Molly-cuddling and Malnutrition: a positive correlation?

Molly-cuddling and Malnutrition – A Positive Correlation?


He takes the pasta from the packet, looks around for a pan – there isn’t one. He pours the pasta into the kettle and fills it with water. He boils the kettle then opens the lid and pours in the red sauce. He finds a bowl. It’s slightly dirty. No matter. He empties the contents of the kettle into it and grabs a fork.

–          A true story of a Fresher, Boddington Halls, University of Leeds.

There are plenty of mothers guilty of it; looking after their precious little darlings, caring for their every need and at their constant beck and call. At a young age it is a necessity but at what point should ones offspring start to look after themselves? When does helping really become unhelpful?

This anonymous (for sake of severe embarrassment) university associate genuinely believed that the pasta he attempted to make would be edible. Hard to contemplate and thoroughly ridiculous, perhaps even borderline insane – but can we really blame him? If he had never learnt to read would we blame him for being illiterate? No. This boy had never had to lift a finger in the kitchen, never fried an egg and never had to make his own sandwich. In brief, he had been molly-cuddled and had never learnt the basic survival skill – how to cook.

To survive we need air, water and food. So why has the latter taken such a back-seat in society? We all need it, the majority of us like it but very few are adept to create it. At school we are taught about Sedimentary rock, about Fermat’s last theorem and about Harold Hadrada, but we are not taught to cook. Surely nourishing oneself is one of the most, if not the most important lesson of all, so why is it so overlooked? If a mother or father is a good cook surely it would be helpful for her to pass on her/his wisdom? In contemporary times this just doesn’t seem to be happening.

It is now week two of my first semester in my final year at University, my housemate (who incidentally intends to run the London marathon) – has spent the last fortnight living off the staple diet of cheesy chips and donner kebabs. Why? –  Because he can’t cook. Why? – Because he has never learnt. We proudly produce slogans – ‘give a man a fish; feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish, feed a man for life’ however in our own first world country we can’t seem to practice what we preach.

We don’t have time for the simple things in life, but are these simplicities not the things that are the most fundamentally important? My housemate has just left the room – he’s heading to the chippy. University is more the time of the expanding waistline than the expansion of the brain.

He’s just come back, cheesy chips, battered sausage and a slice of peperoni pizza…It is all very well to be disgusted, I certainly am as I watch grease ooze from his mouth – collecting at the corners in a shiny lava. The truth of the matter is though; it’s not his fault. Mothers, Fathers, Government, Teachers…anyone able to impart culinary knowledge listen up! We need help! We need to listen to Jamie! Do not give us the fish – teach us to fish!


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