"Since 2012 the consumption of olive oil per capita in Spain is falling", they say. And this is corroborated in a study by more than 2,000 men and women between 18 and 65 years’ old
Since 2012 the consumption of oil per person has been declining to almost 20% in Spain, despite being an "essential ingredient", as shown by the data from the ' Carbonell Homemade Food Barometer '. A sociological X-ray that defines the moment that kitchens throughout Spain go through.
Specifically, this barometer has been carried out in collaboration with the Sondea Institute, with a sample of more than 2,000 men and women between 18 and 65 years old, distributed by geographical area, sex and age according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (Register 2016) to be a true reflection of that segment of the current Spanish population. The field work was carried out through online surveys in June 2018, and the maximum sampling error at 95% confidence is plus or minus 2.2%.
All this in the context of the fact that 95% of the majority of Spaniards consider that cooking with olive oil is quite or very healthy, a percentage that grows to 98% if it refers to people between 55 and 65 years old.
The workday: the big culprit
"Due to the hours imposed by the working day, we have less and less time and in most cases also less desire to cook at home. To this we add that the food industry gives us quick solutions, which avoid the work of cooking homemade food ", is the answer given by Xavier Medina, the Anthropologist of Food at the Open University of Catalonia and collaborator of the Carbonell Home Food Barometer, to the decline in olive oil.
Therefore, "this decrease in the consumption of olive oil in general among the Spanish population may correspond to the decrease in the practice of cooking at home, using more careful or specific products for this home cooking".
As a result of this drop in consumption, 8 out of 10 Spaniards surveyed in the Carbonell Home Food Barometer point out that the tradition of home cooking in Spain could be lost if adequate measures were not taken, such as using fresh ingredients and olive oil as the basis for recipes.
For 86% of those surveyed, it is the product most associated with this type of diet, far above vegetables, fish, cheese or fruits.
"This growing concern is what leads Carbonell to value homemade food through our campaigns: daily recipes, those that use healthy products such as vegetables, legumes, fresh fish and of course olive oil, our greatest pride. This is our particular tribute to home cooking, the cornerstone of Spanish gastronomy and a model of healthy cooking, which is part of our identity ", added Francisco Rionda.
Associated with diets
Despite all this, the barometer has indicated that olive oil is the "essential ingredient for cooking at home and assumes a lot of weight within the Mediterranean diet", since for 86% of those surveyed it is the product that is most associated with this type of diet, well above vegetables (5%) or other natural products such as fish (2%), cheese (1%) or fruits (1%).
Even two banners of Spanish gastronomy such as Serrano ham and wine, "coveted and recognized in all corners of the world", have only been chosen by 3 and 1% of those surveyed respectively.
"We have to educate the youngest on how important it is to use olive oil in the kitchen, since they are the next chefs in this country and those in charge of making the Mediterranean diet prevail in future generations," Rionda pointed out.
When choosing the shopping basket and cooking, the Spanish choose olive oil is a priority before other ingredients. 9 out of 10 Spaniards consider it essential and think that it should never be missing in their kitchen.
It is followed, "by far", other typically Mediterranean ingredients such as onion (64%), aj o (55%), pepper (18%), parsley (15%) and wine (13%). They do not consider as essential when cooking other less healthy types of oils such as coconut or sesame (2%), soy sauce (2%), butter (4%) or sunflower oil (5%).
Almost 28% of people between 18 and 24 years of age regularly use cream for cooking, many points higher than the rest of the groups surveyed
For 86% of those surveyed, olive oil is the main ingredient used when preparing the best recipes, compared to other options such as spices (50%), wine (30%), or vinegar (19%). It is women (89%) who use olive oil the most to cook their favorite dishes. As the age of the respondent’s increases, the percentage of those who use olive oil to cook their favorite dishes increases.
Young people, those who use cream the most
Almost 28% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 regularly use cream for cooking, many points higher than the rest of the groups surveyed. As for mayonnaise, 21% of the sample affirms that it is within their usual diet, with people between 45 and 65 years of age being the ones who "abuse" this sauce the most.
"The influence of some more or less fashionable kitchens have introduced into our habits the use of other elements as the base of dishes, sometimes animal-based, such as butter or cream," Mediana has said.
The latter are elements that add heaviness to dishes and contain saturated fats that do not necessarily add anything positive to recipes; and "the fact of cooking at home always implies a better knowledge of all those ingredients that become part of each meal, and usually we tend to choose better their quality when we prepare the dishes ourselves than when we buy products already prepared from those of us who do not always know the components in detail ", he concluded.
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