This interesting article over on ScienceDaily came to me over the GoogleReader feed.
In connection with a larger study, CELF researchers videotaped four days in the home lives of 32 working families in Los Angeles, including their dinner routines, between early 2002 and 2005.
The results about how people cook and what they use to make dinner are interesting. The difference in cook-to-plate time for meals prepared from scratch and those prepared using 'convenience items' wasn't significant, not a lot of cookbooks involved or recipes from magazines/newspapers, and little participation by the kids. Many parents in the study also made separate meals for the kids too, rather than cajole them into eating the same food the parents ate (like our parents did to us).
Of the 64 weeknight dinners Beck observed, 70 percent were completely home-cooked, meaning they were prepared at home, although not necessarily from scratch.
"People don't spend any less time overall on dinner when they use so-called convenience foods," Beck said. "Families seem to spend a certain amount of time cooking regardless. When commercial items are involved, they just ramp up how elaborate it gets."
"Some people don't fight the fight of getting the kids to eat what's being served for dinner," she said. "The kids frequently got entirely separate entrees or separate items from the adults, so that adds to the overall complexity of the meal."
So does this mean that the next generation's concept of fine dining will be determined by how many boxes or cans it was prepared from?