Better taste. Scratch-cooked food tastes fuller, fresher and more satisfying. Simple meals made with seasonal ingredients put together by someone who cares. (A thoughtless, ill-prepared meal is almost worse than none at all.) Once you take time to learn and practice cooking basics, you’ll find your pestos, pastas and puddings hold up to—or beat—any pre-made convenience food and most restaurant repasts
Home-cooked food is healthier than convenience meals. You control what goes into your body. You select the fresh, organic, seasonal, grassfed or other preferred ingredients. You measure the oil, salt, sugar and cream in each recipe. And the flavor of your dishes comes from real food. When you select and cook food with your own hands, you eliminate a load of known—and unknown–food dangers.
You’ll spend far less buying and preparing your own food than eating take-out and convenience dishes. And that holds true even if you eat high-end organic, imported or specialty foods—the restaurant or take-out equivalent will always cost more. A lot more.
Promotes emotional/spiritual balance:
Food preparation is a process. It takes time. It requires participation. There are no instantaneous results. You have to plan meals, shop, tote groceries, unpack items, set aside half an hour to cook. You engage with the food you eat. I don’t think it’s going too far to say, you develop a relationship with food. You start to understand its textures, tastes and idiosyncrasies. You may find yourself wondering about your foods’ origins—it’s plant and animal sources—and your relationship with them. By handling food every day, you’re given the opportunity to be mindful. You open a daily window that allows you to consider your interconnectedness with something greater than yourself. You don’t get that kind of take-away from a take-out burrito.
Home-cooking doesn’t immediately raise your consciousness and transform you into a proponent of fair trade, agrarian labor relations, small business advocacy, locavorism and farm animal ethics. But the process of scratch-cooking and the relationship it engenders with food and its sources, lays a foundation for deeper thinking on the politics and ethics of food.