Correct me if I’m wrong, but rarely, I think, has a young man run the danger of being mistaken for a keen cook. Sad to say, young men as a group are not well known for their culinary artistry, their weapons of choice invariably restricted to frying pans, tinned goods, and a surprisingly good selection of cooked egg.
I say all of this as a formerly reluctant chef myself. To put it bluntly, I used to see cooking as a flat out waste of time. I didn’t see the point, I didn’t see the enjoyment, and I certainly didn’t see any way in which it related to my development as a man.
I think that’s how many men feel starting out – maybe it’s even how you feel about it right now, too – and that’s exactly why you’re reading this article.
Today I’m here to tell you that cooking has a point. And not just a point, but a tangible benefit, an enjoyment, and a skill that, once learned, will be valuable to you your whole life. And if I’m the one here telling you it, you can bet your bottom dollar any of you can do it too.
So, to the crux of the matter: why is cooking something that should matter to you?
- Self interest
I always think that arguments of self interest are the strongest. Cooking healthy, whole foods in your own home is going to make you a healthier individual. And healthier individuals live longer and feel better. Simple as that. This study, for instance, found that people who prepare their meals at home not only eat healthier but also consume fewer calories than people who cook less or not at all. It only makes sense that when you’re seeing exactly what you eat, how much of it, and where it’s come from, you’re going to have a healthier diet and lifestyle.
If you’re not moved by the health of your own body, maybe you’ll be moved by the health of your bank balance. Fairly obviously, cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out all the time…see this article from Business Insider for a case in point. If you’re looking to economise, reducing those little recurring expenses of food on the go can quickly add up.
- Fun & social
When all is said and done, I can throw all the practical arguments at you I want, but if you don’t enjoy it, you’re probably not going to stick at it. The thing is, cooking is a lot more fun than you might imagine once you start developing the skill. It’s like anything else really; you get out what you put in. On top of that, it is a social thing. You can cook with friends, cook with family, cook with your partner and have fun at the same time. Oh, and the ladies love it. So what’s not to like?
I hope all this has fired you up to have a crack at cooking for yourself even if you’ve never lifted a proverbial finger in the kitchen…watch out for part II of the Real Men Cook series when the talking stops and the cooking begins as I share some of my own favourite recipes!
Cambridge graduate. Writer and thinker. Life enthusiast.