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!