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Are You Unknowingly Swapping Food Porn For True Satisfaction?

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When it comes to cooking and food preparation, we’re all looking for shortcuts. Am I right? Ways to make it easier, less expensive, more efficient, all the while retaining the best possible quality. But hey, if something’s gotta go, quality is often the simplest sacrifice. And who’s to say you can be blamed for not always producing gourmet fare? After all, you work long hours, you have a seemingly endless to-do list both in and out of the office, and really, you think you do pretty well all things considered. Besides, by the time you do make it home of an evening, relaxation is often uppermost of mind. Some nice mind-numbing TV. Perhaps the latest episode of Masterchef? After all, it’s always fun to drool over sophisticated dishes on the box when you can remain safe in the knowledge that preparing such food yourself is well outside your skill range. And while I agree that there’s nothing wrong with a little gastro-porn from time to time, I do have to wonder – is it possible that you’re indulging yourself so effectively in the visual feast that seems to be half of night-time television these days, that you forget to take the time to create true satisfaction in the form of, well – actual food.

Strange concept, isn’t it? But Mark over at Mark’s Daily Apple made a shocking point in a recent article title Cooking As A Spectator Sport. Mark says that we’re “apparently entranced by watching other people make food – and likely by the images of the food itself”. No surprise there. But what is quite startling when you really think about it is his next point – “for all the lure and luster of these shows, the collective fascination doesn’t appear to translate into action”. In fact, according to Michael Pollan, we spend an average of only 27 minutes each day in the kitchen. And when you consider that the average cooking show lasts for around 42 minutes plus ad-time, I think you’d have to agree that this is quite disturbing.

Personally, I’m well familiar with the ‘no-time’ excuse for proper food preparation. Mind you I’d never quite thought of it in terms of people happily putting time aside to indulge in TV food-time as an alternative. And to be honest I’m quite surprised that the average kitchen time is as much as 27 minutes! I seem to almost daily come across people who claim no time for cooking, and the fact that most of them also seem to think any cooking they do undertake needs to be complex and gourmet means that they’re unlikely to make time soon. Celebrity chefs have a lot to answer for here.

When it comes to food preparation and eating well, there’s only one way that you have any chance of daily success. The key is to get back to true basics – to realize that food, for the majority of our meals, needs to be about fuel. Not presentation, not who we can impress, not placing such great expectations on ourselves that we become completely unmotivated to do anything but hit up the freezer section of 7-Eleven for a microwave ‘meal’. How tough is it to prepare a truly sustaining meal? Meat, fat, maybe some green veg. Sure, you can add complexity to it if you choose and that’s all well and good to do on occasion, but the basics of correct nutrition have evolved from almost no cooking time at all. What’s more, unless you’re still hunting your food, your preparation time should be fairly minimal these days! The recipe for success is to remember what food is there for – fuel and nutrition. And when you get that right, enjoyment most definitely follows.

Life is Now. Press Play.

Kat

Don’t forget –

Life is Now. Press Play.

Kat x

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4 Comments

  1. Lovelyn says:

    I surprised that the average person only spends 27 minutes in the kitchen. I spend two hours a day in the kitchen on average. That’s spent mostly on preparing lunch and dinner for my family.

  2. carla says:

    I haven’t watched a cooking show in probably a decade (syndicated Julia Child) so I’m not familiar with the “food porn” of today. How long I spend in the kitchen depends on how much I’m making. If I only have time for a salad, steamed veggies and stove grilled chicken breast, it doesn’t take me long, but that doesn’t mean I’m not eating well either. I dont own a microwave and make everyone on the stove, oven or just plain raw. Its not so much how much time you spend as what you’re actually eating.

  3. Kat says:

    That’s a really good point Carla, and one I should have mentioned in the post. Eating well definitely does not have to be about spending loads of time in the kitchen; in fact I try to prove that point every week or so with the recipes I publish here. I should have pointed out that the main point I’m trying to make is that many people are happy to spend hours in front of the TV, yet claim to have no time to eat well.

  4. Frances says:

    I do allot of pre-planning, which takes a load off for the week. It ensures I spend allot of time in the kitchen one day, then really 10-20 minutes max on the others. I enjoy creating & love herbs, so really its no issue most days and when it is, there’s a gr8 greek restaurant 2 min away that cooks the best meat for us mmmmm!

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