Friday, June 4

Kitchen Literacy

Would you consider yourself kitchen literate? Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of Kitchen Literacy before—I just made it up. But it’s a good metaphor! Just work with me here.

How many times a week do you cook your meals? More and more people not only don’t cook most of their meals themselves, but (I think) more and more people don’t know how to cook even if they wanted to make a majority of their own meals.

A team of researchers studied the food literacy of 16-26 year olds. That is, they studied the participants’ ability to make food choices, shop for their own food and cook their food. I don’t have to tell you that the results were abysmal, and researchers assume it’s because parents are “outsourcing” food preparation more than they used to (frozen foods, restaurants, etc.).

My mother forced me to take a year of piano lessons, but never forced me to help her prepare and make dinner. Even now, when I ask her for a recipe, I get a list of ingredients (rarely with measurements) without cooking directions! (Love you, mum!) I got a lot of home-cooked meals growing up, but I’m in a growing minority. And even I think some food education at home would have been way more helpful than the piano lessons. I now have a reputation for being a great cook in my home, but the first couple years I was married were pretty rough.

Challenge yourself this week! Commit to cooking/preparing every single meal yourself (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). Buy a cookbook and try 3 new recipes (you’ll never learn if you don’t try). Find a Whole Food grocery store and attend their weekly cooking classes.

If nothing else, you’ll at least find out what skills you have and the ones you need to work on.

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