Everyone Should Cook
Why You Should Cook Your Own Food
86 Billion Neurons
Darwin considered the two most significant achievements of humanity to be fire and language. Language allows you to read and interpret the words on this page right now, but fire came first and by harnessing it we were able to create language in the first place.
One and a half million years ago, before the discovery of fire and then the advent of cooking, our ancestors relied on raw meat and foraging to meet their daily caloric needs. Our brain contains approximately 86 billions neurons, and they are expensive. A human body at rest spends about one-fifth of its energy on the brain, regardless of whether it is thinking anything useful, or even thinking at all. The only way a human would be able to support themselves that way would be to spend over 9 hours per day feeding.
By cooking we afforded our bodies more energy out of the same amount of food. Cooking predigests food outside of the body, which meant we could spend less time looking for food to get the same amount of energy, and spend more time doing interesting things with our newfound brainpower. You know, like invent language and culture and all that.
No big deal.
We are the only species on earth who cook and it made us who we are. Everyone should cook. It’s what makes you human.
If those aren’t enough reasons for you, here are a couple more...
1. It's Better For You
When eating premade food, people tend to gravitate towards the wrong things. Without a list of ingredients or a nutrition table, eating twice as many calories as you normally would is a lot easier than you would think.
On average people consume 50% more calories, fat, and sodium when they eat out versus when they cook at home. They are also more likely to miss out on necessary fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other vitamin-rich foods that stabilize and balance a diet.
Experts believe up to one-third of cancers, especially colon, kidney, and post-menopausal breast cancer are linked to a person’s diet.
Cooking at home lets you control what goes in your food while also empowering you to better control your portion size. And if you have allergies, you don’t need to worry about what might or might not have contaminated your food.
2. It's Useful and Sexy
Cooking has been around as long as there have been humans. If you can’t cook, now is always the best time to learn. You will always need to eat, and cooking will always be useful. Why not acquire a new skill and impress people at the same time?
Even when you just roast some vegetables, which requires pretty much no skill, everyone will be blown away, including your mom who will also probably be a little sad since you are now an adult and can take care of yourself.
So next time you need a date idea, just invite your boo over and show off your impressive filleting and paring skills. If you do really well you won’t even need to awkwardly invite them “up for coffee” at the end.
3. It's Fun With Friends
Ever seen a movie with a rockin’ cooking montage? Doesn’t that look like fun? Well, it is.
Not only can cooking be beneficial nutritionally, it’s also a great social experience. You can spend an okay night out with friends at a restaurant, but it can also be expensive. Why not try splitting the groceries and cook at home? One person buys the meat, one buys the sides, and don’t forget the alcohol (which is so much cheaper than a restaurant’s). You can sit around the table mixing your own cocktails while the salmon is baking.
Play some upbeat 80’s jams and the night is complete.
4. It's Real Cheap
When trying to save money, cooking at home will always trump eating out. When buying a meal from a restaurant or cafe you are paying for someone else to do something that you could do yourself.
And with a little practice, you can probably do it much better too.
At a restaurant, you are spending money to run someone’s business, including rent and payroll. Meals are usually marked 30% higher than the cost of their ingredients, and that’s not including preparation.
Similarly, purchasing food from the grocer’s freezer involves paying for the processing, packaging, and advertising of that product — none of which adds any value to the food itself. So, when you cook, you are saving money, and when you cook sustainably, you are pushing those savings to the next level.
When you are using locally raised and produced food you avoid footing the bill for transporting the ingredients across the country or even around
5. It's Tastier
The industrialized food system is ruining our palettes. Back when we had time to care about our food and its contents, herbs, sugars and spices were used to enhance flavor. In recent decades, since the arrival of manufactured and fast food, cheap chemicals and corn syrup now fill that role.
When you cook your own meals, you can customize the flavor to suit your (or your family’s and friends’) tastes.
Add a sprinkling of cumin to your eggs, basil to your soup, or avocado to your everything. Once you learn how to cook, experimentation is key!
As you continue to practice you will learn that fresh foods that don’t have preservatives have way more flavor.
There are so many other reason why you should cook your own food too. Why not check out a local farmers' market, and then sign up for CCKL so you can fully take advantage of your kitchen.
Visit www.milesholenstein.com/#/charm-city-kitchen-library to learn more about Charm City Kitchen Library.