Michael Pollan — he of “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” fame — has a new book coming out next Tuesday called “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.”
I’m not sure about this book; the NY Times says Pollan’s deep dive into four specific foods (Bolognese, pork shoulder, sauerkraut and bread) has him “broadly playing celebrity chef.” Hmmmm.
But in his interview with Mark Bittman, Pollan highlights that cooking is transformative:
Cooking is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your diet. What matters most is not any particular nutrient, or even any particular food: it’s the act of cooking itself. People who cook eat a healthier diet without giving it a thought. It’s the collapse of home cooking that led directly to the obesity epidemic.
Darn those moms going to work! But Pollan wants everyone to cook:
We need to complete that uncomfortable conversation about the division of domestic labor … if we’re going to rebuild a culture of cooking, it can’t mean returning women to the kitchen. We all need to go back to the kitchen.
Trying to get everyone into the kitchen seems to be as much tilting as windmills as other public health proposals. Me, I’m going to experiment with my own little cooking n=1 to see how it relates to my own eating/weight issues. It may not translate on a wide scale, but I must admit to being intrigued. We’ll see how it goes!