A Recipe for Change: Cooks More Likely to Believe They Can Make a Difference

July 01, 2019

Cooks show us that change doesn’t have to come from a grand gesture or a big action. Cooks understand that small positive impacts can enrich our lives for the better.

It seems change starts at home, and specifically in the kitchen.

Here’s the scoop: When we surveyed 1,003 people about whether they believed their actions could drive positive change, we saw that people who like to cook were more likely to believe their ability to make an impact. 

Compared to the average American…

What is it about cooking that makes someone understand positive impact? Well, cooking itself is all about change for the better. 

Think about it: A cook works with separate ingredients, such as tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil, combining them to create something new and improved, like a mouth-watering sauce. They literally make change through culinary techniques, a little heat, and their own two hands. 

If a cook experiments with ingredients and methods, they learn how different flavors blend or clash. They find out which foods and spices work together to make a tasty dish, and which taste terrible when combined. They understand the importance of balance and timing in the kitchen, two qualities that can impact change in other areas, too. 

And a cook knows that if a dish gets burned, comes out more like a Pinterest fail than the recipe photograph, or just doesn’t taste good, they’ll have another chance to try again soon – and maybe next time they’ll get it right. 

No wonder cooks are confident in their ability to make positive change. They see the many impacts of their actions, every day, in their own kitchens! 

But what’s even more important is that cooks can show us that change doesn’t have to come from a grand gesture or a big action. Cooks understand that small positive impacts can enrich our lives for the better. 

For example, take the small action of prepping and cooking a delicious dinner. Choosing nutritious foods can nurture our bodies, teach our kids to make healthy choices, and promote better health overall. Shopping for the ingredients can be a way to support area farmers and build our local economy. Inviting friends and family to join us can strengthen our relationships and overall community, making us feel happier and more connected

That’s a lot of positive impact stemming from a simple homecooked meal! 

So, when a person who cooks gets the chance to participate in a protest, purchase a product that’s sustainably sourced, or even discuss differing viewpoints with those they love, they may be more likely to participate, because they’re already well aware of the positive impact they can make. 

And we need this awareness of our power to make positive change more than ever, because COIN’s State of the Conscious Consumer survey also found that only 23% of Americans believe they have the power to make a difference. 

Could we all get a better sense of the power of our actions, just by cooking more often? If our survey findings are any indication, let’s pull out the pots and pans, gather our favorite ingredients, and try it out! 

*The 2019 State of the Conscious Consumer Study was commissioned by COIN by John Hancock and fielded by independent research firm Equation Research in May 2019. The responses were generated from a survey of 1,003 people ages 18+.