Our grand­chil­dren won’t know how to cook own food

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

THANKS to the in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity and cheap price of take­aways and ready meals, hu­mans could for­get the skill to cook within two gen­er­a­tions.

Food ex­pert and sci­ence writer Ni­cola Tem­ple has warned that the skill may die out, in the same way the abil­ity to sew, once con­sid­ered a ne­ces­sity, has dwin­dled.

Mrs Tem­ple, who has pub­lished a book on pro­cessed food, told the Ed­in­burgh In­ter­na­tional Sci­ence Festival that its pop­u­lar­ity can be put down to sim­ple con­ve­nience. More peo­ple are opt­ing for ready meals be­cause of the dwin­dling im­por­tance of the fam­ily unit and of sit­ting down to­gether to eat, she said.

Sin­gle-per­son house­holds are also more wide­spread and are less likely to make meals be­cause it may seem too much ef­fort or lead to wasted left­overs.

After ask­ing how many in the au­di­ence would feel con­fi­dent sewing their own out­fit for an evening out, Mrs Tem­ple said: “I def­i­nitely could not do that but my grand­mother would have been able to do so and my great­grand­mother def­i­nitely would have been able to do so.

“In a cou­ple of gen­er­a­tions we have lost a skill, and we now rely en­tirely on cloth­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers to make our cloth­ing. My ques­tion is, in a cou­ple of gen­er­a­tions are we po­ten­tially go­ing to lose the skill of cook- ing? That is very con­cern­ing.”

The av­er­age per­son now spends 34 min­utes cook­ing an evening meal, com­pared with an hour in the 1980s.

“Peo­ple are ob­sessed with food, which means they are ob­sessed with watch­ing cook­ing shows. But these peo­ple are not ob­sessed with mak­ing their own food,” Mrs Tem­ple said.

Ni­cola Tem­ple.

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