Tuesday, May 07, 2013

On My Nightstand

I have really been enjoying Michael Pollan's latest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (New York: The Penguin Press, 2013). It is a book about cooking and how we have learned to cook. The book is broken into four sections, corresponding with the four elements, fire, water, air and earth. Each of these corresponds to a particular way of cooking which allows Pollan to explore a wealth of subjects related to each style of cooking. Fire is about cooking with fire, barbecuing and the like, water explores boiling, stewing and braising, air the miracle of bread making and earth the wonders of microbes and fermentation, including a fascinating section on cheese and beer. I have written before about Pollan's writing and his exhuberiant style that comes from a love of his subject. He tackles cooking from multiple points of view through contact with people who are informed about each of these particular approaches. Because cooking and food are such an important part of our health it is not surprising that the book is filled with fascinating insights into the world of slow and fast food. It is a book not to be missed for anyone interested in the food we eat. 

"Cutler and his colleagues surveyed cooking patterns across several cultures and discovered that obesity rates are inversely correlated with the amount of time spent on food preparation. The more time a nation devotes to food preparation at home, the lower its rate of obesity. In fact, the amount of time spent cooking predicts obesity rates more reliably than female participation in the labor force or even income. Other research supports the idea that home cooking is a better predictor of a healthful diet than social class." 192

No comments:

Post a Comment