Why are people still cooking

Cooking and everyday life: Fewer and fewer people are finding time to cook for themselves

Are you still cooking? And what does cooking actually mean for you? Refine a soup? Prepare a salad? Operate the Thermomix? Or does it have to be a multi-course menu? Exactly - one can understand a lot by cooking. What is certain, however, is that less and less is cooked in everyday life. This is the result not only from a study by the Society for Consumer Research together with the Federal Association of the German Food Industry. Heidrun Schubert from the Bavarian Consumer Center has also observed for a long time that fewer and fewer people cook for themselves. "We all eat, but many cook and hardly enjoy anything anymore."

Vegetarians, vegans, fruitarians: who actually eats what? 1/7
  • Vegetarians forego meat in their diet or all foods for which an animal had to die. Around 3.7 percent of the population in Germany are vegetarian.

  • Flexitarians want to protest against factory farming - but without completely giving up meat. The flexitarians pay more attention to what kind of meat is on their plate.

  • The pescetarians: no meat, yes fish! This is where the name derives from: The Italian "pesce" means fish. Your main concern is to set an example against the undignified keeping of land animals.

  • The raw foodist refrains from cooking his food. Raw food can be vegetarian, but doesn't have to be. The only important thing is not to heat the food.

  • Vegans reject all foods of animal origin. They want to set an example against the exploitation of livestock. The vegan does not only avoid meat, but also all other foods that come from animals.

  • Fruitarians only eat plant-based foods. In addition, however, the plant must not be damaged in order to eat it. Potatoes and beets must not be eaten because the whole plant is destroyed during harvest.

  • Freegans try to live for free and also to eat for free. For example, you are looking for expired yogurt or fruit in supermarket waste. Most of them are also vegetarian. With their way of life, the Freegans want to point out waste, abundance and, above all, global poverty.

Nowadays, things usually have to be quick and easy in the kitchen. Because people have less and less time to cook. That's what Denis Kolesnikov says. He's not just a cook. He also gives cooking courses at the Volkshochschule (VHS) Augsburg. And cooking courses are going very well, says Gabriele Lindstedt, department head at the VHS. “The steak course is the most popular of my courses,” says Chef Kolesnikov. But his “Christmas menu with farm duck” is always fully booked. Because the interest is already there, feels Kolesnikov. But the time is running out. This is why fast and healthy cuisine is so important to the 31-year-old. Because he knows: you can quickly create delicious dishes with fresh ingredients. Choose regional and fresh vegetables, depending on your taste a pot of thyme,

Take oregano, chives or basil with you, always buy the meat from the butcher - these are some of his tips when asked about shopping rules. In his opinion, ready-made products are not needed for quick meals either. However, nutritionist Schubert does not accept time as an argument in favor of fast food and ready meals. Because people would also find time for the fitness center or other leisure activities. “No, everything else is more important to many,” says Schubert. In her opinion, it is not just skills that fall by the wayside - children and young people in particular lack an important “everyday skill” in families where people no longer cook. Creativity, appreciation for food and, last but not least, traditions and sociability were also lost.

Small bites are always expensive

In contrast, bite-sized, semi-finished and finished foods are very popular. “Many consider this to be modern,” says Schubert. It must be clear to everyone that pre-made items such as chopped fruit, carrot sticks and cheese canapés are usually much more expensive, "because the manufacturers let themselves be paid for every step". And the health factor should also not be ignored: According to Schubert, many pre-prepared or ready-made meals contain much more sugar and fat than you would use for them yourself. Anyone can check this using an example: Simply cook a rice pudding and check how much sugar you need yourself and how much is contained in the finished product. "Or you can compare the ingredients and additives of a pizza from the supermarket with a homemade one," says the nutritionist. "A little planning is necessary for cooking," admits Schubert and gives beginners the following tips:

  • Collect recipes that are easy to follow and that suit your taste.
  • Plan a few days in advance. Go through your pantry and make a grocery shopping list for the next few days.
  • Mark your personal cooking days in the calendar. Increase slowly.
  • Buy only seasonally and, if possible, regionally.
  • Give a cooking class as a gift or do you want one.
  • Invite friends or neighbors to cook together.

Because the exchange of recipes is particularly important for a society. Chef Kolesnikov fears that specialties from Bavarian Swabia such as cabbage donuts or steamed noodles will be lost. The native Ukrainian, who came to Germany at the age of 17 and completed his training as a chef here, is currently working on a new cookbook that introduces Ukrainian cuisine. In his opinion, cooking with regional ingredients strengthens identity. This is also a reason for him to cultivate his knowledge and skills in the kitchen. He cannot understand why so many people simply hand over their freedom to decide what to eat to the food manufacturers: “We are run by the industry,” says the family man. "And we are made more and more lazy and dependent on it."

These tricks make cooking effective and quick

So it's time, as nutritionist Schubert advises, "to build up a few muscles again in the kitchen training camp - without any admission fee or contract, but with a lot of fun and enjoyment." Kolesnikov proves that no one has to struggle with boiling bones for hours to get a perfect gravy: the cook uses smoked bacon instead of bones. And you no longer have to stir your cheese sauce for 20 minutes: “It's ready in five minutes,” he emphasizes. The secret? Among other things, he uses cream cheese.