If National Cooking Day happened to fall on a weekend, it would avoid the number one reason the average American does not cook: there’s not enough time! Let’s face it, it’s easier to pull open a plastic-wrapped baggie of microwavable, chemical-infused something than it is to sweat onions and make a Burgundy reduction sauce. Easier still is to click on the Papa John’s smartphone app and have a hot—or close to it—meal delivered in 30 minutes. Or an hour. Or two, if there’s football on TV.
And that’s why we need National Cooking Day. We need to celebrate it, get in step with the concept of cooking real food, and get in the kitchen. We also need to recognize that the time it takes to cook food is actually often much less than the time it takes to go out or order in. And it’s almost always much, much less expensive.
Think about it this way. By the time you drive to a restaurant, sit down, order your meal, wait for the food to arrive at your table, eat and then drive back home, you could have cooked, served, eaten and cleaned up the kitchen at home. Plus, you’d probably have twenty extra dollars in your pocket.
It’s pretty much a no-brainer that purchasing groceries to make dinner is less expensive than going to a restaurant or purchasing premade food to reheat. It’s just basic economics. But, how much do we save and is it worth the “hassle” of cooking?
Short answer: yes! Let’s use a simple pork chop dinner as an example. To cook a meal for four, according to statistics gathered by Wellio, you will pay approximately $3.11 per person. To purchase a pork chop dinner in a restaurant you will pay anywhere from $15.00 to $24.00. Maybe even more if you live in a tourist area or some major metros.
You could purchase a ready-made meal in the frozen section of your local grocer, and that will cost you around $3-4 per person. Not a huge savings, but there is a big difference when you look at the ingredients.
Using the same home-cooked pork chop dinner, the home-cooked ingredients list would be rather short: pork chops, spices (salt, pepper, thyme, garlic), mashed potatoes (includes milk and butter), and homemade gravy (includes corn starch), mixed veggies (includes salt, pepper and perhaps butter). Now, look at the paragraph of ingredients, including many polysyllabic words that sound more medical than culinary, on a frozen dinner box. That can’t be good.
Restaurant food is usually fairly close to what you’d find in a home-cooked meal, though some restaurant food isn’t as fresh as you think it is (just visit the local restaurant supply store that services most of the nearby restaurants). If you go to a restaurant, you probably will have similar ingredients as your home-cooked meal, but you don’t really know.
The rule of thumb among many nutritionists is that your meal should not be larger than your hand. Reality is different. In America, we supersize just about every meal. If your portion isn’t larger than, say, your head, it’s likely you will say that a restaurant isn’t a good value. The simple fact is that Americans overeat. Our large portion size is made even more problematic by the old rule that we must clean our plates and not be wasteful.
So, the reasons to celebrate National Cooking Day are many. And delicious!
To find a healthcare professional, use HealthLynked. It is a first of its kind medical network built as a social ecosystem with a higher purpose – improving healthcare. Go to HealthLynked.com to learn more, sign up for free, connect with your doctor, find a new doctor, and securely store and share your health information. Download our HealthLynked app available on Apple and Android devices.
Contributing blog writer, Richard Williamson, is VP of Marketing at HealthLynked.
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