Teach some basic cooking to school children and to University students
Posted on August 9th, 2013

Dr Hector Perera      London

Not everyone is bothered to cook and eat; some people just depend on takeaways only otherwise those takeaways shops would have closed long time ago. Some people have no time at all to cook and some people might not have even seen a kitchen either. There are various reasons, some people are too busy, time is too tight so they just get something to eat and pass the time. Some rich and famous people, bankers, doctors, university lecturers and certainly the politicians would not have any time at all to cook due to various reasons. Even if the price of gas or electricity is increased any further they cannot be bothered as they have better things to attend and think about other than the price increase of these things.

One of my aims is to help these University students, quite soon they would realise that they have no choice other than to eat junk food. When they were at home their mums and dads done all the work for them but soon they would be on their own with tons of responsibilities, studies, attending lecturers in time, including providing them with food. The immediate solution is to depend on canteen food because they have no choice. They would soon realise that it’s better to get some food at their accommodation as well than depending on canteen food. On my experience I can say it’s nothing like having something at the place you stay than depending on canteen and takeaway food for every meal.  I am not expecting them to be chefs but all what I ask them is to know how to prepare something simple such as pasta, rice, spaghetti, chicken, fish and some vegetable dishes. Not necessarily they have to add hot spices, they can be done with or without spices or on mild conditions. Additionally they can save about 60% gas or electricity if cooked on the basis of science that is a different issue.

I have seen a few cooking programmes by leading and reputed cooks but none of them try to teach cooking to children in a scientific manner. I have seen new cooks in the TV but none of them help the children to learn, they are far from kids understanding. The kitchens are full of steam and smell and one of the cooks said, “Smell is everything” sure but you don’t have to wear them as an aftershave? The smell is all over, their hair, hands, face and clothes then deposit on any near by cold surfaces. The TV presenters as well stay near the cooker as they cook and talk about cooking and at the same time they get covered with a stream invisible aroma from cooking. They have to ignore that smell of cooking aroma because they need to speak nothing but good about cooking. They need to cook out some words just to praise the cook and the type cooking. All essential oils of low boiling points escape with steam and condense on any cold surface such as on clothes, hands, and hair or on the walls of the kitchen.

What is this smell?

They are the volatile gases of these food ingredients and spices. Those ingredients smells are supposed to be on the food not on your skin, face, and hands and on clothes. The smell of onions, garlic, cinnamon and volatile oils from other spices such as chillies powder, pepper and lots to name have lots of volatile oils of very low boiling points than water. These deposit on any cold surfaces such as on your face, hands, clothes and hair. When you walk around it smells you like a mobile kitchen, who would like that? This would put off the children or even adults to cook. I am sure the children wouldn’t like the smell of the food to be worn as after-shave or as a scent or cologne and walk around.

The cooking is a very scientific thing, easy and fun but if this is not shown in a simple easy way, the children today would be over weight adults tomorrow. I cannot remember the TV cooks talk about any chemical and physical changes as they cook. They do not pay any attention to the boiling points or volatility of these gases in the food; they just cook with the cooking fire on full blast. When the children grow up or even as kids they tend to eat nothing but takeaways with fat and salt filled food. Have you seen the queues outside the take away shops during the school lunch hours? A few schools kids come out during the lunchtime to get take-away food. If the kids today are not taught today, they have no choice but to depend on packet, canned and precooked food even when they attend Universities. This is bad for the health; they are full of salt, fats and preservatives that mean too many chemicals. In some cases they add monosodium glutamate or “ƒ”¹…”ajina motto’ a flavour enhancer.

The TV cooks just cook in an exhibitive manner, fast, rushing and very nervously. They want to beat the clock. The volatile gases catches fire generating smoke and this is very nice to look at but they are not aware that the food ingredients that are supposed to be absorbed to food are just burnt away. Sometimes they set fire to these volatile gases purposely, may be to attract the viewers. They are just like fire eaters, fire going 2 feet or more above the cooker. In some TV cooking programmes, I have seen too many cooks and the kitchens are full of steam and sometimes smoke. They look like sweating and panicking to finish certain dishes in a given time. In certain cases they serve virtually raw or uncooked lamb, beef and pork because of the time pressure. The kids think cooking is not for them; this puts off the children to learn to cook. Am I correct?

Some cooks think swearing attracts crowds to watch their shows and every now and again they just swear and behave unexpectedly rude manner.

If we teach the children how to cook then they can practice when they leave school but if they learn how to cook then they may try out some at home then carry on when they go to University or become parents? I asked one of my long distance online chemistry student who just finished A2 Level and waiting to enter University, “ƒ”¹…”How would you manage your meals there, can you cook’, she replied, “ƒ”¹…”No sir, cooking freak me out, I will find a room mate who can cook’. Your comments welcomed [email protected]

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