A home-cooked meal has many advantages
Hong Kong’s latest restaurant restrictions to keep the Covid-19 disease at bay have again shaken up the way we eat. A ban on in-house dining between 6pm and 5am has had many people returning to delivery services, forced others into eating in public places and prompted a number of eateries to consider the loss of business is not worth staying open. With the number of local infections worryingly high, such rules have to be constantly reviewed. There is good reason in such challenging times for those of us who have not yet considered the option of cooking at home to make the effort.
In a city with an estimated 16,000 places to eat and kitchens in flats so small, many people prefer to dine out. For the 200,000 or so who live in subdivided flats or boarding houses, it is often the only option. The new rules mean that for dinner, takeaway meals and home delivery services are the most obvious choices. But home-cooked meals are also an alternative.
People who have found delivery platforms wanting have probably already thought of that. In the first half of the year, the Consumer Council received a five-fold increase in the number of complaints over the same period in 2019 to 172, hardly surprising given the considerably higher volume of business. It is obviously in the industry’s interests to ensure customer demands are well met and delivery workers properly trained. But while tapping an app a few times offers convenience, the trade-off is that restaurant meals are not necessarily as healthy as a home-cooked one.
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A number of studies show that people who cook at home are healthier; restaurant food typically contains higher amounts of sodium, fat and calories to make them tastier. Cooking at home with fresh ingredients gives full control of what gets added and the portion size. At a time when fitness centres are closed and people are again worried about what lurks beyond their front door, eating properly is important to stay healthy. Time and money can also be saved and relationships strengthened through working on recipes together.
That is not to say we should shun restaurants or delivery services ” just that the health crisis creates possibilities we may not have considered that could improve our lives or prove an opportunity.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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