Are we in danger of losing our basic cooking skills?

2nd December 2014
  • Love Food Hate Waste is setting out to help restore lost culinary skills.
  • Almost a quarter of parents surveyed via Mumsnet (24%) were not confident they could use leftovers to make another meal without resorting to a recipe.
  • Building skills in the kitchen is vital if the UK is to tackle the £12.5 billion of good food and drink that gets thrown away from UK homes each year.

Cooking is, without a doubt, one of the most important life skills a person can ever learn and share. There was a time when most of us knew how to cook at some level. Skills and recipes used to be passed down from generation to generation but these skills have been diluted over the last few decades which is why Love Food Hate Waste is setting out to enrich our culinary skills to help fight food waste.

As modern life becomes busier, and quick solutions become more favourable, we are at risk of losing valuable cooking skills and knowledge to pass on to the next generation. According to new research carried out by Love Food Hate Waste and Mumsnet, although more than 90% of parents rate cooking skills as an important part of their general education, over 60% of parents (with children over the age of three) spend three hours or less a month cooking with their child. Sometimes life can just get too busy.

We’ve become too busy to cook and nearly 40% of people say that the speed of preparation is amongst the most important things they consider when preparing a meal, which could often mean foregoing homemade meals. A further three in five say one of the most important things they consider when preparing a meal is the likelihood of it being eaten.

Not only can a lack of food knowledge and cooking skills have a negative impact on our health and our children’s health but having these skills can also save us money and help to reduce household food waste. The research also revealed that the two top skills that parents want to pass onto their children to help them make the most of their food are planning meals in advance and how to make use of leftovers.

To regain a potentially lost generation of cookers, Love Food Hate Waste has launched ‘Save More’ kitchen skills packs to help people get to grips with budgeting, planning, and portioning in the kitchen along with money saving tools and tips.

In the New Year the campaign is also launching free cookery classes in 10 UK cities to help people with the basics of cookery and learn new ways to get creative in the kitchen.

Emma Marsh, Head of Love Food Hate Waste said: “Cooking skills are a key life skill for all of us. But most of us lack the time to build these up, leading to a lack of confidence in the kitchen. Our range of tools and guidance on now enhanced by our new Save More initiative are designed to increase everyone’s skills, knowledge and confidence and enable these to be passed onto the next generation.”