Here is a link to a National Public Radio (NPR) radio broadcast on the subject of what the current economic downturn is doing to people's eating
According to nutritionists, for example, frozen meals are more expensive and considerably less nutritious than similar fresh homemade meals. Other
recent news reports focused on the fact that many of these package sizes are also shrinking, while the listed price stays the same.
The other day I learned that the reason commercial frozen vegetables are less nutritious than fresh vegetables is that they are treated with a
chemical called EDTA before being frozen ... the idea is to preserve the color of the veggies, but the problem with this is that the EDTA also removes
some of the nutritional quality of the food.
Many of us learned little or nothing about cooking from our families, but the story doesn't have to end there. There are cookbooks in libraries and
in bookstores, written for many different audiences. For the teen and 20s crowd that doesn't know where to start, many like the beginners cookbooks
such as the America's Test Kitchen series, which assumes no prior cooking knowledge. That series of books includes a great many step-by-step photos,
detailed instructions, to get you going. Cuisine is All-American, but if that is not your thing, there are other beginner cookbooks out there. There
are also some good TV shows that demonstrate preparing a particular dish from start to finish. Some chefs have websites.
One of my favorite recent cooking topics is fermentation, by the way, which doesn't even involve much in the way of cooking (pickles, for example,
and much more).
Convenience -- there are lot of different ways to look at this concept. I also have limited time to be in the kitchen, but I find it convenient to
feel better from eating high quality fresh food, rather than worry about eventually getting sick from all the weirder and weirder things that are
getting put into commercially made food.
Where to start? Lots of people get started in the kitchen by learning to make one particular item ... just look around at the next party you attend,
for example, and ask someone how they made a particular dish. People love to share cooking methods, and you will learn something that may prove
useful to you down the road. And just think, then you will have something that you can prepare the next time you get invited to a pot luck event.
-- Hope this helps
[edit on 3/13/2009 by Uphill]