E009 - Feed Yourself!
This week on Across The Peak Rich and I make the case for cooking for yourself instead of letting someone else do it for you.
Benefits of Learning to Cook
- It is cheaper to eat at home.
- Eating in restaurants is expensive. McDonald's costs ~$6/meal, which adds up to $18/day or $90 for a five-day work-week
- Eating in restaurants prompts you to spend on dessert, extra glasses of wine, etc.
- My favorite financial podcast: Radical Personal Finance
- Tips also make meals-eaten-out more expensive by up to 1/5th
- It is healthier to eat at home.
- You control the ingredients that go into your food, the sanitation of the kitchen and the staff
- Fresh foods have minimal preservatives that are not made in a factory
- Restaurant food is LOADED with salt
- Cooking for yourself allows you greater biodiversity - get out of the commercial corn/soy system!
- Factory processed food is full of (actual) shit and other unsavory stuff
- Intangible benefits of eating at home.
- It's sexy af
- It's visceral - we all love to share a meal with another human being
Learning How to Learn to Cook
- Simple, fresh ingredients: most excellent dishes are not the end result of complicated techniques and single-purpose kitchen tools. Most amazing meals are the result of solid technique and simple, fresh ingredients.
- When you go to the grocery store, buy ingredients instead of "food"
- Read the whole recipe first: don't just dive in. Make sure you understand the overall concept before you start chopping stuff.
- Find something you love and learn to master it.
- Something you love from your favorite restaurant
- Pick a cookbook that strikes your fancy. Some of Justin's favorite cookbooks are:
- Rachel's Irish Family Food: 120 Recipes From My Home to Yours by Rachel Allen
- How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
- The Best Recipe by the Editors of Cooks Illustrated. This is absolutely one of the best cook books I have ever encountered. Every single recipe I have tried has worked beautifully if I followed the instructions exactly. This is a very well-rounded cook book and The One you should have if you only have one.
- Be willing to "learn". There is no "fail". I either succeed or I learn.
- Plan ahead, make a menu. If you wait until you are hungry to start thinking about what's for dinner, you'll have a harder time succeeding. Set yourself up for success by planning a menu and buying groceries ahead of time.
Book of the Week
The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Eating Local by Alisa Smith and J.B. McKinnon. This excellent book discusses the trials and tribulations of a couple that ate nothing that originated more than 100 miles from their home in Vancouver, B.C. It also delves into their reasoning for this decision, and the environmental impact of the modern food supply chain.
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