The domestic kitchen : the weak link in the food chain : is convenience leading to apathy?

Wingett, Margaret Mary Anne (1997) The domestic kitchen : the weak link in the food chain : is convenience leading to apathy? Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

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To investigate the meaning and understanding of domestic food preparation within the lived experience of the household's main food preparer this ethnographic study used a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Data were collected from three sources: the literature; an in-store survey of251 food shoppers chosen at random while shopping during both peak and off peak shopping periods at metropolitan supermarkets; and semi-structured interviews with the principal food shopper and food preparer of 15 different Brisbane households. Male and female respondents representing a cross section of socio-economic groupings, ranged in age from 19-79 years and were all from English speaking backgrounds. Changes in paid labour force participation, income and education have increased the value of the respondents' time, instigating massive changes in the way they shop, cook and eat. Much of their food preparation has moved from the domestic kitchen into the kitchens of other food establishments. For both sexes, the dominant motivating force behind these changes is a combination of the their self perceived lack of culinary skill; lack of enjoyment of cooking and lack of motivation to cook. The females in paid employment emphasise all factors, particularly the latter two, significantly more than the non-employed females. All factors are of increasing importance for individuals aged less than 35 years and conversely, of significantly diminished importance to older respondents. Overall, it is the respondents aged less than 25 years who indicate the lowest cooking frequency and/or least cooking ability. Inherent in this latter group is an indifference to the art/practice of preparing food. Increasingly, all respondents want to do less cooking and/or get the cooking over with as quickly as possible. Convenience is a powerful lure by which to spend less time in the kitchen. As well, there is an apparent willingness to pay a premium for convenience. Because children today are increasingly unlikely to be taught to cook, addressing the food skills deficit and encouraging individuals to cook for themselves are significant issues confronting health educators. These issues are suggested as appropriate subjects of future research.

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ID Code: 36547
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Presented to the Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology.
Keywords: Food habits, Convenience foods, convenience food, food preferences, eating habits, recipes, culinary skill, cooking frequency, nutrition education, health promotion, time deficits, thesis, doctoral
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Margaret Mary Anne Wingett
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:05
Last Modified: 25 May 2016 04:20

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