Michael Pollan needs no introduction. Since The Omnivore’s Dilemma (The Penguin Press, 2006) established him as a prominent food-system American luminary, the New-York-Times-journalist-turned-best-selling-author has been speaking at sold-out events around the country—and abroad. These days, his fans can rejoice in having plenty of opportunities to hear him live, in the mainstream media or in the blogosphere, as he discusses his latest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.
“It was never my plan to write about cooking,” he recently told packed pews in the beautiful church of San Francisco First Unitarian Universalist Society. But he had a couple of epiphanies: while working on Food Rules, he was told by a transplant cardiologist that the post-surgery prescription he gives his patients is a recipe for roast chicken, with suggestions for how to turn leftovers into a meal on day 2 and a soup on day 3.
A second epiphany was the realization that Americans love watching TV cooking shows a lot more than they do spending time in their kitchen preparing meals. On average, that activity takes up 27 minutes a day, with just 4 minutes spent cleaning up, according to the NPD Group‘s Harry Balzer.