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Mageiropophobia (fear of cooking): symptoms, causes and treatment

Mageiropophobia (fear of cooking): symptoms, causes and treatment

July 12, 2024

Mageo-phobia is the excessive fear of cooking. Far from being the little preference or taste for this activity, mageiro-phobia is characterized by triggering experiences of important anxiety. Although it does not represent a specific clinical category, mageiro-phobia is a term recently popularized in popular magazines or blogs, so it is worth reviewing where it comes from.

We will see below what mageiro-phobia is , what are some of its manifestations and what strategies may be adequate to modify it.

  • Related article: "Types of phobias: exploring the disorders of fear"

Mageynophobia: fear of cooking

The term mageiro-phobia comes from Greek "mageiros" which means "cook" or "butcher", and "phobos" which means "panic". From the same word is also derived the word "magiric", which means "related to the kitchen". The latter, together with the word "magirista" (expert in cooking), was present since the late nineteenth century to refer to the art of cooking and its history.

So, mageiro-phobia is the fear of cooking . As with all phobias, it is not just the daily rejection of cooking for food. In other words, it is not about the preference for not cooking since it is simpler or convenient to eat out or eat the food made by someone else. A phobia is considered only that activity that triggers an irrational panic experience (not explicable by the cultural codes of the person) and therefore generates an important anxiety.

The mageiro-phobia, however, it is not considered as a specific clinical category neither has it been studied or characterized by psychopathology. For this reason it is not considered so severe as to deserve treatment in itself, beyond the psychological intervention directed to several of its consequences.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Types of Anxiety Disorders and their characteristics"

Possible causes

The fear of cooking can be part of a broader spectrum of related fears, for example, with small spaces that some kitchens have, with social approval or disapproval, with the rigidity of instructions in some recipes, or with some previous experience related to culinary utensils. For the same reason, mageiro-phobia can manifest from a fear of the request to cook, to elaborate complex dishes in the oven .

Likewise, this fear may be related to how the person has socialized in relation to the cooking activity, that is, according to the norms and roles of their surroundings. The latter includes expectations or demands that have been socially presented to him, and that may have led him to associate cooking activity as something unpleasant.

That is, the above may have generated specific perceptions about the activity of cooking finally trigger in discomfort or rejection . Therefore, some of the main causes of mageiro-phobia can be the following:

  • Fear of suffering a wound or burn related to the cooking process.
  • Fear of spreading viruses or diseases.
  • Fear of preparing meals badly.
  • Fear of the complexity of the recipes.
  • Fear related to eating disorders.


As we saw earlier, the demonstrations may vary according to the person and their surrounding context . In general, manifestations of mageiro-phobia include rejection of cooking accompanied by excessive avoidance by approaching the kitchen or any place where such activity is occurring.

This means that panic could be triggered even when faced with situations where another person is cooking. Likewise, they accompany him the characteristic symptoms of anxiety , present in all phobias by definition: feelings of suffocation, dizziness, sweating, agitation, chest pain and so on.


The most used treatment for phobias is the cognitive-behavioral perspective , which consists of modifying the thoughts generated when rejecting the stimuli that are feared; in this case it would be to the cooking action. Likewise, it focuses on making a series of successive approaches to the stimulus, which can begin by presenting simple images until approaching more and more a kitchen.

In the same way this is combined with an important emotional accompaniment that reduces the levels of anxiety of the person before the stimulus; and it can include a deeper exploration of the meanings associated with the kitchen, allowing them to be modified or confronted in a gradual manner.

Since mageiro-phobia is very likely related to more extensive and complex anxiety experiences, it is important to treat them as a whole. The mageiro-phobia may be only one of the manifestations of a wider spectrum of anxieties, so It is necessary to know other dimensions of the person to be able to treat them . Otherwise, the mistake of modifying behaviors can only be temporary or superficial and motivated only by social approval, beyond eradicating conflicts that are in the background or around mageiro-phobia.

Some strategies to reduce anxiety in the kitchen

To achieve the above, a gradual and deeper accompaniment is necessary. However, some simple strategies that can decrease the experience of anxiety specifically related to cooking are:

  • Perform simple dishes and that do not involve risks such as burning or cutting, and cook little by little more elaborate dishes.
  • Locate a favorite dish or a meal that you enjoy a lot and try to prepare it, become familiar with the instructions and utensils little by little.
  • Cooking together with someone who inspires confidence and confidence.
  • Cooking for other people, preferably close, to encourage social recognition.
  • Do any of the above steps once a week and gradually increase the frequency.

Bibliographic references:

  • Jason (2014). Mageirocophobia - Fear / Phobia of Cooking. Most Common Phobias. Retrieved August 22, 2018. Available at //
  • Albers, S. (2010). Overcoming Mageirocophobia- the Fear of Cooking. Huffpost. Retrieved August 22, 2018. Available at //
  • Quinion, M. (2010). Magiric. World Wide Words Retrieved August 22, 2018. Available at //
  • Soyer, A. (1853). The Pantropheon: The American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection. Andrews McMEel Publishing: Kansas, City.
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