Home cooking has increasingly become the focus of public-health, nutrition, and policy intervention campaigns. But what is important to know and do? There is a need for a better understanding of cooking skills and knowledge to inform research on the connection between cooking and health. Our team defines Food Agency as one’s ability to procure and prepare food within the contexts of one’s social, physical, and economic environment. Addressing issues with present research on cooking, a comprehensive theory of Food Agency offers a nuanced understanding of daily food practices and provides guidance on how to teach cooking skills that are generalizable throughout varied life contexts. Our research has found that frequent cooking of all meals, more frequent scratch cooking, and less frequent cooking with packaged ingredients are all associated with greater food agency.

We believe that this framework offers a promising approach to helping people be empowered to act, and improving everyday food lives.



Trubek et al_2017_Empowered to cook

Wolfson et al_2017_A comprehensive approach to understanding cooking behavior

Leung et al_2019_Associations between Food Security Status and Diet-Related Outcomes among

Wolfson et al_2020_Food Agency in the United States

Raber et al _2020_ The Challenging Task of Measuring Home Cooking Behavior

Interested in learning more?

To learn more about this work, you can contact Amy Trubek (atrubek@uvm.edu) or Julia Wolfson (jwolfso7@jhu.edu)