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Bord Bia food trends reveal less cooking from scratch

Wednesday, 19th February, 2020 3:53pm

Bord Bia just released the result of a national study on evening meal consumption in Ireland and it makes for interesting reading.

Considering that food trends always tell us that the traditional dinner is disappearing and that ‘clean’ eating is gaining rapidly, the study shows that we still love the traditional one meat and two veg dinner.

Beef is the favourite meat, with chicken following close behind, while pasta dishes with sauce like spaghetti bolognese are still a strong contender.

However, these results contain not only good news as there has been a 12 per cent decline in people cooking from scratch, from just over 4 in 10 adults in 2011 to three in 10 in 2019.

Time limitations were cited as main reason. The study also revealed that the traditional ‘one for all’ dinner is no longer a real thing, instead different members of the family get different foods based on their preference.

While reading through the results, I had to smirk a bit as I imagined what my mum and dad would have said if I had asked for a different meal (the sound of a smack might have been involved – one reason I started cooking for myself from the tender age of nine!).

We had to eat what my dad wanted – there was no discussion and mostly we got stew.

But these stews, as much as I hated them, were cooked from scratch and made sure we got all the nutrition we needed.

With busy parents, cooking for several people can be daunting and resorting to ready-made meals seems like a good option.

Having grown up with my parents telling me what to eat, I do feel for kids who simply don’t want to eat big meat dishes etc. But we still need to look at what we are feeding them. Sauces from a jar might be convenient but just look at the ingredient list.

I do cheat (don’t tell anyone) with tomato sauce by using a box/bottle of passata (pureed tomatoes), adding roasted onions, garlic and herbs to the mix and et voila, you got a tasty sauce with no additive or colourings.

What did surprise me though was the fact that families don’t take the evening meal together but consume their plate of food in different rooms.

Dinner time is such a great opportunity to catch up on each other’s day, share news and make plans. This habit could be due to the facts that 7 in 10 meals is being taken while either the TV is on or a smart device like phone or tablet is being used.

The study also looked at takeaway habits with Chinese being the most popular and pizza being mostly ordered for delivery service with 67 per cent of orders being done online.

The study also revealed that Irish consumers are more aware of their choices and prefer Irish produce over imported – a rise of almost 10 per cent to a quarter of shoppers.

Let’s hope that the good trends continue and the bad ones decline. You can read the full report on – go to press releases: the results were published on 6 February.

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