Food prep is an odd habit. In one way, we tend to dread those Sunday afternoons of chopping, cooking, weighing, and partitioning, but in another we couldn’t imagine life without it. We even enjoy it. The fact is, we seem to be genetically predisposed to enjoying food we make ourselves.
The journal Health Psychology examined attitudes toward meals that were self-prepared and those that were purchased ready-to-eat. Subjects overwhelmingly experienced greater enjoyment when eating self-prepared foods, especially when they were perceived as being healthy. (Self-prepared unhealthy foods were not enjoyed nearly as much.)
It seems that feelings of pride in being industrious, thrifty, and healthy actually improve the perception of the food. This must be the reason why people who have never experienced food prep can’t imagine preferring it to the take-out slop they usually eat.