Should Teens Cook?

Whether if was because your mom told you to or you wanted to whip up a new concoction, you’ve probably done some cooking before, or at least thought about it. In a world where school lunches and microwaveable products are dominating, many people want to turn away from this age old activity. But should we?


Something to take into consideration with packaged foods is health; anything that comes in a box or wrapper is unhealthy, to some extent. Hiding sugars under different names, sneaking in preservatives, and baiting people with labels like “low fat” (often, the fat is replaced with sugar which is much worse for you than fat) all serve to portray home cooking in a better light. When you cook at home, you have much more control over what goes into your food, and therefore what goes into your body. No amount of exercise can undo some of the health hazards put into store bought goods. That’s plus one for cooking.


But if cooking is healthier (assuming you’re not baking cookies all the time), then why don’t people do it? A big factor is time. How much time does it take to microwave mac and cheese cups? 4 minutes. How long does it take to prepare and bake it? 50 minutes. Clearly, the time gap is real and matters. With those 46 minutes you could finish up your homework or watch an episode of your favorite drama. Of course, not all meals take that long, and the more you practice, the faster you will get. In addition, you could make meals in advance, so all you will need to do is heat them up. However, it is a matter of fact that cooking does take longer than buying a meal, whether the gap is 3 minutes or 30.


Another factor to take into consideration is life skills. Cooking is an important part of hospitality and even responsibility. If you wanted to have an impressive dinner party, you probably wouldn’t order pizza (which is also unhealthy). It simply wouldn’t portray yourself in a good light. And who knows? Maybe you’re stuck at home one day and run out of hot pockets. Learning to cook can be an important skill.


Taking all of these factors into consideration, you are still an individual. Some people thrive in the kitchen, while others flounder; it is ultimately up to you. However, it wouldn’t hurt to learn. Many people opt to have a mix of both; cooking on some days and eating store-bought on others. But no matter what you chose to do, know this: cooking takes serious time and effort but (usually) leads to a good product. Remember that the next time your mom cooks dinner.






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