Why Americans Don’t Cook as Much as We Used To


by ELYSSA GOLDBERG, Condé Nast, FEBRUARY 17, 2016
Why Americans Don’t Cook as Much as We Used To

“In his book, Cooked, Pollan sounds the alarm that Americans not only cook less than people anywhere else in the world, but we, on average, spend only 27 minutes a day preparing food, compared to 60 minutes in 1965.”

“Cooking is now optional; we don’t need to spend time in the kitchen to feed ourselves. And preparing food takes time. Or at least that’s the myth that big food industry wants to perpetuate, according to Pollan.”

Cooking has become highly mediated and removed from daily life for many of us,” Pollan said in an interview with producers from the series. It’s, ironically, why many of us spend more time watching cooking shows like Pollan’s than actually turning on a stove or building a soup layer by layer.”

“People are starting to realize that unless you cook, you can’t control your diet, and you’re ceding control of the important elements of your life to corporations that really don’t care about your health,” said Pollan.

Analysis: Michael Pollan is a nationally recognized author who has exposed much of the broken parts in our food culture. I’ve read his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and he points out the involvement of industry and how people need to reclaim their food. It’s not surprising to me that our time in the kitchen has decreased since food delivery apps and fast-casual restaurants have saturated our daily lives, but it makes me wonder about how we can balance cooking at home with these services. I don’t believe these conveniences are necessarily bad, but eating is an inherently human activity, and I think it needs to be balanced with home-cooking.