Here is a list that includes all the benefits that come with cooking.
You learn how to follow directions.
Cooking is touted as extremely difficult or hard. But if you really think about it, cooking is merely following directions. And anyone can follow directions. The difficulty comes in how it turns out and experimenting with what ingredients you use. Due to this, as quoted from Ratatouille, "Anyone can cook."
It lets you be creative.
Cooking, among other things, is an art form. It allows the cook to use their ideas in a creative way, making neat foods and recipes. If you've ever watched shows like The Great British Bake Off or the Food Network even, professional cooking is a difficult skill that needs training and honing. Because of this, cooking also lets you add a personal touch and express yourself through culinary means.
You learn culinary skills.
Cooking is also hard work. It requires skills — from chopping vegetables to simmering. You learn many useful culinary techniques from cooking. Whenever I cook, I always learn something new — from chopping onions to peeling carrots. Cooking is a very hands-on experience where you learn many new skills.
When I cook, I enter a certain zone, where I focus on nothing but the food I'm chopping up or the ingredients I'm using. It's somewhat like entering the zen mode, where I'm in a special zone. For this reason, it's meditative and even relaxing. Having nothing to focus on except the cooking relaxes my mind.
As college students, money is usually scarce. Cooking — rather than ordering out or going out to eat — is almost always cheaper. Ingredients usually cost less than ordering off a menu and in the long run, you can save a lot of money by making homemade meals.
It's a bonding experience.
Cooking with friends is a bonding experience. Even if you're not the one cooking, sharing homemade food with friends is always a good experience.
Having made a few meals myself, I find that cooking is a highly rewarding experience. It's definitely more rewarding than merely popping a TV dinner in the oven. Cooking actually requires effort — and that effort is usually rewarded.
It's no surprise that junk food or fast food is bad for you. Cooking is oftentimes much healthier, as you're using fresh ingredients and the food you cook isn't processed.
Your knowledge will increase.
Cooking forces one to learn how to cook, and ultimately, forces one to become more knowledgeable about food in the long run. When cooking, you are responsible for knowing ingredients and how to put them together.
Cooking requires active participation.
Cooking forces you to take an active role in your diet and lifestyle. As opposed to ordering takeout or going to a restaurant, cooking allows you the opportunity to explore your own tastes and what you want to eat.
You learn how to share and provide for others.
Cooking for people and sharing food with others is a wonderful experience. It feels good having other people eat your food and enjoy your cooking. Because of this, cooking can be both a rewarding and social activity.
Cooked food tastes better.
There's nothing quite like mom's homemade chicken noodle soup. Home cooked food has a special touch and taste that restaurant and fast food can't compete with.
Suffice it to say, I think cooking is a genuinely useful skill that many people can benefit from.