Nearly two million years ago, humankind began cooking over fires. What at first was bare necessity, has now become a social event around which life revolves. These days, sharing a meal is one of the few chances we get in our busy lives to show love and affection — and that's why I will never stop cooking for my loved ones. 

First, a bit of history

pizza, beer, coffee, wine, cake
Maria Cortner

In the Paleolithic Era, food started dictating our way of conceiving social meetings and family. Fire places — originally called "hearts" and formed of rocks — became the centre and focus of houses. The transition from eating raw food to cooking meals mayhave also played a central role in making our ancestors "human", including aiding the development of the human brain to the size it is today

While we can't necessarily see the obvious benefits and development of this in our society, we surely can't deny that food still has amazing properties, both for our health and our social sphere — and I'm going to go as far as to say that cooking for my loved ones improves my life.

The benefits of cooking

Mun Ling Koh

Cooking brings many benefits that pretty much everyone can enjoy. Less money spent, healthier food, allergens free meals and personalised portions — to name but a few. But perhaps the most important thing of all is that cooking food brings people together: family, friends, partners and strangers. Cooking isn't only for mothers and housewives (who, by the way, have a hard, challenging and admirable job). It's a creative, loving activity that anyone — no matter gender or age — can take part in, to show some love and appreciation.

What cooking can teach you

Mun Ling Koh

Cooking can teach leadership and teamwork, organisation and budgeting; it can help cement relationships while having fun and pursuing a delicious goal. Cooking can teach how to take care of people and be a good listener, how to remember what your friend loves, what she likes and what she will never eat again.

Whenever I cook, I try to show my affection not only with the final dish, but also while preparing the meal. You can talk nonsense, complain about whatever happened at work or tell funny stories. The laughs and the bonding that come out of this are priceless.

Final thoughts 

Mun Ling Koh

I know a lot of people who don't know — and don't want to learn — how to cook. Some, because they think it's a boring task; others because they think that the role of the woman cooking is something old that should be forgotten; others again because they think they aren't the ones who "should" do it.

By cooking, you aren't serving someone else. You are caring either about yourself, or about those dear to you. It's not about the action, but about the purpose. Whether you're a mother, a CEO, a doctor or an engineer — if you're cooking, then you're practising one of the most ancient and precious rituals of our culture.

Food nourishes; it carries life and strength, love and progress. It's something we really need to hold on to and start practising again. Tonight, before going home, go grab something fresh, call your friends over and treat everyone (yourself included!) to a delicious, heart warming meal.