A new survey of American adults reveals that, despite the tireless efforts of the Food Network, Mark Bittman and KitchenDaily, 28% of Americans -- almost a third -- don't know how to cook. Said ignorance was the second-most-cited reason for not cooking regularly.
The most-cited reason, with 51%, (and one assumes there's a certain amount of overlap in these two cohorts) was that the surveyed party had a spouse or partner who does most of the cooking. The other major excuses were "not having enough time" (21%) and "not wanting to clean up afterwards" (25%). Many also indicated that the time it takes to go grocery shopping is a major impediment.
The survey was sponsored by the makers of Bosch Appliances, so it's possible the results are skewed in such a way as to encourage the purchase of work-saving kitchenware. But the results generally jibe with other surveys of American cooking habits. One from 1996 showed that 53% of Americans felt that they knew less about cooking than their parents did. A survey from last year, though, found that only 7% of Americans "do not cook." One hopes there's some methodological or demographic mismatch between that survey and this most recent one -- otherwise, one in five Americans are cooking without knowing how to do so.