Cooking is the practice of heating food so that it's suitable to eat. It's something almost every culture does in some form, and it can be as informal as boiling an egg for your own breakfast or as formal as creating a 12-course meal at one of the top-rated restaurants in the world. No one knows exactly when humans began to cook, but the earliest hunter-gatherers most likely used fire or boiling water to prepare their meat. Native North and South Americans used cooking techniques to remove poisons from potential food sources. As humans moved from hunting and gathering to agriculture, they grew bored with cooking out of necessity as their ancestors did. Because they no longer had much variety in their diets, they began experimenting with different ingredients to make food taste better. Today, cooking is more than just a way to sustain life. It's an art, a science, and a form of entertainment.
By learning basic cooking skills, you can become more self-sufficient, and it's also a way you can provide for your family. By learning to cook, you may save money because you won't be relying on meals from restaurants and other resources, and you may even get healthier. When you cook, you control what ingredients go into your food, so you can reduce those that might do you some harm, like sodium or sugar. Beyond sustenance, cooking can be a social activity. You can invite friends and family to your home to enjoy a meal you prepared. It's always a way to express your creative side. Many people like to experiment with elaborate recipes or practice making picture-perfect dishes.
When you take online courses on Coursera, you have the opportunity to seek a deeper understanding of the food you cook and eat. You may learn about the science behind it or the relationship between food and culture. You may find courses where you can learn to prepare healthier food, as well as those that explain how food can impact your body and your overall health. Some may even give you the chance to learn how to become a more informed consumer as you learn about the agriculture practices that help put food on your table.
Many people who enjoy cooking go on to have careers as chefs and cooks in the restaurant industry. They may even open their own restaurant, cafe, food trucks, or bakery. But there are many other careers to explore in the food industry. Those who enjoy the sweeter side of cooking may become bakers, cake decorators, or pastry chefs. You can become a cooking instructor who teaches courses to those eager to learn. Other potential career options involve writing cookbooks, becoming a food critic, catering, or working in the hospitality industry at a hotel, at a resort, or on a cruise ship.