Despite what Instagram and a host of reality TV cooking shows might have you believe, a large proportion of Australians have little concern for the food they eat. Alex Dalland reports.

A recent poll from Roy Morgan suggests that 49% of the nation’s residents over 14 value convenience over perfection, and would rather use the microwave than the oven.

Of all the people surveyed, the largest group was the ‘Just Feed Me’ category (23%), who would eat any food they’re given. Other groups who were not interested in cooking included the ‘Zappit’ group (17%) who would prefer to microwave food, or order take-away rather than cook, and the ‘Take-it-Aways’ (9%), whose idea of food preparation consists of picking up a phone and dialing the nearest restaurant.

“There’s no doubt that we live in the age of the ‘foodie’. Cooking shows and celebrity chefs are just the tip of a very big iceberg which also includes organic groceries, food bloggers, food magazines, diet crazes, best-selling cookbooks and bronuts,” Andrew Price from Roy Morgan research says.

“Of course, as we have shown, not everybody is an aspiring masterchef.”

According to the Dietitians Association of Australia, cooking at home is usually a healthier option than eating out, with home-cooked food usually containing less fats and sugars.

“The best way to know what’s in the food you eat is to cook it at home,” Dr Kellie Bilinski, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia said.

“However, quite a few people aren’t able to cook at home and we might need to encourage more education for this in the future.”