When the kids are hungry and you’ve had a long day at work, it’s tempting to grab a frozen meal or go out for dinner. However, eating pre-made or restaurant food isn’t nearly as good for you or the environment as cooking your own dishes. We’ve outlined a few reasons why it’s worth the time and effort to make home-cooked meals in the comfort of your kitchen.
You Can Ensure Your Food is Sustainable
When it comes to restaurant or pre-made foods, you don’t know the origin of the ingredients, if they’re sustainable options or if the meat came from ethically raised animals. Cooking your own food lets you choose which company or farm you’re buying from, so you can be sure that the ingredients you’re using were grown or raised sustainably. This isn’t only better for the environment, it’s also better for your health. For example, look for seafood companies that are verified by organizations like OceanWise and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, which ensure the seafood is top-quality and sustainably sourced.
You Can Avoid Unhealthy Additives
One of the reasons restaurant foods are so delicious (and so unhealthy) is because they’re filled with excess amounts of additives such as salt, MSG and sugar. Fortunately, many popular restaurant staples like pastas, soups and international dishes can be cooked healthily at home. Since you’re the chef, you can adjust the amount of any ingredients you don’t like and ensure that there are reasonable levels of salt, sugar or bad fats. All-Natrual, Lake-Grown Tilapia from Mexico, Honduras and Indonesia are great choices.
You’ll Spend Less Money
Between the cost of food, beverages and the tip, eating out is rarely cheap. Even picking up a frozen meal from the grocery store can be expensive, as you’re paying extra for the convenience.
Although cooking your own food takes a bit more time, it saves you lots of money since you’re paying only for ingredients, not overhead costs. Furthermore, the money you save by cooking can be used towards buying food that is ethically raised, since it tends to be a bit more expensive (but worth the cost!). A quick tip for optimal savings: before making your meal plan for the week, shop the sales at your grocery store and base your meals around the deals you find.
You Can Make Whatever You’d Like
There’s nothing worse than going to a new restaurant, only to find that all the options on the menu are either unhealthy or contain ingredients you don’t like. When you cook at home, you’re in total control of what you and your family eat. Meals can be seasoned with your favorite fresh herbs and spices, and you can make dishes featuring your favorite superfoods.
If you’ve been shying away from cooking at home because you don’t know how to cook your favorite foods, fear not! Thanks to the many great recipes online, even first-time cooks can be master chefs. Your body and the environment will thank you.