Students need to learn how to cook, use resources offered to them

April 11, 2017

Eleanor Sturt

esturt@uccs.edu

     Sometimes, it seems like adulting is such a difficult feat.

     Outside of going to school, it encompasses many skills such as grocery shopping, laundry, cooking and more complex tasks like taxes.

     I have heard many students complain that the education system has failed in teaching these life skills, leaving young adults with no knowledge on how to do these basic functions.

     And they’re right.

     But it is time to abandon these complaints on what the school system failed to teach us and actually do something that will help us to be healthier and “adult” better.

     Start with the most important one: cooking.

     UCCS wants to help students learn this simple task with an online recipe database and occasional events that teach students how to cook.

     Cooking is actually rather easy, but you will only learn through experimentation.

     It is up to students to take advantage of these resources. While UCCS, cookbooks and YouTube videos can help, you need to get in the kitchen and just try it so you stay away from unhealthy and expensive fast food options.

     The expense of eating out is only increasing, so not only will learning to cook allow you to be more independent, you’ll also save money.

     On a national level, Americans are eating out more.

     A 2016 Quartz article found that U.S. spending on eating out has surpassed spending in grocery stores.

     This is because less people know how to cook. A survey conducted by Co-op, a U.K. company, found that 27 percent of the millennial generation never learned how to cook. This number isn’t surprising considering that home education classes are no longer required by many school systems.

     Sixteen percent of the millennial generation reported in that survey that they learned to cook at school or college. Of this number, 16 percent of them felt there was no reason that they should learn to cook.

     But learning how to cook for yourself has many perks.

     Cooking allows you to have control over what you put into your body. Fast food and many large chain restaurants use excessive sodium to increase the flavor in the food.

     Even cheap, instant food like frozen ready-made meals and ramen noodles have high sodium levels.

     The high sodium in your food can cause your body to retain water, which may result in high blood pressure and excessive weight gain. The ability to select the ingredients in your food is beneficial not only to stay healthy, but better ingredients also makes eating easier for people with allergies and intolerances to substances like gluten.

     A study published in the journal Human Performance found that about 80 percent of restaurant employees spit in customers’ food.

     This is another reason to cook and eat at home.

     Sure, you can try being a kind person while eating out, or you can avoid it all together.

     One of the best parts of cooking is leftovers, which means that you don’t have to cook every day.

     Spend one day a week where you make one to three meals, and you’ll be set. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers and you have a couple meals throughout the week already prepared. Just reheat and enjoy.

     If you are new to cooking I suggest you start with easy dishes. Pasta dishes are generally simple, and cooking noodles is one of the simplest tasks out there.

     Work up from there, and soon you’ll impress your friends with your newly found skill.

      Cooking is a valuable skill that will serve you well for the rest your life.