Average British menu limited to four dishes

I gasped at the stats I heard this morning on Radio 1 and had to go find the original article myself for a bit more information.

Research highlights our lack of imagination in the kitchen, with few of us bothering to cook new dishes, and most living on around just four regular dishes. The average menu in British households extends to 4.1 dishes, with Scotland’s average even lower at 4.0 meals.

The Scotsman‘s summary of the research was published yesterday claims that the staple diet of the 2,000 adults surveyed is composed of “spaghetti bolognese, stew, sausages and mash and fish and chips” as regular standbys, “with other favourites including chilli con carne and chicken tikka masala.”

Most people claim they’re too busy to cook when they get home at night, but a few do admit to being a bit timid when it comes to introducing new meal ideas.

Well, I don’t think either of those arguments have a fighting chance, they’re both ridiculous. Everyone works long hours nowadays, and cooking can actually be a therapeutic and relaxing activity. Sure, it means 20 minutes less watching some rubbish TV or doing whatever else lazy people do in the evening, but it’s bound to be better for their health than a ready meal.

Aside from the biweekly (that’s every 2 weeks, not twice a week) treat of fresh oven pizza on a Friday night, we probably have ready meals once every two or three months. And EVERY time, I feel let down. Ready meals are rubbish, generally don’t taste particularly good and the texture is usually pretty awful.

I couldn’t imagine living off a range of four meals. What a miserable existence! I can think of a dozen meals made using rice, a meat/fish and some vegetables, and tons more involving chunky soups, roasts or exotic salads. I’m not sure what else to say – Every time I think of this article, I find myself shaking my head, feeling baffled and terribly sorry for these people.

I still want to believe this article is wrong, and the 2,000 people they surveyed were heavily biased and “the type who actually spend time filling in junk to win a car”, as one commenter on Scotsman.com suggested. Please, Britain, don’t head down the ready meals and growing aisles of frozen foods in supermarkets. Do we need to call in Superhero Jamie to save the day again?

[tags]healthy eating, food, Britain, cooking, Scotsman.com, health news, fish and chips aren’t good for you[/tags]

7 thoughts on “Average British menu limited to four dishes

  1. Vero

    Mat: BBQ on the beach? (as long as the wind doesn’t throw sand into the food!)

    Lisa: Toast and a soft boiled egg is such a treat though! Yum!

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  4. steve

    I can cook more than 4 meals 🙂

    In my expierence believe it or not i find that i talk more about food with my bloke mates more than gals my age do.

    Plus we all of a sudden seem to be a completely restaurant focused society my old high street used to contain 12 shops. 3 cloths shops, a news agents, a post office, greengrocers, a motorman, 2 charity shops, a video rental place, a DIY store, and a fuel garage. Now it contains 8 restaurants 3 indian food places, 2 chinese places an italian and a fish and chips place

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