Cook social

Make meals with friends

Cooking with other people may improve your social life, but did you know that it can also be good for the health of you and the planet?

By pooling resources you cut down on waste, and it’s a great opportunity to explore new foods too, all whilst having fun with friends.

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Health

Think of social cooking and you may think of dinner parties, overeating and lots of alcohol. But with the right attitude, it can also be used as a tool to encourage each other to eat well.

Cooking with others encourages you to make your own, home-cooked food, which studies have shown on average contains less fat, carbohydrates and sugar than shop-bought equivalents.1

Money

Cooking with friends and sharing meals allows you to bulk-buy food, which can save you a tonne of money. Either split the costs and cook together, or organise a rota system where you take it in turns to buy and cook the meal: with enough friends, you’d only have to pay for a handful of meals a month!

Climate change

Ovens, microwaves, kettles, slow cookers… Cooking is an energy-intensive business, accounting for 20% of a household’s energy use2

Making meals together means that you’ll have to power fewer kitchens, meaning fewer carbon emissions.

7 mil

tonnes food and drink are thrown out from UK homes each year.3

Waste

How much food do you buy which you never end up eating?

Food waste is fast becoming a big problem, with landfill sites reaching capacity and space running out to bury our ever-growing mountains of rubbish. Cooking with others means you are more likely to plan your meals carefully, and only buy what you need, cutting down on waste.

Plus, you’ll always be able to find someone to eat up your left-overs!

Fun

Humans are social creatures, and cooking together is a great way to catch up with friends and explore new foods. You could even try themed nights, where you try creating foods from other cultures. In this case, too many cooks definitely won’t spoil the broth!

Global Goals

In September 2017, a historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Cook social' pledge, you are contributing to the following SDG targets:

3.4: By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being

12.3: By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

How

How

Sharing your cooking is easy: just gather a group of colleagues, friends or neighbours, and get stuck in! Here are some ideas to get you started:

In the office: you’d be surprised what you can achieve even with the smallest office kitchen. Check out these great lunches for inspiration.

Keep it regular: set up a rota, so that one person doesn’t end up doing all the cooking. Use an online calendar app to make sure everyone in your group knows who’s cooking what and where.

Theme it: one of the hardest parts of planning a meal can be deciding what to cook. Make the decision easy by theming your office lunches. One month, you make tacos, each person putting their own slant on it; the next, it's stews, or salads, or soups... you get the idea.

Help yourself: serve your food ‘family style’ rather than plating up: this way, your fellow diners can take only what they want, rather than overeating or wasting unwanted food.

Feed a crowd: Keep an eye out for recipes which are tailored to feed larger numbers: the BBC Feed-a-Crowd site is a great place to start, or try the Cooking With Friends blog.

Waste not, want not: If you do have excess food, don’t throw it away: wrap it up for your guests to take home, or pop it in the freezer for a quick meal at a later date.

Success Stories

330

Pledges
in total

1,137kg

CO2
pledged

It was nice to make time to meet up with friends and enjoy good food and good company

Saved time and money!

We have shared a salad bring a share on Friday and will continue to do sharing lunches on a monthly basis.

It works out cheaper and it's more social, don't know why everyone doesn't do it if they have the chance!

Had my sister and nephew and niece and my Mum round for meals.

Cheaper and more fun

I cook with my best friend almost every meal.

I made some menus for my colleagues and also for my friends

An excellent way of sharing the cooking load, saving money and best of all getting to spend more time with friends and family! Nothing beats sharing good food, and the odd glass of wine or two, with the people you love.

I saved a lot of money and I had fun preparing homemade meals to share at work. I got my colleague on board and we organised ourselves to make it work.

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