"For most of the last century, Americans have been told repeatedly that cooking is a time-consuming drag. Companies like Kraft and General Foods promoted mix-and-eat macaroni and cheese, rice with mix-in flavor pouches and instant pudding. Pillsbury, the flour maker, became Pillsbury the biscuit, pie and cookie dough maker: baking just by turning on the oven. According to a 2008 NPD study, of all supper entrees “cooked” at home, just 58 percent were prepared with raw ingredients.
"The twist, of course, is that convenience foods save neither money nor time. As Marion Nestle pointed out in her 2006 book “What to Eat,” prewashed romaine hearts cost at least $1.50 a pound more than romaine heads. And the 2006 U.C.L.A. study found that families saved little or no cooking time when they built their meals around frozen entrees and jarred pasta sauce."