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Old 03-17-2005, 10:19 PM   #1
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Home cooking is on the decline

Hi...
I'm doing research on food consumption, eating habits, cooking trends. The aim of my research is to develop a product that will encourage/ heighten the frequency of home cooking.
Young people are lack of the basic knowledge of cooking these days. For them, cooking spends too much of their time. This is understably especially for people who are working from 9 am to 8 pm where most of the people i know said they would rather eat out and then enjoy the evening doing something else.
Please tell me what do you guys think about this. And does anyone has any good link or books/journal that are related to this topic.
Thanks heaps...

Kitkit

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Old 03-17-2005, 11:20 PM   #2
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Personally my thoughts are there is absolutely no product that you can put on the market that will make someone want to cook. The "want" comes from within. There already exists top quality cookware, knives, appliances, cookbooks, etc. People have access to the world wide web to gather the most simplistic of recipes yet still good to eat.

So, I would be very curious to know under which isle of Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Linen N' Things, or what section of William Sonoma you plan to concentrate on for your invention. I've never seen Passion for Cooking in a 32 oz. bottle or a shaker.

You've got quite a task in front of you and I wish you luck.
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:37 AM   #3
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Im with Elf here. ;-)
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Old 03-18-2005, 03:19 AM   #4
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I'm with you DS & Elfy.

Now, it isn't an invention, but the availability of disposable income and the urge to spend it has a lot to do with it.

As pensioners, we don't have much disposable income & I like to waste my share on flying (+ the odd beer), while ensuring that we eat good healthy tucker. Many of my attempts don't work out as they should first time round.

Being independant and broke as a teenager also helped to find my way around a kitchen.

Our kids burn water & everytime MDW or myself attempt to teach them a little bit, there's always something more important to do. They'll just have to learn the hard way. They're all late teens & early 20's & 1 of 3 at least has a go.
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooksy
They're all late teens & early 20's & 1 of 3 at least has a go.
LOL Brooksy - you could leave this up on the computer screen - get the ball rolling at least!
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:39 AM   #6
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I'm with Elf on the "wanna" part. I started my son out in the kitchen soon as he could stand on a chair and reach the counter and he both loves to cook and is an exemplary cook.

Praise comes into play somewhere in the equation as well.

I'm hopeful that as the trend continues for at least one parent to stay at home with the kids the home cooking will increase. There's a major $$ incentive there.
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:51 AM   #7
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I cook almost every day and have many friends who do not.
I've noticed a trend w/ my friends, here are some reasons they don't attempt any sort of home cooking:

-I dont know how to cook.
-What would I make, it's only me and my partner...
-It takes too long, by the time I know what I'm craving, it's faster to go out.
-I dont want to have to clean up.

I don't think there is any one product that would satisfy the majority that do not cook at home. The only time my friends cook is when we have a cooking contest/party at my place. (i.e. Iron chef style pizza battle, themed pot luck, etc.)
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:55 PM   #8
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My son and I were talking on the phone the other day and he was trying to convince me that he had been "seriously deprived" as a child, which he knew would get a huge laugh out of me. He finally confessed that he considered himself "deprived" because I never ever made him kool-aid or hamburger helper. LOL

As for getting people into the kitchen... I'm not sure what it would take. But it needs to happen. =) Boxed "convenience" food is really not very food like, it's certainly not very nutritious, it's full of added fats, ugly preservatives and "flavoring" stuff. Most of the time it's not very satisfying either.

I guess people equate cooking with spending hours in the kitchen. That just isn't true though. With some planning, some shopping and some practice, anyone can put together a very nice meal in under an hour. An hour of time to feel yourself and your family in a good way is nothing. Wish more people would think that way.

Maybe if it were beat into people's head about how important what we put into our bodies is they'd finally understand that taking control over that input with cooking in the kitchen is the only way to ensure success.

Rachel Ray's 30-Minute Meals on FoodTV should be a must-watch for people who think that they don't have time to cook. I can hardly stand her fakeyness (is that a word) but she does manage to put together meals that are nice without being fussy. Giada's Everyday Italian is another great example of how using fresh, wholesome ingrediants and a small bit of time can create some truly memorable meals.

G'luck with your project. And let us know what you come up with! I'm very curious about a magical elixir that would charm more people into their kitchens.

;)
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:55 PM   #9
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htc - I've mentioned this before here - but you know your passion shows and you make it look easy when your ex-husband's wife calls you to come teach her how to cook! LOL She and I are still best friends - "they" are not LOL
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Old 03-18-2005, 02:03 PM   #10
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Zereh - ROFLMAO - I got that speech because I never bought Spam or made Hamburger Helper!!!! (I've eaten it but it's been awhile - apparently about 17 years! lol) And your hour's worth of cooking time is VERY generous to make a great meal - and like you said - it just takes a little pre-planning. As with many of us here cooking is how we love our family - and when it was just me - it was how I loved me! lol I would take a roast and cut it into quarters - and still cook a roast for just me. Buy 2 carrots, 2 potatoes, 1 onion, and have it 2 days in a row or a couple days apart.
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Old 03-18-2005, 03:30 PM   #11
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I have to agree that IMHO the best way to get someone to enjoy cooking is to rear him/her in a house where people prepare meals.

