I've heard a lot of people hate on millennials over the years, and I've stayed silent. But a straw finally broke the camel's back. Or really, a potato.
A few weeks ago, I read an article claiming millennials don't eat as many potatoes as previous generations.
"Shoppers have a new squeeze when it comes to carbohydrates. Rice and noodles are viewed as everything many say the spud is not – healthy, convenient and exotic," wrote "The Grocer" in an article I couldn't find but a bunch of other publications referenced (suspicious?).I'm sorry, but who thinks noodles are exotic? Granted, I am a millennial who has made a lot more rice and noodles than potatoes over the years. But that's because those things are staples to me, not exotic treats. You know, because rice and wheat are staples for MOST HUMANS ON THE PLANET.
But that's not what got to me. What got to me was what came next.
"To boot, they're often a faff to prepare."
Ah yes, the incredibly British version of "Millenials don't cook." Granted, this particular article wasn't all that insulting, but it reminded me of a hundred other articles I've read with some version of this "insight." For instance:
"Report: Millennials can't cook for sh*t" says The Takeout.
"A Scary Percent Of Millennials Don’t Know How To Cook Spaghetti, Fried Eggs, Garlic Bread And Rice" says Brobible.
"Report: Half of the Millennials can't roast a chicken, generally suck at cooking,"
I could keep going, but you get the point.
"Millennials, the generation famous for wasting their potential on selfies and credit card debt, can't cook to save their lives," "reports" Thrillist. (Funny, I thought we were famous for student loan debt.)
Everyone says millennials don’t cook. And that may be true. Who am I to argue with surveys that don't actually adjust for, you know, time spent on the planet? (Today's 3-year-olds are probably even worse cooks!)
To be fair, I know a lot of people my age who live on frozen chicken fingers. But I'm sick of people saying that's because millennials are lazy. To the contrary, it's because we work so faffing hard.
30-year-olds in previous generations were often, you know, married. But Millennials are simply more independent. In 2014, Gallup found that 59 percent of millennials are single and had never married. That means we're our own breadwinners.
It's basic math. Two people can do more housework than one, especially if one of them isn't working all day. That means more time for cooking. So maybe, just maybe, we don't all have the time to work 40, 50 or 60 hours a week while cooking three hearty meals a day (most of them in office microwaves, I guess?). The student loans and fact that we're earning less per hour than previous generations aren't helping either.
It's sad that we're cooking less. Cooking for oneself is often healthier, less expensive and better for the environment. But blaming the least powerful adult generation for this trend is absurd. If we live in a world where just about everyone must work full time, there will simply be less cooking. Millennials didn't create that world; the generations complaining about millennials did.