Discoveries

Women cook twice as often as men

The research for MLA makes a fascinating read

The research for MLA makes a fascinating read

Two-thirds of main meals in Australia are prepared by women – though the proportion of men making them appears to be growing. So says a fascinating research report published some months ago.

The report by Ipsos for Meat and Lifestock Australia uncovers changes in the role of meals in our lives – and many of its conclusions would apply to New Zealand as much as Australia. Would be fascinating to see this research repeated here.

We plan less

  • We’re less organised and more flexible, thanks to later opening hours of shops.
  • We buy ingredients without a fixed plan of what we’ll make with them – something we only decide on the day or shortly before it.

We vary our meals

  • We start with a protein (typically a meat) and then build our meal plan around it.
  • We have a broad repertoire of meals we make. But a low income makes cooking stressful and narrows the repertoire.
  • Single, older men have the smallest repertoire (14), whilst part-time-employed mums with partners have the largest (46).
  • The repertoire, on average, includes 2-3 vegetarian main meal options.

The report goes on to talk about what we eat at home and in take-away (chicken and fish & chips), and how frequently (sandwiches, fried eggs, spag bol and chicken breast are prepared at least weekly).

  • Life stage makes a huge difference to the kind of food we eat (chicken nuggets feature strongly in households with young kids, for example). Young singles eat fewer vegetables.
  • Preferences are more important than cost when choosing what to make.
  • We’re confident at being speedy cooks, but less confident about adapting recipes to different requirements.

It makes for digestible reading!

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