Last Updated on: September 23, 2023
I recently read a post on social media saying that she doesn’t know how to cook and doesn’t find joy in doing it, to which many people marched behind the idea of only cooking for fun.
Honestly, I only learned to cook when I was already 25 years old, but I think I improved a lot since then. I am also more confident with my skills today. I can attest that cooking is something that everyone needs to learn eventually.
Here are ten reasons why I believe cooking is an essential skill:
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1. You’ll know what goes into your food.
So by learning how to cook, you can be sure of what goes into your food. For instance, if you’re only frying processed meat and instant noodles, you can expect it to build up and affect your long-term health eventually.
However, if you learn to cook healthier options, you can control how much seasoning goes into your food.
This principle has also been helpful in our household because since I’m living with senior citizens with many food restrictions, cooking our own food is a way to avoid unhealthy food choices.
2. It can be economical.
Another advantage of cooking is that it can be economical compared to dining out, especially if you cook for at least two people.
With the ever-increasing inflation, cooking is one way we can save a few pesos. Remember that when we buy cooked food, we are not only purchasing the raw materials. We are also paying for labor and other overheads.
3. Cooking can be a creative outlet.
Once you learn the basics of cooking from YouTube and have tried cooking for a while, it is only natural to try other recipes that you never tried before.
Along with trying out is putting some personal techniques and experimenting with how food will turn out by changing ingredients, procedures, and even the amount.
Cooking can also be a creative outlet by adding artistry to your cooking, like plating, garnishing, and slicing.
If you notice, the most expensive foods are not always the tastiest and largest. Sometimes, the most expensive foods are just beautiful to look at.
4. You can express your love.
They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and I know this to be true. But this can also apply to everyone because almost everyone loves to eat.
By learning how to cook, you add a portion of yourself (not literally) to the food through your labor of love.
Whether you cook for your special someone, your family, your pet, or yourself, cooking is one special way to express your love to them.
That may also be why they say that the most important ingredient in cooking is love.
5. Cooking can be a form of therapy.
Cooking can be relaxing, enjoyable, and even a form of therapy as we age. For instance, I sometimes enjoy chopping and peeling the ingredients more than cooking because my mind often forgets its troubles.
Some enjoy the whole process of cooking because they can go in the state of flow and just be in the moment.
6. Cooking is a survival skill.
Like swimming is a survival skill because you’ll never know when situations will require you to save yourself from drowning, cooking is the same.
An important concept to remember is that everyone will eat, and if you’re in a place where your food choices are limited, you’ll have to make do for yourself.
So, it is also crucial to learn how to cook using the most basic equipment and processes and how to make a fire.
7. You’ll feel more confident.
One of the reasons why many people buy nice clothes is to feel more confident. Similarly, you will eventually acquire a different sense of confidence when you cook.
Though this is often not the case when you’re still just starting on your culinary journey by watching YouTube, you will soon get the hang of it, and you will be confident to share what you can cook with other people.
Personally, as a Bicolano, my specialties are Laing and Bicol Express, which I can confidently share with others with utmost pride. But that was not always the case, especially when I was still learning.
8. Cooking can be a great social activity.
Cooking by yourself is good, but cooking with others is much better. Cooking as a social activity can often be seen in fiestas, birthdays, and weddings, where groups of cooks gather to cook their specialties for the event.
For me, cooking has been one of the most enjoyable activities my cousin and I do whenever he is in town. We exchange recipes and best practices and even do some cooking showdown – though I usually lose.
So cooking may be a great option if you’re interested in finding activities to do with your friends, families, or special someone.
9. Cooking is a great way to learn about different cultures.
When I cook, I normally think about how this recipe came to be. Who would have thought of combining these ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes?
Think of a pig; there are so many ways to cook it, and it will usually vary depending on where the recipe originates, what materials are available, and what kinds of people live in that area.
For instance, what I observe here in the Bicol region. Most of the original dishes here are cooked with coconut milk and chili peppers, and the most logical reason is the abundance of coconut trees and chili peppers, so people would normally put them in almost everything.
Other examples of regional specialty foods are Cebu’s Lechon, Ilocos’ Bagnet, Pampanga’s Sisig, Bacolod’s Chicken Inasal, and many more.
There are distinct tastes in local and foreign foods, which can be a cultural immersion to understand how they came to be and their significance to their culture.
10. There is just *something* about home cooking that makes food better.
Our sense of smell and taste can be strongly associated with our memories, so if you’ve watched the movie, Ratatouille, you’ll know what I mean.
There is also the idea of lutong-bahay, which our parents and grandparents used to cook. These foods can easily bring us back to a place and time when things were simple and we could just eat and play.
I think the memories triggered by food and cooking are one of the most beautiful things we can experience because we can always return to them.
There are many reasons why cooking is an essential skill. There are even more reasons why you need to learn how to cook.
Though this may vary from person to person, cooking is more than just something we need to enjoy. It should also be an activity we can share and connect with others.
So, if you want to learn how to cook, YouTube is a great place to start. Happy cooking!