We read that how Amer­i­cans eat has def­i­nitely changed. Most con­sumers still believe in and aspire to an ideal — a healthy meal, made from scratch, and enjoyed with oth­ers.

This ideal meal was born of a time when three square meals a day was pre­pared at home on a rou­tine basis.

Home cook­ing was typ­i­cally done by mom, right? That was at least two gen­er­a­tions ago and times have changed, along with what we eat, how we eat and who we eat with.

To grow up in a cook­ing house­hold, meant that moms, aun­ties, grands and greats shared kitchen secrets and meth­ods to favorite fam­ily recipes.

Chop­ping, mix­ing, stuff­ing, fold­ing– all actions over­seen by the seniors in the room. Cab­bage rolls, stuffed pep­pers or squash, ravi­o­lis, pot­stick­ers, Baklava, no mat­ter the eth­nic back­ground, foods that we love required prepa­ra­tion scrutiny by those who came before us.

This teach­ing work­shop allowed for learn­ing other life skills along the way, but cook­ing and bak­ing were para­mount. Cher­ish­ing a miss­ing loved one who has passed on is as sim­ple as mak­ing one of their sig­na­ture dishes.

Meals today are dif­fer­ent because they are no longer the anchors of our day or the build­ing blocks of the daily sched­ule. There was a time in our his­tory when meal­time was sacred.

Every­thing through­out the day in the 1950’s and 1960’s was built around three square meals. Today, we squeeze in meals wher­ever they can fit.

Work and other activ­i­ties take prece­dence now in how the day gets orga­nized. Peo­ple eat on the run, in their cars, at a desk and much of the time alone.

The stage of life one is in and if one grew up in a cook­ing house­hold influ­ences how they eat. As Mil­len­ni­als estab­lish fam­i­lies of their own, meal­time may take on more impor­tance.

Empty nesters, retire­ment folks and those look­ing to improve health all have dif­fer­ent meal solu­tions, rou­tines and eat­ing habits.

Din­ner is still the aspi­ra­tional ideal. Sit­ting down with fam­ily and friends is as emo­tion­ally as nutri­tion­ally grat­i­fy­ing. The rit­ual and com­mu­nity built around the din­ner table is profound.

To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.