Home Life Style If spoilt teens really want to save the planet … why do they flatly refuse to eat leftovers and just order Deliveroo?

If spoilt teens really want to save the planet … why do they flatly refuse to eat leftovers and just order Deliveroo?

by Merry
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The rise of Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo makes satisfying a craving too easy

One of my favorite money-saving habits is batch cooking. Why prepare a meal with meatballs in tomato sauce when you can prepare them in a tub? That’s two extra days of “free” meals.

“How clever of me,” I think. My kids, on the other hand, just roll their eyes and sigh. ‘Can we order?’ they lament.

The truth is that no one under the age of 25 eats leftovers. If I suggest to one of my children (I have three: aged 23, 21 and 16) that they “finish” yesterday’s curry or stir-fry, they will be as horrified as a vegan would be if they were given a Scotch egg.

‘Are you trying to kill me?’ His horrified expression says, to which I want to respond: ‘It’s been reheated in a microwave oven, not a nuclear reactor.’

It’s all so different from my youth. I was raised to believe that reheated food was more delicious than regular food, as if the act of putting something in a Pyrex dish over a saucepan of simmering water (the pre-microwave form of reheating) was a culinary trick. additional, such as using a blowtorch on a creme brulee. Reheating may sometimes have hardened the food to the consistency of old shoe leather, but the price was extra flavor, or so I was told.

The rise of Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo makes satisfying a craving too easy

The rise of Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo makes satisfying a craving too easy

When I was a child in the 1980s, yesterday’s cold roast potatoes were a delicacy. My mother used to serve the same lasagna several times.

Only once when the curly bark threatened to break a crown did he give it to the cat.

Now my own fridge is filled with small plastic takeout boxes containing tasty morsels from previous meals.

Yet my children open the door, examine my hoard of old food, complain about expiry dates and possible food poisoning, and start scrolling through Deliveroo.

What those under 25 want is fresh food at every meal. Which I admit would be wonderful if a) it didn’t cost the price of a family car to do the weekly shop and b) they finished every leftover at every meal so I didn’t have to throw half of it in the bin: a sin I can’t get rid of. programming from my childhood.

They also want variety. For teens and 20-somethings, I think eating is like watching TV now. They expect to be able to scroll through the options and choose a different one each time.

My father ate about five meals in a row throughout his life: roast lamb, pork chops, Lancashire stew, meat pie and fish and chips (he avoided the dreaded lasagna). But my group wants to be surprised and delighted at every meal.

The problem is that they have grown up in a food culture that values ​​novelty and variety. Social The media bombards them with endless reels of oozing food on TikTok and Instagram. Plus, the cacophony of global cuisine now available on every high street in the UK has given them culinary ADHD.

They want Korean barbecue one day and Thai curry the next. They don’t want meatballs three days in a row just because “they have to be eaten.”

Then there’s the convenience factor. The rise of Just Eat, Uber Eats and Deliveroo makes satisfying a food craving all too easy. There’s no need to make a meal from leftovers in the refrigerator if you can order whatever you want.

My older children know how to cook quite well. But even when it is a dish made by themselves, they refuse to eat the leftovers the next day as they move on to the next dish.

If I had a pound for every time one of my kids was presented with leftovers and said “but I don’t feel like eating that today,” I wouldn’t need to serve the leftovers in the first place. Since when do feelings have anything to do with what you have for dinner?

Now, apparently, they do.

I realize that not all young people are as spoiled as mine. There are many who go to bed hungry, a fact I point out to my group that eats no leftovers. They really roll their eyes at that.

At least I’m not the one paying for Uber Eats. I refuse to. They pay themselves or get their parents to finance their food delivery habit.

The irony, of course, is that Generation Z claims to be a generation of ecological warriors, saving the planet from the extinction-level ravages caused by generations of their thoughtless ancestors. They mock our diesel cars and air travel, carry trendy water bottles and reusable coffee cups, and treat the lack of recycling with the same level of disgust they give puppy killers. But even though there are now multiple eco-friendly ways to store your food – from reusable silicone bowl covers to organic cotton lids infused with beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin (the cling film, apparently, is too old fashion), it will take a cultural handbrake shift of Fast and Furious proportions to change the under-25s’ feelings toward leftovers.

Never mind the mountains of food waste or the fumes produced by the armies of delivery drivers on their mopeds.

As proof of this, just look at the financial fortunes of two companies: Pyrex and Tupperware. Pyrex, the glass company so beloved of my mother, nearly went bankrupt last year, while Tupperware, the sine qua non of leftover storage, also narrowly avoided bankruptcy.

However, there is a ray of hope. My middle son, 21, who is now at university and on a tight budget, used to have Deliveroo on speed dial when he was at home. The other day he sent me on WhatsApp a photo of a cooking batch that he and his roommates had made: 75 Mexican burritos. He has already frozen most of them for future use.

I was tempted to send you my recipe for meatballs in tomato sauce, but step by step.

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