In making and watching the stop-motion with the contents of our recycling bin, it was very obvious to me that the majority of it was made up by take away containers and boxes. I then began noticing the array of different eating habits people had in my house. These spanned from preparing and cooking each meal, to ordering takeaways and eating microwave meals everyday of the week. Investigating why this might be I learnt that one of my house mates has very little cooking skills or knowledge. This contrasts with my own attitude to being in the kitchen, I really enjoy cooking and as a child took part in cooking lessons and then later studied Food Technology at GCSE.
I realised that the different skill levels in the house a probably quite representative of the wider student population of Leeds and further afield. I also think it has a little do with that fact that I am the only girl in my house, this might seem quite traditional and old fashioned but the connotations seem to still ring true in my house to some extent.
My mum has told me more than once that when she went off to college and was faced with living alone, she had to get her Mum to show her how to make scrabbled eggs as she had no cooking knowledge except that potatoes took 20minutes to boil and how to make Bisto gravy.
It became clear to me that there are likely to be a lot of students out there who know very little about cooking and that is this that causes them to turn to ordering takeaways and if not restricts them to beans on toast, scrambled eggs and pasta with ketchup and cheese.
During a crit I discussed these ideas, initially there were concerns about how much information there is already about cooking and how easy it can be. But the array of eating habits by the members of my house seemed to capture my peer’s attentions – especially their reliance on takeaways, which we all agreed was not a good move financially. I came away with the intentions of highlighting the benefits of cooking at home.
I plan to produce a set of images of typical takeaway meals versus the same meals made from home. I would also like to conduct a race between me and another housemate, I will cook a meal and they will order a takeaway and see which is faster, more satisfying and better financially.