How Do Cooks Actually Cook Vegetables? A Field Experiment With Low-Income Households.
Sommaire de l'article
Vegetables in the diet contribute to disease prevention. However, low-income households underconsume fresh vegetables, perhaps because of cost and of unavailability at nearby stores. A third reason may lurk behind those barriers: cooks' unfamiliarity with various and appealing ways to prepare vegetables. To illuminate that possibility and to suggest interventions that could be designed more effectively to boost vegetable consumption, this study took the novel step of providing ample, if temporary, supplies of a fresh vegetable to random sets of clients of food pantries. A week later, telephone interviews obtained details about preparations of meals and snacks that household cooks had made with their unexpected bounty. Among the experiment's 10 vegetables, some were used twice as often as others. Even more striking, cooks practiced a narrow repertoire of preparation methods, dominated by boiling and steaming, across most of the vegetables. Fats and salt were often added to boiled and steamed preparations. Implications are drawn to suggest kinds of recipes-pairings of vegetables and of vegetables with underused means of preparation-that could expand cooks' repertoires and add variety in flavors, appearances of dishes, meal textures, and aromas.