I’ll admit that there are many times I have no clue what I’m doing while cooking or baking, but for some reason (possibly because I’m crazy) it doesn’t concern me. I frequently cook without a recipe and only an idea of what I hope the dish will turn out to be. Most of the time things work out but I certainly have my share of failures.
Anyone want a two bite brownie? 😉
Or perhaps some mushroom ravioli that won’t stay together?
The truth is, more of the time I prefer my cooking over food I can get elsewhere. Not because I think I’m such an amazing cook, but because J and I have a lot (a LOT) of dietary restrictions and cooking from scratch myself is about the only way I know that the food we are eating is safe for us.
A study released this week by Sobeys Inc. shows that fewer young adults are feeling confident in their cooking abilities, in fact only 31% of 18-29 year olds feel confident in the kitchen versus 42% of 30-49 year olds and 48% of those 50 and older.
The national survey conducted in late February also revealed that on 18% of Canadians are preparing at least one meal/day from scratch or with basic ingredients and are instead relying mostly on processed and prepared foods.
My initial reaction? No wonder we have such a epidemic of obesity if only 18% of those surveyed are getting one meal/day made from scratch or from basic ingredients! And I am shocked to find that less than 50% of the population (regardless of age) feels confident in the kitchen. That’s crazy!
But wait…it gets worse…
During a typical week Canadians on average only prepare 4.2 meals from basic ingredients, 12 per cent didn’t prepare any meals at all, only 31% have 4-6 meals made with basic or scratch ingredients, and in a typical week 66% of Canadians dine out at least once (21 % 2-3 times/week, 39% once/week).
Wait…what? And the kicker (for me) is that 26% of Canadians said that “lack of time” prevents them from having more tasty, healthy and cost-effective meals.
That, my friends, is a cope-out. I’ll admit that we do eat out probably once every two weeks, but that’s usually our date or treat night. On occasion I end up having to buy something pre-made last minute for supper but 90% of the time we eat freshly made meals from scratch or basic ingredients. It takes no longer to make a package of one of those pre-packaged pasta meals than it does to make pasta and a sauce from scratch. In fact lots of times it’s even faster to make it from scratch – like my 15 minute stroganoff.
To make matters worse, a 2012 study showed that approximately 62% of dietary energy in Canada comes from ultra-processed products which contain excess fat, sugar, sodium and not enough dietary fibre. In the study they recommend diets (or eating styles) that minimize processed foods in order to prevent obesity and chronic diseases (another reason to make that stroganoff from scratch!)
The research results are worrisome. We know a lack of confidence in cooking and food skills leads to less time planning and preparing healthy, wholesome meals,” – Cheryl Turnbull-Bruce, Registered Dietitian and Manager of Sobeys’ team of dietitians.
Sobeys Inc.’s research also found that:
- When cooking skills are passed down from generation to generation, there’s more enjoyment and collaboration in the kitchen.
- Canadians who cooked with their parents (57%) are much more likely to love cooking as adults and are more likely to involve others in their own cooking, fuelling a virtuous circle.
- Two-thirds (67%) of Canadians who say they love to cook also agree that tasty, healthy and cost-effective meals can be planned, prepared and served in a limited time.
To encourage more Canadians to get cooking, Sobeys is partnering in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day, a global action for people to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills.
“Sobeys is on a mission to help Canadians eat better and feel better and we know cooking skills are an important element of that. It’s why we’ve partnered with Jamie Oliver who is so passionate about sharing his food knowledge and inspiring people of all ages to get cooking,” – Doug Brummer, Senior Vice President, Marketing at Sobeys Inc.
On April 28th, Sobeys will launch Canada’s Biggest Potluck Party challenging Canadians to host a potluck leading up to Food Revolution Day on May 16th. When participants share a post or photo of their potluck with the hashtag #PotluckChallenge, Sobeys will donate $1 to the Cooking Toward Independence Project. This new initiative run by the Children’s Aid Foundation will improve the lives of young people leaving the child welfare system across Canada when they turn 18 by funding cooking skills workshops and creating access to healthy food.
Beginning now until April 28th, Canadians are invite to test their own kitchen savvy and compare their skills against others with an interactive quiz found on www.BetterFoodForAll.com. Not to brag, but according to the quiz I’m a Kitchen Wizard 😉
The website also includes information about Food Revolution Day and later this month will feature potluck inspiration and the #PotluckChallenge photo stream.
You may not know this about me, but while I’ve often declared my love for the Food Network here on the blog, I don’t think I’ve told you all that Jamie Oliver is my favourite, favourite, favourite! So I’m pretty excited to be promoting Food Revolution Day knowing that he is involved, but I’d be on board regardless as I think knowing how to cook (or learning) is one of the most important skills any of us can have. If we ever hope to beat the epidemic of obesity that we are facing in this country (really, the continent) we need to teach people how simple, tasty and cost effective making your own food really is!
I will be hosting my own potluck later this month and will be sharing the recipe (or more likely recipes) I make here on the blog – and I hope you will all join in on the fun too! Even if you’re not confident in the kitchen now is the time to turn that around! Let’s all work on your cooking skills together and try out some new recipes!
P.S. Who wants to come to my potluck?? Anyone? I’ll promise to make something tasty!!
Disclosure: This post is generously sponsored by Sobeys Inc. in conjunction with Food Revolution Day, however all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.