Most people learn basic cooking skills from caregivers while they are growing up. Children may watch food being cooked, enjoy the outcomes, or even participate in simple tasks as they gain skills that they carry on to their adult lives.

Sadly, many in developed countries are losing touch with both simple techniques of food preparation as well as cultural recipes and traditions related to food. This is caused by myriad factors, ranging from increased working hours among parents to demands on adolescents’ time. The food industry is increasingly dominated by processed and convenient foods and services such as meal deliveries and prepared food bars at grocery stores become a default for busy adults and families.

Many sectors of both formal and informal education are seeking to fill this gap. Culinary medicine aims to teach doctors principles of basic cooking for themselves and their patients; the rise in the field of registered dietitians and insurance coverage for their services is increasingly rapidly; and teaching kitchens for populations with incomes of all levels are becoming widespread. This is promising for the health of these populations, too, since studies typically show that the more people tend to eat food prepared outside of the home, the worse their dietary quality and often the worse the health outcomes.

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