Busy Brits are ditching microwave meals in favour of home-cooked ‘fast food’, research has revealed. Worries about the cost and their diet mean that people are now cooking something quick from scratch, such as a stir-fry or omelette, instead of reaching for the staple microwave ready-meal when they are short of time.
The study, conducted by British Lion Eggs to try and encourage home cooks to rustle up quick meals from scratch, also found that almost a quarter of Brits admitted their microwave is completely redundant (or even said they don’t even own one).
And despite the myth that students and young adults are the most likely to survive on microwave food, the study found that the over 50s are more likely to consider the gadget to be an important part of their kitchen.
Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council said:
”People seem to be becoming more adventurous in the kitchen, and are now cooking more meals from scratch, even when they are in a rush.
”Grabbing a microwave meal when time is tight is no longer what the majority of people do – instead, they are relying on quick-fix meals which are healthy and quick to cook and prepare.
”It’s interesting to see that the younger generation seems to be the ones who are embracing fresh-cooked fast food.
”The general consensus is that young people are most likely to rely on a microwave for their meals, but it seems that this isn’t the case.”
The study of 2,000 Brits found that when they are tight on time, seven in ten people are rustling up a quick dish from fresh ingredients.
Now, just one in five people are relying on microwave or ready-meals for a quick fix.
The study also suggests that the popularity of celebrity chefs and cooking shows on television has led to a drop in the nation’s microwave use, with two thirds of people being inspired to try a new dish they have seen on a TV programme.
Another 68% think younger people are becoming more inspired to cook from scratch thanks to the popularity of celebrity chefs.
But the research found that adventurous cooks are looking for inspiration even further away from the traditional means- recipe books are being neglected for the internet or Facebook instead.
When looking for something new to try, 47% scour the vast selection of cooking websites while another 29% rely purely on search engines like Google to source culinary inventions.
Almost one in five save things they have seen on TV, 23% cut ideas out of newspapers or magazines and one in twenty even turn to YouTube for inspiration.
But less than one in ten would go and buy a new recipe book.
28% of people have even been inspired to try a new dish or recipe after seeing a picture posted by a friend on social network websites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
24% of people admit if they create a dish they are proud of, they always head online again- this time posting a picture on their social network profiles.
Researchers also revealed that 83% of Brits do enjoy cooking, and another 79% of people enjoy experimenting with their meals and ingredients.
More than eight in ten also like trying out new recipes or unusual dishes, with 62% saying they consider themselves to be an adventurous person in the kitchen.
Andrew Joret said:
“It seems more people are reaching for main meals like omelettes which don’t take any longer to cook than heating up a microwave meal – but can be both healthier and cheaper.”