The Significance of Eating and Cooking at Home Essay

Submitted By Flamebolt
Words: 959
Pages: 4

Kitchens have been in existence since the discovery of fire by man, although they are not as complex as they are today. However, all kitchens, no matter how different, share a common function: to cook food. In addition to cooking food, kitchens also were used as a place where the family gathered. The parents cooked and children helped out if they could. They were busy and full of chatter between the family. Nowadays, with the commodification of food, families frequently go out for dinner instead of cooking it themselves. Kitchens are still used, with kids rushing in and out eating snacks, but not as a place where families congregate anymore. The kitchen is no longer a bustling and cozy place for the typical family; it has fallen out of incessant use and is now simply considered as a place with a “bunch of machines that help us cook food”.

In the past, the dining table was a place where members of a family would frequently socialize together. It was a place of conversation and connection. In our current world however, people eat out at restaurants more often than not. They say that it is convenient, and saves the hassle of cleaning up after cooking. However, not only is eating out relatively expensive, it abducts the family of their habits of communication while cooking and eating at their own dinner table, robbing families of one of the few socializing times they have regularly engaged in since the existence of kitchens. Time is another factor in families’ choosing to eat out, citing that it saves time when in fact taking in account the time spent at a restaurant waiting in line, getting your food, and driving there and back, you have probably spent more time eating as well as four times the money (Seaman, 2011). In essence, the very thing we call food has been commodified, meaning that it is now a field in which it is mass-produced and sold for profit. The inevitable change that trails behind the commodification of food are processed foods, most of which are loaded with preservatives and fat and are most definitely not healthy.

Eating out at fast food restaurants is convenient, saving time and avoiding the hassle of cooking. However, as with most things in life, there are trade-offs made to get that convenience, with first of them being healthiness. People argue that most, if not all restaurants offer at least a couple items on the menu that are relatively healthy. The issue then arises in people failing to actually choose these items to order. The vast majority of the choices left contain either extremely unhealthy amounts of oil, sugar, or both. Additionally, you can probably be sure that the ingredients used to make those food items were not fresh or grown locally. Even if you eat at a (slightly) healthier restaurant like Applebee’s, the trade-off in this case is time, as driving there and back as well as waiting for you food is very time consuming. The advantages of eating at home aren’t just limited to saving time; it is also healthier because of the fresh ingredients used to make those meals and has the added bonus of being much cheaper than eating out (Davis, 2007).

Another advantage provided by cooking and eating at home is also crucial to our well-being: socialization. Humans as a species naturally socialize with each other, and ever since the invention of fire, we have socialized at meal times. However, that is changing with the advent of fast-food places and restaurants in general; even the very act of eating at home has been jeopardized. Smartphones and electronics now invade the dinner table, restricting real conversation between the family and increasing interaction with digital devices (Seaman, 2011). Over time, we may even eventually forget what we