How do you define a home-cooked meal? Where do you get your recipes? How often do you cook at home? What motivates you to cook “homemade”? And how do American home cooks stack up against global cooks?
These questions were among those posed in the recent Global Food Trends Survey,* given to nearly 8,500 home cooks from 13 countries. Among the findings: in this digital age busy, family-focused home cooks are using digital resources – websites, social networks, and blogs -- to find, create, and share cooking and meal prep ideas in the United States (U.S.) and outside the borders. What a shift from just a few years ago!
A Home Cooked Meal Is…
Do you define a home-cooked meal as prepared from “scratch” … or from “speed scratch” with convenience products? From country to country, and cook to cook, home-cooked meals are defined differently. Among U.S. cooks, 84% consider a home-cooked meal to be made entirely from the basics, such as dry pasta and grains, and whole fruits and vegetables; in most other countries surveyed – especially in Argentina, Australia/New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia – that percentage was higher.
Compared to cooks elsewhere, more American cooks consider “speed scratch” as home-cooked too, using convenience products to speed meal preparation. Forty-eight percent say food prepared with convenience foods, such as pre-washed and cut vegetables, canned beans, frozen ingredients, and baking mix, is home-cooked. Twenty-seven percent say it’s still home-cooked if they just add their own “touch”: ingredients or other sides to already-prepared food. And 10 percent say a home-cooked meal also can be bought fully prepared with only the need to reheat or do the final cooking at home.
Dreamfields take-away … Whether you’re a “scratch” or “speed scratch” cook, Dreamfields has recipes for you. Click on “Theme” for Quick and Easy recipes, when you’re in a time crunch.
Show Me the Recipe …
While cookbook sales continue to soar in the publishing world, most home cooks (89 percent) in the U.S. and around the world who have computers get their recipes from websites! Cookbooks rank second, followed by magazines and then friends and families. In some parts of the world – Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, and Russia – online cooking videos teach 25 to 40 percent of home cooks how to prepare a recipe. That number is much lower (11 percent) in the U.S. – at least for now (and doesn’t include the viewing of popular TV cooking shows).
Has a mobile device become your latest kitchen appliance? Today smart phones, iPads/tablets, and laptops are used for more than recipe finding. Now home cooks shop, cook, and share recipes digitally, too. Increasingly they need a place on the kitchen counter to cook directly from the digital screen.
Dreamfields take-away … Dreamfields.com offers you a variety of main dish, side dish, and salad recipes, prepared with seven different cuts of pasta. If you like, download the recipes, and use your mobile device as your cookbook – away from cooking splatters.
Homemade Every Day …
Who cooks most often at home? Not Americans. On average 86 percent of global cooks said they cooked daily, up from 80 percent last year. Those who cooked the most at home were from Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, and Quebec. The U.S., Mexico, and Germany had the lowest rates of daily home cooking, with the U.S. in last place at 75 percent (the same as the previous year). Recipes of choice used ingredients they had on hand, often referred to as “comfort foods.”
Health: The Greatest Motivator …
What motivates you to cook a meal? Globally (68 percent) – and in the U.S. (79 percent) – homemade equates to healthier. In the U.S., saving grocery dollars ranks second (76 percent), followed by the love of cooking (61 percent). Other reasons include improving cooking skills, adding variety to mealtime, and spending time with family and friends. Bottom line: home cooking matters!
Dreamfields take-away … Dreamfields’ recipes are created as Healthy Pasta Dishes. If you have a special health concern, browse the collection for recipes that are high fiber, low calorie, low cholesterol, low fat, low saturated fat, or low sodium.
For more reasons to hone your culinary skills, click our earlier blog post: “Let’s Get Cooking”
* Source: March 2014 Global Digital Food Trends, Allrecipes.com, Measuring Cup, Meredith Corporation
Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, CFCS is author of the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, with ways to develop your kitchen know-how and cook for health!