FRENZIED ROUTINES IMPACT DINNER TIME
KITCHEN IS NO LONGER A RETREAT TO EAT
The rooms in our homes are becoming more multifunctional, dining is now something we enjoy all over the home and each room has to reflect its shared purpose. – Tiffany Buckins, Ikea
AUSSIES don’t like eating at the table, which is possibly because we’re embarrassed by the state of our kitchens.
This was one finding in the recent IKEA Life at Home report.
The report analysed global living and eating habits and looked at how Sydneysiders lived in and around the kitchen compared with eight other major cities: Berlin, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Stockholm.
Tiffany Buckins of Ikea Australia says this is the first time Sydney has been part of the global IKEA study which gives us an opportunity to better understand life at home.
It showed a number of global similarities related to cooking at home, food waste and sharing meals, differences in where people eat and social media use while dining.
“The report clearly showed that we tend to put a lot of emphasis on the look of our kitchens from the outside, but forget how important it is to organise the inside of our cupboards,’’ Buckins says.
It found that one in five Aussies might not be so keen to lend a neighbour that cup of sugar if it meant the neighbour had to peek inside their kitchen, admitting that their kitchens were messy and untidy (32 per cent), dirty and needing a clean (27 per cent) or small and crowded (22 per cent).
But while embarrassed by our kitchens, we pride ourselves on the quality of food we eat, with many Sydneysiders planning to buy sustainably sourced or organic (50 per cent) or locally produced (74 per cent) food.
We are also keen to grow our own herbs, plants, flowers and vegetables.
As a nation of foodies, many are guilty of being wasteful.
The report showed that 24 per cent admitted buying food only to discover they already had it in the fridge, while 26 per cent said they often found food that had gone off. And lifestyles have changed. While more than half of the respondents said their family always ate together when they were a child, the kitchen and dining room had become a place for any and every home activity, but not necessarily eating.
Stressful weekdays have resulted in fewer family dinners.
Only a third of Sydneysiders (33 per cent) now eat at the table daily, opting instead to eat in bed (13 per cent), alfresco (12 per cent), or even in their bathroom (4 per cent).
When they do share a meal, two out of three Sydneysiders use mobile devices. More than a third show their frustration at this habit, preferring that mobile phone not be allowed while eating together at home.
The language of sharing has taken on a new meaning at meal times in Australian homes — a new IKEA report shows most of us are slipping into an anti-social habit of using mobile devices while eating.
While clutter drives us away from eating at the kitchen or dining table, we do take pride in growing quality produce such as herbs.