Why You Should Cook More Often

Emily recommended that I watch Michael Pollens Netflix series Cooked. I found it fascinating and it got me to reflect on the importance of cooking.

Cooking is the foundation of what made us human. It was the core advancement that had separated us from animal to man. It shaped our genetics and communities.

Though with time our society has also advanced to one that favours convenience and a fast paced lifestyle. We can now reheat pre packaged meals in seconds, order a burger without leaving the car, and have food delivered straight to our home. This has made cooking less and less prevalent in our everyday lives. In return our connection to food, health and relationships have suffered.

I think it’s time we make cooking a priority in our lives again. These are some reasons for it’s importance:

Connection to food
When we cook we learn what goes into our meals, where it came from, the effort put into creating it and the flavour each ingredient brings out. This builds value and appreciation around our meals that’s otherwise lost with convenience foods.

Better Health
Cooking is one of the simplest ways to improve our health without making any drastic changes. Various herbs, spices, vegetables and whole grains would become staples in the recipes we bring to life. In return our fiber, vitamin, and antioxidant intake would increase.

If we made no changes to our diet except for having to cook or bake everything we ate, we’d inevitably cut back on sugar, refined carb and other inflammatory food consumption. The thought of pizza and cookies sounds great, but if you constantly had to put your time and energy into making them you would not be eating them as often.

Improves Relationship

1) Team building
When cooking with others you will need to delegate tasks, manage time and remain mindful of moving around the kitchen. This requires patience, attention, coordination and communication. All of which are important in building strong relationships. The skills cooking develops between you and your loved ones will be reflected in how you move and tackle life as a team.

2) Communication
Cooking allows us to engage with our loved ones and focus on the present moment. The attention and time it requires forces us to put down our phone and step away from work. This means we have more room to communicate with our partners, family and friends. We can catch up about our days or share something we’ve learned. Some of the most interesting conversations can come while cooking.

3) Builds Positive Memories
Cooking can build lasting memories and positive associations with loved ones. Our sense of smell and taste have the biggest impact on memory. When we're cooking we're engaged with these senses. Which not only helps us remember the food we ate, but the experience and deeper connections made around it. Which would explain why certain foods evoke an instant flash back, like fresh baked cookies reminding you of grandma. 

Try challenging yourself to cook all your meals for one weekend. If you have plans with friends and family, ask them to join you in creating a meal. Take note of how you feel about your food, your energy afterwards and the quality of your time spent with loved ones. Let us know in the comments about your experience! 

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