It’s been a second week I am cooking dinners and lunches with preferably raw ingredients using as little processed food as possible. I am discovering a new hobby and it’s been a grand success so far. I was thinking how prepared food and meals which is easy to prepare can affect my life and how switching to more labour-intensive cooking can improve health, mood and even ability to stay productive. Not only I find the quality of home-prepared meals superior, but I also find it easier to stay motivated and happy when I have to put significant effort into food preparation.

Eating is something we all need on regular basis and it’s a big motivator for our brains. Historically speaking it is only recently large portions of humanity have overcome hunger and have access to all kind of food throughout the year without any kind of limit. This is especially true in developed countries where the food industry is very efficient in selling a large quantity and variety of easy to consume pre-packaged products. People use delivery services as well. All this made life easier, but does it have any cost to our ability to have a productive and happy life? I think it bears a great tall.

There’s BBC journalist spent 1-month eating ultra-processed food, you can read about his experience. Ultra-processed food makes you eat more, and more you eat — less happy you become. It’s like been a drug addict. Cooking food is different, and I think the benefits I get from cooking is proportional to the effort I put into preparation, this includes gathering ingredients myself and cleaning. Giving myself more responsibilities and chores makes me appreciate the final product more, it makes me grateful and helps me to appreciate life more.