Cooking and Convenience

  • Peter Jackson
  • Helene Brembeck
  • Jonathan Everts
  • Maria Fuentes
  • Bente Halkier
  • Frej Daniel Hertz
  • Angela Meah
  • Valerie Viehoff
  • Christine Wenzl


This chapter discusses the notion that the use of convenience food is associated with an alleged decline in cooking skills and culinary competence. Despite the popular ‘discourse of decline’ in political rhetoric and media debate, evidence for these assertions is actually rather limited, incomplete and outdated. The chapter begins with some definitional issues, seeking to uncover what counts as ‘cooking’ in different contexts and how this has changed within living memory. Using a case study of two Danish meal-box schemes as the primary reference point, the chapter explores the skills associated with planned, improvised and audit way of cooking. It provides evidence of different forms of understanding including tacit knowledge, know-how and improvisation, concluding that meal-box schemes provide a convenient approach to meal planning while maintaining the positive values of home cooking.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Jackson
    • 1
  • Helene Brembeck
    • 2
  • Jonathan Everts
    • 3
  • Maria Fuentes
    • 2
  • Bente Halkier
    • 4
  • Frej Daniel Hertz
    • 5
  • Angela Meah
    • 1
  • Valerie Viehoff
    • 6
  • Christine Wenzl
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Centre for Consumer ScienceUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.Institute of Geosciences and GeographyMartin-Luther-UniversityHalle-WittenbergGermany
  4. 4.Department of SociologyCopenhagen UniversityCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Communication and ArtsRoskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  6. 6.Institute of EducationUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  7. 7.Institute of GeographyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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