Thursday, January 26, 2012

We shouldn't be giving cooking the finger

Happy New Year and all that jazz. The last few months have been a bit hectic for a variety of reasons, some of which I'd like to forget :)  I am going to try to post on a more or less two-post per month schedule, but am also trying to finish this damn PhD, and now am teaching! We'll see how it goes... 

Today's post is more of a pet-peeve of mine.  

There is some evidence to show that eating out of home is related to consuming more energy and more energy from fat; results that appear to be more consistent among adults than childrenPresumably, 'out of home' means eating prepared meals at fast food or sit-down restaurants. The authors of this review, however, indicate that the definition of 'out of home' was context-dependent. That's important to keep in mind, but for the sake of my argument, let's just say that eating out more often, compared to cooking your own meals, is related to consuming more calories and can plausibly be related to obesity.  Also, I would imagine that if we cooked for ourselves or family-members more often, we'd be eating substantially less salt and waste less food and packaging.

Now, I am an advocate of eating more home-cooked meals, as are many of my colleagues; however, the problem is much more nuanced than simply blaming people and telling them they need to cook more. One such nuance is marketing...I absolutely hate this marketing campaign by Boston Pizza: Finger cooking and giving cooking the finger...It's admittedly funny and catchy, but makes me angry and sad all at the same time, and also suggests that males might be incompetent (as pointed out by a male friend of mine).

 I enjoy watching Jim Treliving on CBC's Dragon's Den.  He's certainly nicer than Kevin O'Leary. From their dealings I get that it's all about making money. The more successful a marketing campaign, the better it is for the company. But this particular campaign crosses the line for me Jim. I don't even watch TV that often and I see it all the time. I've never seen a restaurant or fast food company actively target a social norm in this way. We need to make cooking at home easier, cheaper, more convenient, and stop marketing campaigns like this. Otherwise, cooking, along with the skills that go with it, will go the way of the woolly mammoth.