Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
By Michael Pollan
Penguin Books, 2013. 480 pgs. Nonfiction
What makes humans different from every other animal? In this fascinating book, the answer is: we cook our food. In four parts that explore each of the ancient elements of fire, water, air, and earth, Pollan discusses the techniques of how and the reasons why we transform raw ingredients into delicious food.
The most interesting aspects of this book for me were the discussions on why we as a culture have stopped cooking our own food, and the impact that has had on our health, our families, and our future. I didn’t realize how little cooking any of us do anymore; many of us open a package or a jar and heat something up. Cooked is an eye-opening exploration of the importance of food, cooking, and our rapidly disappearing culinary heritage.