To me, cooking means so many things.
Food is the basis for health and cooking is educating yourself about what foods are good for you and what foods taste good.
People cook differently than companies do and way healthier.
- People cook with real food and companies cook with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
- People don’t use as much salt, sugar or fat as companies do.
- People prioritize taste and health and companies optimize on cost.
A lot of my family’s celebrations are centered around food. Cooking is passed down from one generation to another and I feel that I’m losing cultural heritage if I don’t learn how to cook. Cooking means community.
Economically, if I cook 6 meals a week, I can save 200 dollars a month.
I think people like the idea of cooking. I think cooking just has a bad user interface. For people who don’t have much experience cooking, it’s a large hurdle to cross.
Cooking has a bad user interface
- Millenials are usually single which means cooking for one. Cooking every night for one is time and effort intensive.
- Recipes are broken. They are meant for families who have a large kitchen, plenty of equipment, and a stocked pantry with lots of ingredients. Millenials (especially city dwellers) don’t have these things.
- Ingredients. Recipes often require 10-15 ingredients, so it’s hard to make things just from what you have. If you try to make chicken tikka masala one night and thai curry the next, you will have a lot of these ingredients that are not used very often, so there lots of leftover ingredients, which end up spoiling. The ingredient list that need 1 oz of sherry vinegar means you need to buy a specialize item
- Equipment. Recipes need equipment like food processors and large mixing bowls that there’s not room to store. Using a lot of equipment means cleaning a lot of dirty dishes, so it’s a lot of work unless you have a dishwasher (not standard in New York).
- Presentation. Recipes are not visual and rely heavily on text to convey instructions. If Snapchat and Instagram are any indication, millenials love visual media.
- Cooking education is lacking. Usually, cooking is taught by parents, who themselves may not be very good. Most education is focused on following recipes and not enough emphasis is placed on learning techniques so students learn to create their own recipes. When a beginner goes online to find a recipe, so many recipes that it’s hard to know what to pick.
What’s the answer? That’s next.