Why We Bake…And Why We Should Bake More

October 16, 2014

Reposted from Wheat Foods Council

Everywhere we go we’re meeting avid, new generations of “home economists.” Home baking, among the many economies of home, is a life skill 81% of adult Americans use daily, weekly, monthly or for occasions.  Why they bake reveals both benefits and teachable moments.

Top reasons people bake  

  1. To treat those they love in a special way (72%). Baking is hand-crafted, time-taken, freshly prepared ingredients and goodness delivered personally.  
    Tip: Promote 1955-era portion sizes and 2014-baking ingredient  options for variety, special food needs and great results! 
  2. To control what goes in my food (60%). Home bakers search to bake whole grain, multi-grain, reduce sodium, control sugars and types of fat, while they boost the use of nuts, seeds, veggies, fruits, herbs and spices. 
    Tip:  Ingredient fear is this trend’s dark side. Offer solid science, test-kitchen quality recipes and “less is more” common sense. Never forget how fabulous food is, how little it’s savored and how much we over consume.
  3. To keep up family traditions (49%). Children who eat meals regularly with their family (5 or more times per week) are much less likely to be “left behind.”  
    Tip: Unplug. Turn off the TV and computer. Never give up doing at home what you wish schools or government would provide or instill in your child or community. You can contribute more than you think.
  4. To save money (resources) (43%).  Do It Yourself (DIY) food skills put you into an “active food lifestyle.” You burn calories (approximately 135 per hour) AND add to your available cash. The middle class has stalled out in drive-thru or carry-outs. 
    Tip: DIY is “locally made.” Aim for simple. Consume only what you need and freeze the rest for portable, nutrient-rich breakfasts, snacks, meals.

Please “share the wealth” of your baking skills. The Home Baking Association’s (HBA) research found in 2011 that 33% would bake more from scratch if they knew how! The benefits of learning culinary skills when young is reported in many research articles and urged by health professionals.  (See Why Bake2014, HomeBaking.org)

There are over 25,000 Family Consumer Sciences (FCS) foods and culinary teachers in U.S. schools. Work together and share the wealth of your professional skills. Offer “Smart Snack” qualified baking recipes per the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. Pack up and go to out-of-school programs starved for teachers of “Portable Kitchen” skills to be taught to staff and youth.

Visit WFC partner HomeBaking.org for age-appropriate Thrill of Skill guidance, Baking Substitution Science webinar, a Baking Glossary and much more to assist you! Freely sign-up for our e-news and inform us of resources to share!

by Sharon Davis, Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Education