certain problems. I changed what I buy to support positive practices and avoid supporting negative ones.

Now, I don’t mean to be preachy. I don’t judge people who haven’t made these changes, because it wasn’t very long ago that I changed my ways. I also understand that I am privileged to be able to make these choices. I am paid a good salary and can afford to choose more expensive products that align with my values. I realize not everyone has that luxury. Some people must accept what is available to them. With those caveats in mind, here are three steps I’ve taken toward building a better world with my dollars.

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