When I was growing up not that long ago there were only a few options. You cooked at home, went to restaurants, or there was a niche market of TV dinners and only a few, rare, incredibly expensive frozen or prepped food. I want to say Hot Pockets were $12 adjusted for inflation. Now they're $5 and tiny without the crisper tray.
The ready-meal market has only been being pushed in the passed 5-10 years. The whole idea of Walmart Neighborhood market, whole new small-ish stores open just for ready meals and produce as a civic initiative to fill in food deserts.
So long story short, until about 20 years ago, everyone had to cook at home or else go to restaurants. If you were lucky, there were plenty of little diners and "joints" to get a $3 burger or $2 grilled cheese. $1 slice of pizza or $3 plate of fries to share with all your friends. The ability and desire to cook for yourself and family I think is primal and innate. Like I scold people for all the time, you don't have to be a foodie and know all about (insert random french words). You don't have to make a confipretard al la royal every night. It's much more respectable to be able to put on a few steaks and roast potatoes. Have Jenny bring her famous macaroni and cheese.