Having written extensively on agribusiness and the food system, Pollan turns to his own kitchen in his latest book, Cooked. In it, he argues that the solution to living a healthier life, reducing American’s dependence on processed and fast food, and combating obesity is home cooking—not exactly a radical thought, but Pollan gives it his own unique and well researched twist.
But don’t expect recipes; it’s not that kind of book. Pollan is a journalist, not a chef, restaurateur, food critic, or nutritionist. As such, he delves into the origins of cooking, framing his research around the four classical elements—fire, water, air, earth –and how they transform nature’s bounty into something edible. His explorations take him around the country from Ayden, NC (Fire/BBQ) to San Francisco (Air/Bread.) Along the way he meets some entertaining “characters” and learns to cook.
I haven’t read the book yet, but Pollan’s presentation was such fun that bought it despite my complete lack of foodie credentials.
In response to a question about how we can encourage more home cooking, his number one recommendation—bring back Home Economics (with a sexier, gender neutral course title!)I have been saying this for years! We have raised a generation (or two) of children who don’t know how to select a cut of meat, shop for food, measure ingredients, read a label or distinguish between boil, baste, or braise. Food for thought!