Why everyone should get in the kitchen

Learning this lifelong skill helps save money and encourages healthier eating habits

Macey VanDenMeerendonk

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More millennials are using technology to learn how to cook at home.

The typical meals prepared by college students usually consist of instant ramen and scrambled eggs, with the occasional pizza order.  

As college students move off campus and drop their meal plans, they have to face another obstacle in adulting: cooking for themselves.

I grew up learning how to cook, so I know first-hand the importance of learning this skill. A home-cooked meal not only saves money but is typically healthier. Cooking is a useful skill you can get better at over time.

Millennials have a bad reputation of eating out, and according to the Food Institute’s analysis of the United States Department of Agriculture’s food expenditure data from 2014, millennials spend 44 percent of their food dollars on eating out, averaging out to $2,921 annually.

It’s no secret that eating out starts to add up quickly. Meal prepping and cooking with portions in mind allows for multiple meals, while costing less than eating out would.

According to a 2015 survey by Morgan Stanley, about 53 percent of millennials say they eat out at least once a week, compared to 43 percent of Generation Xers or baby boomers.

The issue of not enough time is what marketwatch.com said is the major reason young people don’t cook for themselves. However, setting aside the time to prepare your own food is beneficial in many ways other than pinching pennies.

There are many health benefits that can be gained by preparing meals. Fast food places and restaurants tend to serve food high in calories, fats, sodium and carbohydrates, even though there is a push for more health foods by consumers.

The advantage of knowing what’s going in your food when making it yourself is helpful in deciding what unnecessary items you can cut out of your diet, and it helps build healthy habits.

Portion control and choosing meals rich in vitamins and minerals is easier and more affordable when meals are made at home.

The benefits of cooking go even further than those mentioned above. Learning about new foods and recipes can help someone explore other cultures and being able to prepare meals for friends and family is a way to bring people together. Learning the ins and outs of the kitchen is useful, especially when applying skills picked up from learning a recipe.

Over the last few years, millennials and the younger generation have become more interested in the idea of cooking and becoming familiar with food preparation.

59 percent of people 25 to 34 years old cook with a phone or tablet for recipes, according to a study by Mcgarrybowen and Kraft Foods.

According to the same study, the use of technology is greater in comparison to older generations, who tend to use printed copies of recipes when preparing meals.

Millennials incorporating technology into cooking shouldn’t be surprising. With it on hand, younger people are equipped with more recipes and ‘how-to guides’ at a push of a button.

Whether you go old school with grandma’s handwritten recipes or turn to a quick google search, the ability to cook for yourself shouldn’t be a lost art, but a normal part of everyone’s day-to-day lives.