London - The typical British worker wolfs down their evening meal in just 11 minutes, a survey has found... with the clearing up operation afterwards taking longer.
This is after having devoted up to 30 minutes to preparing our home-cooked food.
The study found that one in five adults, or 19 percent, slave over a stove for up to half an hour when they get home from work.
After their meal, they spend a further 15 minutes washing cutlery, crockery and utensils.
With the 4,160 hours spent buying ingredients in supermarkets over a lifetime – equivalent to one hour each week – the scant time devoted to actually enjoying the meal stands in further contrast.
The survey, which questioned 1,300 adults in employment, found that modern mealtimes are not only rushed but often unsociable too.
One in four said they would rather eat in front of the TV than at a dinner table with their partner.
And almost one in ten couples return home from work at such wildly different times that they eat separately every night of the week.
Eleven percent of those surveyed said they would rather spend less time cooking and more time relaxing with their partner.
Charlie Bigham, founder of Charlie Bigham’s ready meals, which commissioned the survey, said: “It is astonishing couples spend so much valuable time cooking their evening meal but so little time enjoying it with loved ones.”
MEALTIME FOR THE TIME-POOR
* One in five adults spend up to 30 minutes preparing their evening meal
* The average Briton wolfs their dinner down in just 11 minutes
* They then spend 15 minutes doing the washing-up
* One in four adults would rather eat in front of the TV than with their partner at the table
* One in ten couples eat separately every week night. - Daily Mail