The Psychological Benefits of Cooking for Others

Why do people still cook? After all, once you consider the time we are living in, there seems to be no need. You can easily order all of your food or get some frozen stuff to microwave. And if you consider the fast pace of our lifestyles, you might wonder, why bother? Why should anyone in their right mind spend the small amount of free time that they have on cooking? Well, there are multiple reasons. Not only is cooking by yourself cheaper and healthier, but there are even psychological benefits of cooking for others.


The Significance of Cooking

It doesn’t take much insight to realize just how important food is to us. After all, we have dedicated websites, celebrities and tv shows committed to nothing else but making beautiful, delicious food. And, if you really think about it, you will see that cooking has been a vital part of our development as a species. After all, the first thing we used fire for was cooking. So, you can even argue that without cooking we wouldn’t have evolved as much as we have.

Therefore, it is not difficult to realize that cooking has a profound effect on us – both when we see an artisan make a delicious meal and when we roll up our sleeves and make one ourselves.


Healthy Eating

One of the best things about cooking is that it gives you control over what you eat. And, considering that we eat every day, you can clearly see why this is important. By cooking your own food, you can precisely control what you put into your body. A healthy diet is almost inconceivable without home cooking, as most healthy foods cost quite a bit. Not to mention that there is simply no substitute for a homemade meal, no matter who cooks it. So, if you still haven’t given cooking a try, we definitely advise you to do so or heck, hire a personal chef to prepare tailored meals to your liking!


Psychological Benefits of Cooking for Others

Ok – so we are clear on why you should cook. But, the question still remains, why should you cook for others? After all, it makes sense that you want to make your life both healthier and cheaper. But, why should you bother with preparing food for other people? Well, as it turns out, there are some significant psychological benefits of cooking for others. Just like donating or volunteering, helping others is tremendously beneficial for us. Not in any superficial, lucrative way, mind you. But in a more deep, psychological way.


Interacting with Food

The first psychological benefits of cooking for others is interaction with food. When you cook for yourself you are usually going to touch, smell, taste, and look at food. Unless you are cooking for the whole week in advance, you will be managing a small amount of food for each cook. So, why does this matter? Well, when you cook for others, you will have to manage more food. And, as it turns out, managing a lot of food takes patience and tranquility. You can be irritated and in a rush and still make decent scrambled eggs for yourself. But, if you want to make a decent meal for others, you will need to relax and take your time. 

Making bread, for instance, can be quite meditative.


Better Connection

The beauty of cooking is that it connects people. After all, when do you cook for someone else? You will either cook for someone who is living with you, or you will organize a large cook-off. Both of those are situations where you want to better the connection with the people involved. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should always cook. For instance, nobody expects you to cook for a moving-in party. Even if you get help when moving far away from your home, you are bound to be exhausted.  

Organizing a cookout, for example, is something that you should really try doing. While you can always get a chef to cook for your party, there is something beautiful & communal about the host cooking food for guests. The whole act breathes with closeness and trust. Speaking of which…


Trust

Let us look back at the history of cooking one more time. It is easy not to take for granted that the food you eat will be fresh and not poisonous. But, this was not always the case. Actually, for most of history, people had to put their trust into the people who cooked their food in order to eat it. Remember, there were no health inspections in the middle ages. And, if you consider the fact that this was the case for most of human history, you will easily understand why trust is a key component in cooking. By cooking food for other people you are, in a sense, forcing them to put their trust in you. The more times you do this, the more trust you develop within yourself and between others.


The Best Time to Cook

Even with all this in mind, we don’t expect that you will start cooking every meal with others in mind. Although there are numerous psychological benefits of cooking for others, until you start making school breakfasts for your kids, you will probably only cook for others once or twice per week. So, when should you cook?

Our advice is that you make an event out of cooking. Do not make cooking into an everyday banality as you will soon lose all the benefits. Instead, try to make it something worth remembering. Either dedicate a certain day of the week for meal prepping. Or you can opt for a spontaneous approach. But, whatever you do, try to enjoy the cooking journey. That way, the people you cook for will enjoy your cooking even more.

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