As the nation’s appetite with food shows no sign of being satiated, a new study has found that Brits now spend more time consuming “food media” than actually cooking.
The average adult now spends five hours each week watching, reading, browsing and tagging food on social media, but just four hours whipping up their own meals.
Over 30 million viewers now tune in to the nation’s top 10 foodie TV shows every week, with a record 10.4 million tuning in to ‘The Great British Bake Off’.
With so many shows on offer, the average adult spends one hour and 37 minutes a week watching food-related TV, with ‘Bake Off’, ‘Masterchef’ and ‘Come Dine with Me’ the most popular.
But while seven in 10 enjoy watching TV cooking shows, only half have been inspired enough to try making something they have seen on screen.
The survey of 2,000 people, which was carried out by Lurpak, also found that more than half of us would much rather watch a dish being cooked on TV, or spend time looking at photos online, than cooking ourselves.
The main reasons for this were feeling “too busy” or feeling that it’s “too complicated” to replicate a TV recipe.
Meanwhile another one in 10 said it has been at least a year since they had a go at making a dish they spotted online or on TV.
Our obsession with food media goes well beyond our love of cookery shows.
On average, those surveyed spend a total of three and a half hours digesting food content on digital platforms every week.
One in five admitted to making a dish at home but just so they can photograph it and share it on their social media page.
They spend 44 minutes a week engaging with food via Facebook, and another 20 minutes tweeting about it.
Foodies browse on Instagram and Pinterest for 19 minutes a week and watch cooking videos on YouTube for 34 minutes a week.
Brits also spend 58 minutes reading food websites and blogs, 15 minutes snapchatting about food and nine minutes scouring recipe books each week.
In comparison, the average adult will spend just 36 minutes a day preparing and cooking food.
There is appetite for change however with 56% saying they wished they cooked the recipes they saw online more often.
Commenting on the findings, media psychologist, Emma Kenny, said cookery programmes have been a part of our television viewing pleasure since the 1950s.
“Fast-forward to 2016 and there are over 18 days worth of cookery shows available on our screens each week plus social media offering so much delicious content, it seems that, as a nation, we are fixated with any activity related to food culture,” she said.
“Championed by engaging personalities such as Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver, it’s no surprise there’s such a huge appetite for cookery content.
“And yet these latest findings show us that the amount of time we spend watching food-based shows is not translating back to our kitchen-based behaviour.”
She added that she’d like to see the nation transferring their love of onscreen food into real-life kitchens.
“We’re being brainwashed into thinking that cooking is too difficult, takes too long and costs too much and it’s turning us to convenience food,” she said
“We need a revolution – let’s get the nation to reconnect with food, and experience the thrill of cooking! In short, we need to get off the sofa and into the kitchen.”
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