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In Defense Of Cooking

Michael Pollan: "Cooking is in our DNA. We can't let go of it."


The Omnivore’s Dilemma took the reader on four personal journeys through which the author would cleverly and beautifully spin out the unnerving truth about food production in America. Through a comparable construct, Cooked reveals the historical, cultural and scientific wonders of four cooking technologies (neatly tied to the four elements) that have accompanied the evolution of humanity: grilling (fire), cooking in pots (water), rising bread (air) and fermentation (earth).

In each case, Michael Pollan meets and learns from an expert in the field. Throughout it all, he weaves in stories shared from his kitchen-centered family life. As it turns out, cooking is not just good for the health of our bodies and of the land, it also works wonders for the relationships in our lives.

Cooked does make a most interesting point, virtues of the family dinner aside. ”Cooking is in our DNA, we can’t let go of it,” emphasized Michael Pollan the other night in reference to our collective obsession with cooking shows.

It may be important to stress at this juncture that there’s nothing remotely elitist about cooking—ask my mother and grandmother who had to go through the motion day in day out, including on those days when cooking occurred to them mostly as a boring chore. Also, it’s time we get over our feelings of inadequacy in the kitchen, and give it our best shot. Noble as it is, cooking is not rocket science, it’s been practiced for millennia, it can even be the best strategy available to eat on a budget (websites and articles on how to cook a family meal on less than 5 dollars a day abound).

The only question that remains for each of us to answer is this: how high do we put cooking on our priority list? Consequently, what plan can we put in place to make it happen, one little step at a time? And how can we support each other in reclaiming our kitchens?


Read more: Blogs, Environment, Food, Health, News & Issues, The Green Plate,

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Laetitia Mailhes

Laetitia Mailhes is a French-born journalist. After many years as the technology and innovation correspondent of the French "Financial Times" in San Francisco, she decided to focus on what truly matters to her: sustainable food and farming. Find more articles and videos on her blog, The Green Plate Blog.


+ add your own
3:33AM PDT on Mar 14, 2015

Know the right way to do what we have to

4:04AM PDT on Oct 29, 2014


3:51AM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

Thank you :)

2:19AM PDT on Apr 29, 2014

Thank you :)

3:18AM PST on Dec 11, 2013


10:40PM PST on Dec 10, 2013

Thanks for sharing this

5:41PM PST on Dec 10, 2013

Thank you Laetitia, for Sharing this!

3:18AM PDT on Oct 18, 2013

Thank you :)

2:48AM PDT on Sep 2, 2013

Thank you :)

3:05AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

Thank you :)

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