As Americans we live in the birthplace of fast food, and as a result we’re eating fewer home-cooked meals. While eating out in restaurants can be a treat for many, it’s become a convenient routine for others. This fact, tethered with our country’s high rate of obesity, points toward a need for change in the way we think about dining. Home-cooking isn’t always home-cooking anymore. Boxed mixes, frozen dinners, and canned foods have created convenience that most of us have come to depend on. These “convenience” foods come with a cost that’s much higher than the price of the meal. High fat, high salt foods are having an adverse affect on the health of modern humans. Ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, food dyes, and chemical additives are compromising our health and further adding to our carbon footprint. Easy-to-make foods have become items that are mostly purchased ready-made and many people don’t even realize they can be made at home. A return-to-the-home cooking offers significant health, as well as social and economic advantages. Whether we’re serving you or you’re cooking for yourself, at Gourmet Services community health is one of our top priorities.
Restaurant and other commercially prepared and processed foods are high in fat, salt, and sugar. These foods are fine as an occasional indulgence or for a special occasions, but not if they’re being included in your regular diet. Eating at home allows you to control the foods you eat, so you can use natural ingredients instead of unhealthy processed foods. Cooking at home lets you incorporate more fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables that will help you utilize only all-natural ingredients in your recipes. At home you can substitute unhealthy ingredients for alternatives. For instance, the American Heart Association recommends substituting one cup of fat-free milk with one tablespoon of vegetable oil for one cup of whole milk. Most restaurants use butter or oils with trans fats, nut instead, you can cook at home with healthy vegetable oils such as olive oil.
Planning your own meal also gives you the peace of mind that goes with having complete control over the type and quality of ingredients you choose to add to your meals and the amount of cleanliness that goes into its preparation. Food-borne illnesses caused by bacteria-laden or under-cooked meats and vegetables regularly make headlines and occasionally claim lives. Studies say up to 25 percent of the population succumbs to a food-borne illness each year. While food you buy at the grocery store might be similarly contaminated, attention to proper food handling and cooking techniques may keep you safer. When meals are prepared and eaten at home there is much less of a chance of contamination. While the ground meat may contain eColi the careful handling of it in the home kitchen makes it less likely to cause a problem. No one is as careful about your food safety and nutrition as you are. Cooking at home means that your food will be fresher, more nutritious, and will always be Gourmet.
With holidays around the bend, many Americans will be eating more homemade foods because it is cheaper than going to a restaurant or buying pre-cooked meals. Few restaurant dishes are cheaper to buy rather than to make at home, and even fast food value items are slightly cheaper to make at home, you can make a homemade burger for less than it would cost to buy a fast food burger. Preparing food in large quantities, which you can do at home, also allows you to be more frugal with your income. Taking your lunch to work or eating at home allows you to dictate portion size as needed and reduce your urge to indulge on oversized restaurant portions, regardless of the dish’s nutritional or non-nutritional value.
There’s no denying the fact that cooking at home more often will have a positive effect on our overall quality of life, from reducing your weekly food cost, to living a longer life, to reducing your personal impact on the planet getting out your pots and pans is a much better idea than reaching for the take-out menu.