When we were kids we almost never went to a restuarant, money was the issue. And when we did, it was never anything fancy (no fast food chains then, we are talking about local seafood places and Chinese).

But we saw our parents cook (primarily mom but my dad would do a yeoman's task particularly with Sunday dinner or holiday meals).

We weren't taught to cook, we learned by being allowed to help out as best we could (I think we hindered more often than helped at an early age, but we were always thanked, praised, and encouraged).

And then as kids we started to cook on our own. Nothing exotic or fancy believe me, but we could put together a meal.

And somehow cooking became fun.

How one would make it interesting in another way, I have no idea.

But I wish you well.
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Old 03-18-2005, 06:24 PM   #12
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Question

I'm told some new homes in Northern Ireland don't have kitchens, instead there is a cupbord for a microwave! :oops: :oops: :oops:
cheers
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Old 03-18-2005, 06:24 PM   #13
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Elf, :) When my stepson first came to live with me, I started making wonton noodle soup for him. He LOVES it, so needless to say, asked his Mom to cook it for him. *sigh* He likes hers better, but I don't blame him, since it's his Mom's soup. I don't think it's real wonton soup. I think it's canned broth with some thrown together wonton.

Mine has home made broth, wontons (ground meat, shrimp, ginger, seasonings, etc), quail eggs, bbq pork, shrimp, roasted garlic & other seasonings.
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Old 03-18-2005, 07:01 PM   #14
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I'm coming to your house htc for wonton soup!!!!! Yours sounds awesome!
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Old 03-18-2005, 07:25 PM   #15
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Here's the secret:
Grandparents and parents.
Most folks have wonderful, vivid memories of their loved ones, especially grandparents, regarding food. Unfortunately, many have passed on, and cannot share the cooking with the younger set anymore.
The solution?
Have the elderly cook with teenagers. REALLY! It could open up a new world for both of them! The elderly would look forward to having a visitor who really wanted to see them, and it would keep their minds focused. The teen would get a vast knowledge of techniques, along with countless stories. Friendships would bond.

that's my story and I'm sticking to it :)
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:27 AM   #16
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The 'reverse phsycology' worked in my situation. During my childhood, I would have loved to help out Mum in the kitchen during the school holidays. Anytime I ventured into the kitchen to ask if I could help, or take an interest in what was cooking, she always told me to get out, cause I was in the way. My Mum was very territorial in 'her' kitchen

Then I started High School, and made a complete idiot of myself, as I didn't even know how to cook potatoes and mash them. It took a lot of convincing my Mum, for me to cook dinner for the family, and this maybe happened about 5 times during my teen years. Each time, the meal was critisized.

The day I left home and moved into a flat on my own, I spent my weekends buying and reading cookbooks, trying simple things to begin with, and venturing into more exotic dishes. The girl in the flat next door was Italian, and came over one weekend and taught me how to make Lasagne!!! That was a day to remember!!!

That was about 25 years ago, and my enthusiasm for cooking hasn't waned yet. The novelty is still there for me.
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:35 AM   #17
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Aussie: Good for you for not giving in and getting discouraged. Kudos!!
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Old 03-21-2005, 01:52 AM   #18
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Absolutely I doubt there is anything you can put into a bottle that would make someone more interested in cooking. And if it's about a more healthy "us" anyway, what could possibly go in a bottle that would chemically change us to get cooking that could be labeled as healthy?

My girls love to help in the kitchen, we made mini-meatloaves last night and all 3 of them helped in some way. My Mom made all of our meals from scratch when we were kids, no money to do anything else. I remember lots of comfort food and never being hungry - though we were very poor.

Getting the kids in the kitchen at an early age is very important, these are skills that are imperative to their future, we cannot depend on having money in the future to eat out, or even depend on the restaurants feeding us things that are healthy for us. Life will continue to improve/develop no matter what we do, but we can always instill the basic good things of life into our young ones and food is a necessity. :-)
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:30 AM   #19
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Thanks for the kind words, Thier. Another motivation was probably necessity, (being on my own). I've never been overly reliant on fast food - much rather cook!!!
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:36 AM   #20
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Brother! Just wrote a reply to this and lost it somehow. But I think the main reason cooking is on a decline is that fussy eaters have gotten the upper hand. They claim some virtuous reason why they cannot eat what you've fixed, and you're stuck, not making a meal for a group of happy family or freinds, but a bunch of meals for people who aren't going to like them and would rather eat McD's. I don't think it's the cook's fault, it is the way a generation has been raised, to believe that every one of their eating whims should be met by whoever is stupid enough to get in the kitchen. Oh, yes, and the cook gets to clean up the mess, too. I look for freinds who like to eat and think helping clean up is a easy price to pay, and I haven't had children. But I look at most gatherings and it is no wonder that no one wants to cook any more.
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