Cook social


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.



For people

Think of social cooking and you may think of celebration events or dinner parties, maybe eating a little too much and enjoying a drink (or three!). 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.

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!

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!

For planet

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!


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.