Is Cooking a Lost Art?

Exploring Americans’ relationship with food and their kitchens. A conversation with Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst of the consumer market research company NPD Group.

POLL: How often do you cook?

With the popularity of movies like Julie & Julia and books like Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, it seems like seeking out good food and cooking it are the norm. At EatingWell, we like to think that all Americans are as jazzed as we are about cooking and eating healthfully, but we know we’re a little biased, so we checked in with Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst of the consumer market research company NPD Group.

Balzer writes “Eating Patterns in America,” an annual report describing the eating habits of Americans, from how often we eat sandwiches (a lot) to how much we cook at home (not as much anymore). With his 25th report on the horizon, we talked to Balzer about what’s fueling Americans’ food choices.

Photo courtesy of the NPD Group.



Sadly, though, cooking is not being passed down from grandmother to mother to child anymore. Already traditions are getting lost- my mexican friend doesn't know how to make tortillas, but her mom sure as heck knew how, and so did her grandma. She doesn't want to learn-she doesn't have time and doesn't like to cook. The next generations to come may only see professional cooks, not nearly as many home cooks. Which of course will place the emphasis on ready prepared foods even more. It seems 'real' food in its whole state is getting harder and harder to find! Very sad.


12/08/2009 - 7:42pm

I think it's depressing that so few people cook dinner anymore. I'd hate to think that we're going to become a fast food nation- eating take-out, microwaving pre-packaged dinners, eating sandwiches. I cook most of our meals because having healthy food is important to me. I hope cooking doesn't go the way of quilting....


11/23/2009 - 5:13pm

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