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The state of cooking in England: the relationship of cooking skills to food choice

Martin Caraher (Thames Valley University, London, UK)
Paul Dixon (University of York, York, UK)
Tim Lang (Thames Valley University, London, UK)
Roy Carr‐Hill (University of York, York, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 September 1999



This article uses data from the 1993 Health and Lifestyles Survey of England to present findings on how, why and when people use cooking skills; where and from whom people learn these skills. The implications for policy are explored. The survey data suggests that socio‐economic status and education are associated with the sources of people’s knowledge about cooking. The first or prime source of learning about cooking skills was reported to be mothers; cooking classes in school were cited as the next most important by the majority of correspondents, with some class and educational variations. The importance of mothers as sources of information on cooking skills is observed in all social classes. What emerges is a population unsure of specific cooking techniques and lacking in confidence to apply techniques and cook certain foods. Women still bear the burden of cooking for the household, with four out of every five women respondents cooking on most or every day, compared with one in five men. This may be related to the large number of men who claim to have no cooking skills (one in five).



Caraher, M., Dixon, P., Lang, T. and Carr‐Hill, R. (1999), "The state of cooking in England: the relationship of cooking skills to food choice", British Food Journal, Vol. 101 No. 8, pp. 590-609.




Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited