Packages and cans are convenient, but cooking fresh allows you to eliminate all those unnecessary and sometimes harmful artificial things like flavors, colors, preservatives, etc.
Cooking fresh also makes it easier to accommodate allergies and personal preferences. When you use a can or a package, you are at the mercy of what’s inside and its surprising what they are dragging through every can, bottle, and package these days.
Cooking fresh gives you so much more control. You can swap out unhealthy ingredients for healthier ones. You can choose not to include an ingredient that you or someone else is allergic to or you can substitute for that ingredient. If there is something in the recipe you simply don’t like, you can either not include it or swap it for something you do like. Cooking from scratch simply gives you so much more control over the ingredients.
Cooking from scratch also allows you to cook for your taste buds. A recipe can be made as spicy or as mild as you like.
Cooking fresh also builds skills.
Let’s be honest, it doesn’t take much skill to open a can, dump its contents into a pot and heat it. But beyond its obvious value of providing sustenance, cooking teaches thoughtfulness, cooperation, and gratitude. It emphasizes the need for careful planning, while requiring thoroughness, cleanliness, and caution in execution. It values creativity, patience, and resourcefulness.
Cooking builds fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. It requires some math and chemistry. It builds leadership and time management skills. Cooking is a love language, it is an act of service and, in the end, it rewards its apprentices with an amazing bounty that brings people together in an atmosphere of friendship.
And, while you can achieve some of these things by opening a can, you can achieve all of them by cooking from scratch.
So, get outside and get fresh!