THE BLOG

Is Eating in the New Eating Out?

17/03/2014 14:04 GMT | Updated 17/05/2014 10:59 BST

Where Did You Eat Last Night?

Was it 'in' (referring to homemade food) or 'out' (referring to everything else - don't try and fool me with your readymade meals! :))

It won't surprise me if the answer is 'out' if you are a young professional living in Dublin, London or New York. So intense is your work and social life that eating at the office desk, on the hoof or in the wagon during a working week is acceptable as being normal. When I asked one couple in New York how often they cooked, they explained that kitchens in New York are now being built without the footfall to actually enable any kind of decent meal making.

All this ties in with statistics outlined by Mark Hyman MD. While only 2% percent of meals in America in 1900 were eaten outside the home, this increased to the huge 50% in 2010.

Family Meals

But what about family meals? In America in 2010 only 3 meals a week were eaten 'in' as a family. In the UK, families fare a little better, however according to a recent survey conducted by the readymade baby food company Organix, 60 per cent of parents rely on ready meals at least some of the time when feeding their children, saying they are "quick and easy".

The good news is that there is a new breed of 'Eating In-ners' These are the early adopters, the young professionals and concerned parents who will not give into poor food choices even if up until recently, these choices have been the easiest. I'm talking readymade meals, almost readymade meals, takeaways or eating out on a daily basis.

Old Breed of Home Cooks

If these are the new breed of home cooks, what about the old breed? The old breed of home cooks were either defined by their excellent approach and control to cooking and the family meal, or more than often by their erratic management of the meal making process, from chaotic cooking to unrestrained grocery shopping and food waste. In the past the domain belonged to the females in the home and often not by choice. Believe me I've seen both at work and I've also been both of these home cooks myself in my time. What we must not forget that 'old breed of home cooks' were under great pressure to serve up a plate of delicious dinner using fresh ingredients and arrange for the family to eat together as often as possible. Clever marketing and fussier children all contributed to them giving into cheaper meat products, readymades and takeaways.

New Breed of Home Cooks

It has been said that while the young professional set are eating out more, many are also thinking of or are becoming parents. Let's welcome the 'new breed' of home cooks. This generation are also the most health conscious, knowing that home cooked food is best. They are aware that variety is essential to meet the nutritional needs of every member of the family and couples realize they may both need to work to meet financial commitments and/or to keep sane.

But this clever breed of new cooks is not going to worry about lack of time or ability in meeting their high expectations of providing the best and most delicious food on a daily basis for themselves and their family. They are turning to the many new food companies that are providing logistical cooking support. The new breed of cooks are connecting with fresh foods, they are wasting less food and saving time and often money in the process. High Five for these new breeders; these are the ones who will reverse the health and food waste related issues which have become the scourge of the 21st Century. This generation is about to do for obesity and food waste what the organic movement did for the environment and food quality many years ago.

New Breed of Food Company

Unlike their forefathers, the new breed of food companies neither grow, nor rear, nor cook food. Their goal is to provide convenience by either preparing quality ingredients and delivering these and recipes to a home. Blue Apron is an example in this area. Alternatively, if this service is out of your price range and you are looking for an application that will help you with all your meals, something like Sian's Plan simplifies the cooking process by planning a week of meals in advance, giving an accurate shopping list for you to shop online or use at the local food markets and butchers. These companies all remove the chaos of mealtimes and brings back into the home the joy of cooking with fresh ingredients. And of course the meals are healthy and cuts down on food waste.

I would say Eating In is so easy that it is the new Eating Out.