Confident, fearful and hopeless cooks

Martine Stead (Centre for Social Marketing, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Martin Caraher (Institute of Health Sciences, City University, London, UK)
Wendy Wrieden (Department of Medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK)
Patricia Longbottom (Department of Medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK)
Karen Valentine (Department of Medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK)
Annie Anderson (Department of Medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 1 April 2004


One of the many barriers to a healthier diet in low‐income communities is a presumed lack of practical food skills. This article reports findings from exploratory qualitative research conducted with potential participants in a cooking skills intervention, in low income communities in Scotland. The research found widely varying levels of skill and confidence regarding cooking, supported the need for a community‐based intervention approach, and demonstrated the importance of consumer research to inform the content of interventions. Challenges the view that low income communities lack skills, suggesting that food skills should be defined more broadly than “cooking from scratch”. Other barriers to healthy eating, such as poverty, food access and taste preferences, remain important.



Stead, M., Caraher, M., Wrieden, W., Longbottom, P., Valentine, K. and Anderson, A. (2004), "Confident, fearful and hopeless cooks", British Food Journal, Vol. 106 No. 4, pp. 274-287.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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