It should come as no surprise that writer Michael Pollan, who often writes about food, is also a good and serious cook – serious because he cannot help but connect his own adventures in the kitchen to the important issues he writes about most of the time. His new book, Cooked, is on the shelves this week and apparently flying off of them (yea!). In it, Pollan tells us about his own mastering-the-art journey at the feet of some of this country’s best chefs and cooks.
The following is an excerpt, and though I have tried many times over the last five years to say this, nobody says it better:
At a certain point in the late middle of my life I made the unexpected but happy discovery that the answer to several of the questions that most occupied me was in fact one and the same.
Some of these questions were personal. For example, what was the single most important thing we could do as a family to improve our health and general well-being? And what would be a good way to better connect with my teenage son? … Other questions were slightly more political in nature. For years I had been trying to determine (because I am often asked) what is the most important thing an ordinary person can do to help reform the American food system, to make it healthier and more sustainable? Another related question is, how can people living in a highly specialized consumer economy reduce their sense of dependence and achieve a greater degree of self-sufficiency? And there there were the more philosophical questions, the ones I’ve been chewing on since I first started writing books. How, in our everyday lives, can we acquire a deeper understanding of the natural world and our species’ peculiar role in it? You can always go to the woods to confront such questions, but I discovered that even more interesting answers could simply be had by going to the kitchen.
Amen! I can’t wait to read this book. I am sure I will be quoting it and elaborating on it for the next few weeks.
Photo by theNerdPatrol