"One must eat to live, and not live to eat".
Cicero (-106 BC ; -43BC), a Roman politician known for his Catilinarian Orations, couldn't have better summed up the use of cooking in his diatribes and rhetorics.
Today we'd say it's a great punchline.
In 2014, the total food budget for UK households was 111 billion pounds, that is to say, 8,7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
That figure represents 1.5 times the total amount of public expenses for education that same year.
This is huge and it shows a growing enthusiasm for culinary skills in households.
Taking cooking classes or going on a food trip is more and more considered an important activity, a search for healthy food and healthy cooking whose benefits are plentiful:
- eat healthy to live better
- be healthy
- be independent
- stimulate one's creativity
- be confident
- impress someone
- save up some money
- reinforce a social link
- discover the world's food
But if you're no MasterChef and it gets on your nerves when you have to muck in, Superprof wants to give you 4 good reasons to learn how to cook and convince you of the thousands of virtues of the culinary skills.
The Benefits of Cooking
"Eating is to incorporate one's territory," said Jean Brunhes, a famous geographer (1869-1930).
Eating a tasteless meal isn't satisfying at all, just like going back to school or the end of holidays, if you allow me to say it.
On the contrary, healthy eating and tasting new meals give pleasure and warm one's heart for every self-respecting hedonist.
Thus, cooking is an essential skill that you have to improve every day. Why?
Learning how to cook enables you to:
- satisfy a physiological primary need
- treat your kids with healthy food
- be a social success thanks to its rewarding aspect
- take care of your kids or guests' health
- become an eco-responsible customer
- value your own gastronomic culture
Thanks to cooking classes and techniques, you can control your daily nutritional intake needed to the balanced diet of your organism.
By eating healthy, your child will take on good habits and will have a quality food education.
Family dinner can turn into culinary classes which improve the health benefits of your offspring on FOUR levels:
- the immune system (every balanced meal prevent chronic illness from appearing such as cancers and cardiovascular accidents)
- ageing (nutrition acts on the cognitive development and muscle tissues)
Follow the recommendation of the National Nutrition Health Program if you're having questions about your diet.
Learning how to cook, how to take up an instrument or learning a new language sharpens your knowledge enhances your social relations and is a powerful tool for social development.
Because during a dinner at home, your cooking skills will now be legitimate to your friends.
By following your favourite cookbook, easy recipes will soon become a masterpiece in your plate. Or you can search for cooking lessons London to help improve your cooking skills.
You'll be congratulated with sentences like “that is so good, what's in it?”, and this subsequently brings positive vibes:
- gain more independence
- be more confident
- feeling competent
- want to surpass oneself
Learn how to cook and become an organic chef, who respects the environment (learn to recycle your waste, honey-producing plants to attract bees, eat organic vegetables, less lipid, less carbohydrate, fat, etc.).
Learn to adapt to cultural food and discover the exoticism of the world's food or try an original recipe: Japanese food, Chinese, vegetarian, and learn about the ingredient in itself – their therapeutics virtues and their country of origin.
Home Cooking is Good for your Health
“Coquina medicinae famulatrix est” (cooking is a slave's medicine), said Terence (-190 BC / -159 BC), a Roman slave and poet.
Here's why learning to cook improves your health:
eating healthy will make you lose weight without cutting on food
steam your food to restrict the calorific intake
prefer vegetables high in protein, dried pulse, (beans, lentil, peas)
Optimise portions: the bigger they are, the more the stomach will get used to eating in great quantity
Lacking inspiration? Here is a glossary of healthy products to write down a great grocery shopping list and know your food better.
And if you fail at cooking a meal you'd planned, tell yourself you'll do better next time!
If you think you're greedy or don't have a cooking talent, don't EVER use this as an excuse to eat frozen meals or fast foods.
Because a hamburger, a kebap, pizzas or tacos are more harmful than a chicory or asparagus salad with too much salt, or an over-cooked duck breast fillet:
fast foods are full of lipid and added sugar
the more a person eats fast foods, the lower their supply of micronutrients
fast food menus have saturated fat and calories
they're full of sodium (salt) which is dangerous for your health
they're expensive: better going to a gastronomic restaurant once than to McDonalds ten times
To avoid the pitfall of these bad habits, you may need a hand, or a guide to enjoying cooking:
- Our Cookbook of choice: the pleasure of cooking
- AllRecipes.com offers 25 000 000 easy and refined recipes
Cooking is Cost Effective
According to a French study in 2008, 29% of the people asked to think that cooking skills enable you to save up some money.
20% of households' income is dedicated to food according to their study.
Cooking costs less than buying prepared meals and is a great way to reduce your food budget.
Buy smart and optimise your shopping list.
Here's what you can do to reduce your budget if it's tight:
- plan your meals ahead: you'll learn the cooking basics and the food to pair
go grocery shopping after having eating: the hungrier you are, the more food you buy. Food you don't need!
buy organic nutritious vegetables and limit fatty meat and fish
cook dried and natural pulses (beans, lentil, peas...)
opt for local food, shop at your local stores: eat healthily and buy fresh, local and seasonal food!
- Learn how to garden: have a vegetable garden and starting in March, plant tomatoes, cucumbers, melon, thym, basil, peppers, beans. And for organic products, buy on BuyWholeFoodsOnline.
Nowadays, there are a lot of different options to vary one's diet.
You don't necessarily have to go to the supermarket where the food waste is gigantic.
We buy organic to eat healthy lives, we pay the producers and in the end, this is less expensive.
To reduce your monthly food bill:
don't shop day by day, once a week is enough
cook huge meals and put the leftovers in the freezer
choose "discount" brands as much as possible
- track down discounts
recycle everything left in your fridge, create menus with leftovers
No need to be a Chef to cook low budget meals and prepare a romantic dinner for example!
Cook to Impress
Yes! Mastering the culinary art is a great power of seduction.
“If I had a son to marry, I would tell him: beware of the young girl who does not like wine, truffle, cheese nor music.” wrote Colette (1873-1954), a novelist, imitator, actress and journalist.
We all know that by now, tasty food brings pleasure and even desire. When your taste buds are pleased, the rest follows.
To strengthen your relationship or even seduce someone that you like, you've been thinking about cooking a little romantic dinner?
Go look for great seduction recipes for an amazing diner with your lover. Before starting cooking, you have to pick a menu.
We're happy to help you, so here are a few questions to ask yourself:
what's their nutrition lifestyle: vegetarian, sweet and savoury, traditional cuisine, exotic, gastronomic or simple?
what do they like: organic food, veggie, meat, fish, seafood, soups, a dish cooked in sauce?
show your affection but stay simple: forget about the seafood tray and champagne for a first one on one
how do I decorate the table?
how do I set up the room? Plants, lighting, candles...
how should I dress or what kind of makeup should I wear?
prepare a cocktail for before the dinner
try something creative, knowing how to cook is a sign of independence
choose a good wine
to have a pretty table with flowers, tablecloth, placemat...
choose relaxing music like blues, jazz, classical, flamenco...
dress accordingly and wear some perfume
Already tried all the recipes in your cookbook? Missing a little something to be a true Chef?
Take oenology classes to match your meals to your wine!