It would induce little shock to reveal that the average Australian is eating out more and cooking at home less. However, the extent and implications of this culture change could be worthy of some worry. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows households’ spend on eating out has increased more than 55 per cent in real terms since 1984. At a time where our society knows more about health and nutrient requirements than ever before, it is interesting to consider that this may be one reason why in 2012 the ABS revealed that 60 per cent of Australian adults are classified as overweight or obese, and more than 25 per cent fall into the obese category.
North Shore food expert & founder of eattheglobe.com, Dinh Tran believes that the rise in obesity levels are motivated by the decline of home cooking. Similarly, according to the Dietitians Association of Australia, it was revealed that cooking at home is usually healthier than eating out, as home-cooked meals usually contain less fats and sugars.
However, Ms Tran believes that the decline in home cooking is not only affecting our health but having other implications on the Australian community. The Enhanced Media Metrics Australia report 2014 revealed that Australians are losing the ability to “cook from scratch” with less than 20 per cent of people aged 14-29 said they felt confident about cooking. It is alarming to see that younger generations are losing touch with their culinary roots and the joy that can be found in cooking.
Ms Tran argues that, “There is a real risk of families in the future having rather homogenous food, rather than the culturally rich and diverse food that we currently enjoy”. In response to this concern Tran, has used her knowledge of the global online food community to start a campaign called the “Family Recipes Movement”.
“The mission of ‘Family Recipes Movement’ is to inspire people, especially the younger generation, to start pro-actively preserving their family recipes and food traditions,” said Ms Tran.
The website aims to be part of a new gradual shift to have Australians cooking more at home and to be making healthier food choices.