And so it is that Michael Pollan thankfully awoke to one of the obvious keystones to transforming our food system: cooking–preparing meals from unprocessed, fresh ingredients. (“Not too much. Mostly plants.”)
Truth be told, there’s no alternative to reclaiming our health and the health of the natural ecosystems we depend on. For no amount of inspiring story-telling or high-budget entertainment, of grassroot organizing or citizen mobilizing, will make a dent in our current, industrial, globalized, unsustainable food economy if people don’t cook at home from scratch. Without cooks, no farmers’ markets, and no CSA. When we desert our kitchens, we effectively allow the food industry to make food choices for us—what ingredients are used, how they’re grown, where they’re produced, by whom and under what conditions. Refined sugar, CAFO meat, genetically-modified ingredients, nutrition-free and calorie-rich foods rule.
“If you outsource cooking, you’re going to eat a lot of crap,” as Michael Pollan put it bluntly. Conversely, once you start cooking, you start caring about the food you put on your plate. The kitchen is where a new consciousness about food and what it does to us and our planet can be born.
You’re right if you think that Cooked doesn’t teach us anything radically new with regard to the vital, strategic importance of home cooking. At the same time, it fuels a conversation that unfortunately remains highly relevant, necessary even.