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The Washington Post reports that there seems to be a kind of philosophical struggle taking place in America’s kitchens, one that will have an impact on what is bought and sold in America’s supermarkets.

Some argue that the notion of home cooking is coming back, as illustrated by the resurgence of slow cookers (which used to be called “crock pots”), casseroles and meat loaves.

On the other hand, there is an argument that nobody cooks anymore, and that what passes for scratch cooking today actually is anything other than take-out, typified by the putting together of packaged and semi-prepared foods in a way that emulates home cooking.

Food trend researcher Harry Balzer tells the Post, "One hundred years ago, every household could kill a chicken for Sunday dinner. A hundred years from now, will anyone even know how to make spaghetti and meatballs?"

The fulcrum of the debate is the definition of convenience, as retailers and manufacturers try to figure out what will help time-starved, simplicity-seeking consumers most.
KC's View:
First of all, we find the idea that people won’t know how to make spaghetti and meatballs appalling. There’s just something so…well, dependent about not being able to cook yourself a meal from scratch. And we hate that kind of dependence.

In fact, we’ll take it a step farther. If it ever gets to the point that people can’t make themselves a meal, it could well signal the abject failure of the mainstream supermarket industry to create a differential reason for its own existence.

But it is interesting that the tension between these two approaches is seen as an either/or choice. Our feeling is that the food industry ought to be figuring out ways to cater to both instincts.