Australian’s can’t boil an egg or recognise a zucchini

Australians are hooked on watching other people cook, but it seems very few of us are able to do anything inventive ourselves.

A survey conducted by Westfield found over half of people have five meals or less on rotation in their households and many people don’t even know how to boil an egg.

While Australians often point towards migration for broadening our eating horizons decades ago and the move away from the typical meat and three veg, it seems many of us stuck in a rut of boring meals when we cook at home.

And as we move towards encouraging healthy eating habits, it seems many people are unaware about nutrition and fresh vegetables, with one in 10 mistaking a zucchini for a cucumber, leek or pickle.

While the unforeseen success of cooking shows including Masterchef has seen an increase in interest levels in watching people cook, it seems it may also have led to insecurity about viewers own abilities, with one third of those surveyed saying they avoid entertaining at home because they are not confident with their cooking skills.

Westfield home economist Emma Braz believes busier Australian lifestyles have led many to forget how to cook good meals at home.

"The popularity of TV cooking shows proves that Australians are incredibly passionate about food, but what this research suggests is that creative cooking is in danger of becoming a spectator sport," she said.

"Most of us don’t realise that there is a wealth of advice at our fingertips.

"Simply getting to know your local greengrocer or butcher and calling on their expertise will help improve your food knowledge."

Braz says people should be setting aside about half an hour a week to plan their meals and at least once a month should be experimenting with an entirely new meal.

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