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Food is cool

We are loosing the ability to cook. No longer are recipes passed down from generation to generation and no longer do people cook meals to share with friends. Our society demands food be quick, easy and functional, and the choice in supermarkets reflects this - offering ready meals, frozen foods and microwave dinners. But are we being duped?

You can now go into a local shop and buy boil in the bag pasta, it's 3 minutes quicker than cooking dried pasta, and you don't need to wash up a pan afterwords. But this product is an astonishing 60 times more expensive than dried pasta. Regardless of the extra waste created by disposable bags, extra pollution caused in transporting the heavier goods, and the near slave labour exploited to create them, these convenience foods are ripping off consumers, all for the sake of saving three minutes.

Just a decade ago, very few people would have considered buying cakes and mashed potato, pre-made tomato pasta sauce, and microwave Yorkshire puddings (which are chewy and taste like ass), but now these things have become so detached with their method of production, that to make flapjacks seems like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. But everything you can buy you can make, it's nothing complicated like a Ford Escort. And you can make it cheaper. And fresher. And just the way you like. You might loose an extra ten minutes of your day, but you will gain a smug warm glow of satisfaction and extra pounds in your wallet. And these are not just skills that you can use in your $2 a day week, you can use them for the rest of your life.

Few students know how to cook, and why would they? If you didn't cook at home, didn't do home economics, and spent a year in catered halls, it's not surprising, and nothing to be embarrassed about. So let's learn! And not from some 'student cookbook', from real students sharing ideas that includes info about how to minimise washing up, how long it will take, and how much things will cost - isn't that what students really want to know?

We'll show you how to turn a 9p tin of tomatoes into a 99p jar of pasta sauce, and how to make your own 10p each flapjacks, instead of buying them for 49p from a shop. All the recipes are easy, they require next to no skill or experience. The recipe book will take you through the procedure step by step, and even if you are a regular culinary genius there are still interesting international recipes to get your wooden spoons around. You don't need any kitchen equipment more complicated than a knife and a saucepan, and there is a 25 minute maximum preparation time. Is that so much to spend? Oh, and we bet they taste a lot better than anything you can buy in a bag.

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