Cooking at home is still popular in Brit households, recent research has found.
Dean Simmons, a recent graduate of UBC's Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems program, says that when he surveyed B.C. families about their cooking habits, he was surprised to find that the vast majority of families were cooking at home on a regular basis.
"I expected them to be more about take-out and eating out," he says.
When he asked why, they cited three reasons - cash control, connectedness and life skills.
Control on cash also extended to control over what the family is eating.
"It allowed them to exclude certain foods they didn't want - people talked about not having preservatives and junk foods," Simmons says.
Connectedness meant sitting together with family at a meal, and also to connect to their heritage, with immigrants in particular wanting to enjoy the foods of their homeland.
The final theme relates to life skills, says Simmons: "Nearly every teen I spoke to said learning to cook was important for when they moved out of the house. And this included teens who didn't like cooking."
Simmons says plenty about cooking has changed. Teens are less likely to see cooking as a gender-specific activity and the actual skills needed for home cooking have changed. Fifty years ago, cooks may have needed to be able to tell when home-baked bread was done, but they didn't know how to microwave; today, they do.
Also, men are increasingly adept at the new skills needed to cook.
Simmons also said that despite innovations in technology, cooking is about more than heating and preparing food.
"Cooking has meaning beyond feeding ourselves. It's more than just a laboratory process. It has to do with control over food, with independence, and with connecting with each other."