Cooking and food skills – the current picture
Date: July, 2016
The increasing affordability and popularity of pre-prepared and packaged foods has led to the suggestion that many people are losing skills related to food and cooking. The very nature of cooking has changed, whereby "cooking from scratch" using raw, fresh ingredients, is being replaced by the use of pre-prepared foodstuffs. Evidence supports the relationship between food literacy – defined as the range of knowledge and skills needed to use food – and the food choices people make. Consequently, this may lead to an increased dependency on ready prepared food, which is typically higher in fat, sugar and salt than raw ingredients, highlighting the need to investigate whether cooking and food skills influence the healthiness of the food we eat.
To date, little research has been done on cooking and food skills on the Island of Ireland. This report describes the research undertaken to address this gap in knowledge.