I Eat Because... I'm Hungry

Hunger is one of the most basic biological functions – your body says, 'I need nourishment,' and your brain says, 'Great, what's on the menu?' However, when it comes to having a healthy relationship with food, the real question lies in how we react to our hunger and what we eat to satisfy it.

Cooking and eating go hand in hand. Making meals from scratch is a great way to ensure you know exactly what's going into your meals and can help you avoid excess sugar, salt, and other ingredients that are often found in processed foods.

But for most of us, it's not that simple.

We've looked at modern attitudes towards cooking and how these factors influence our habits. And, as the ultimate kitchen lovers, we've offered advice about how you can overcome common cooking conundrums and learn to find joy in creating delicious meals.

A passion or a chore: Attitudes about cooking

Choosing what to eat is down to more than just satisfying hunger. According to our survey, the main factors that influence our food choices include:

Hunger Pie Chart
Nutrition 28%
Taste 47%
Money 33%
Time 31%
Cravings 29%

Depending on our lifestyle, these factors can influence us in a variety of ways. The Irish Food Board's 2015 survey looked at Great Britain's relationship with cooking and found we have very mixed emotions when it comes to letting loose in the kitchen.

Feeling About Cooking

28% see it as a chore

18% are passionate about it because they love food

Choosing Ingredients

78% pick foods that are easy to prepare

54% use a lot of ready-to-eat foods

Putting in the Effort

65% cook meals from scratch at least a few times a week

65% use ready prepared ingredients at least once a week

Taking the Time

60% don't like spending too much time cooking

43% are too busy to cook meals as often as they'd like

Cooking conundrums and solutions

The Irish Food Board's survey revealed that 64% of people really do enjoy the feeling of being able to cook a great meal. However, it seems there are plenty of obstacles that prevent us from doing so on a regular basis.

We spoke to a group of office workers to find out what issues people have when it comes to cooking and offered advice on how to conquer these conundrums and embrace the kitchen.

Any of these excuses sound like you...?

You don't have the time
"I love to cook from scratch but due to time I only get the opportunity to do this on a weekend."
You dread the weekly food shop
"When I have my head into it, I do really enjoy cooking – I just hate the supermarkets."
You just don't have the space
"The main thing that stops me cooking fresh food at dinner time is living in a shared house. Sometimes I get a takeaway out of convenience because there's no space to cook anything."
You lack the basic skills
"'From scratch' is sometimes a slight stretching of the truth… I'm a fan of things like curry paste, where I'm not doing any advanced cooking, just frying stuff and putting it in sauce. This is because I'm clueless about all the spices required."
Admit it, you're a bit lazy
"I do have time in the morning to cook, but rarely do more than toast because I want to stay in bed!"
Ready meals are just so much more convenient!
"I often eat for convenience throughout the week so easy to prepare meals such as chilled meal kits or a protein source and salad or vegetables – nothing adventurous."