When you cook at home, you have more control over what goes into your body. By buying organic, sustainably raised or minimally treated produce, you can dramatically reduce your consumption of food contaminated by chemical fertilizers, hormones, or antibiotics. Once you’re in the kitchen, chances are you won’t choose a recipe calling for artificial colour, artificial flavour, texturisers, preservatives, or packaging.
You can control the nutritional value of the foods you prepare. Cooking methods also matter. For example, roasting a vegetable will preserve vitamins that are wasted by boiling it; retaining the peel on many fruits and vegetables provides additional vitamins.
When you’re cooking yourself, you can customize the flavour to suit your own preferences.
Sharing a meal together with family or friends reinforces a precious bond. You’ll discover how the simple act of engaging in face-to-face conversation over a meal you’ve created yourself can become a meaningful part of your lives.
Learning to cook sustainably is an opportunity to make it your own special way of furthering values you believe in — stewardship, responsibility, independence, love — by taking control of what goes onto your plate.
1. Saves money
Eating dinner out is expensive! It is a lot more cost-effective to purchase groceries than ordering take away every night.
2. Saves time
In the time it takes to drive to a restaurant, place your order, wait for your order, return home and serve the meal, you could have made a three-course meal from scratch with time to sit and chew slowly. For those on a busy schedule, prepare half the week’s meals on a Sunday and the other half mid-week, which can allow time for relaxation or beneficial exercise.
3. Less salt and trans fats
Food producers and restaurant chefs use higher levels of salt and fat to make their products taste better to the consumer. Preparing meals at home allows you to control the amount of salt and oils you use in your recipes. This in turn reduces the possibility of weight gain and clogged arteries.
4. Balanced meals
Taking the time to plan your weekly menu not only helps to save time and money, but also provides a way to create meals with a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, plus all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for the adult and child’s body. When eating balanced meals your body feels satisfied, has fewer cravings and this in turn prevents late-night snacking.
5. Food safety
Cooking at home will give you the peace of mind you need in knowing you have the freshest ingredients (or at least since your last trip to the supermarket!), and you can rest assured knowing your food has been stored and cooked at the correct temperatures.
6. Better energy
Proper home cooked food will increase your energy levels.
7. Encourages family bonding
Preparing meals at home and including family members in meal preparation is a way to give and share love. When food is prepared with a calm mind and loving thoughts it can become a tonic for both the physical body and the soul. Teaching children how to cook is a gift of health they will use for their entire lives and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.
8. Weight management
With larger portions people tend to eat more, but cooking at home allows you to control serving sizes and prevent overeating. Buy locally, in season, the best quality food, organic when possible. When cooking from scratch you know exactly what is going into your recipes. The choices you make can keep you healthy and help prevent weight gain, digestive troubles and allergic reactions. Preparing meals at home gives you the ability to exercise portion control and help curb the temptation of overeating.
9. Increase knowledge of food
Food is much more than just something that tastes good and fills up your stomach. What you eat can heal, cause sickness, or even inflict pain. Cooking your own meals can teach you what foods are high or low in certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It will even boost your creativity as you learn to combine nutritious foods to satisfy your palate!
10. Savour your food
The physical acts of preparing your own meals will lead to a newfound appreciation for the food you consume. This is very important since mindless munching and emotional eating can contribute to unhealthy weight gain because you’re not fully conscious of the foods you’re eating.
11. Builds healthy habits
Cooking at home can jump-start your healthy lifestyle! By discovering healthy recipes, learning about food, creating and sticking to a meal plan, you and your family can be inspired to living a healthy, fit life. It will also help your immune system and your chances of getting diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease will decrease.
12. Awareness of food allergies & sensitivities
Cooking for yourself and your family also gives the control to avoid food allergens. Common food allergies include nuts, gluten and shellfish, and all of these are common and usually well-liked ingredients in many meals.
Cooking at home can give you the clean conscience of not only knowing what’s in your food, but how clean your food is.