Click on the ‘Watch Here’ Button I posted above —->^^^^^^^
It’s a link to Netflix, if you currently have an account, directly plugging you into the new series covering content from Michael Pollan’s Cooked.
The mini-series is broken up into four parts: Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
With Pollan’s style, in the way only he could do, the episodes are thoughtfully crafted with plenty human-to-human dialogue and experience, supported with enough science to please my inner biologist. I highly recommend watching this, mostly because the issues are very alive and real. He tackles a changing culture not only in America but around the globe. A culture of convenience lives amongst a part of everyone who still enjoys home-cooked food and traditions, perhaps just expressed in a novel way.
For example, people feel they are too busy to cook because it feels like a job and who wants to do more work when they’ve worked all day already? But if someone makes a meal, they will happily enjoy it, especially if it’s being made by a family member or loved one. The irony that amuses me is that people (I, myself, also guilty of this) seem to be boggled by where time goes in a day, and cooking for an hour two seems very out of reach, especially in a day and age where food is available at every convenience. But people will binge watch shows on Netflix for a few hours (super ironic that I’m talking about watching a series on Netflix about food), yet cooking doesn’t yield the same type of instant gratification. The natural pairing for this type of food-viewing is, you guessed it, food. If I watch food shows, I usually find some type of snack magically appearing in my hand; my popcorn simulating the beautiful culinary artistry a professional chef on Top Chef has prepared.
It’s this vicarious obsession of food preparation that I really find fascinating. It’s knowledge, it’s competition, entertainment and very mainstream at the moment. It highlights that a lot of us really want to enjoy that type of food and learn those skills.
In the second episode, Harry Balzer, an expert on diet behaviour and food, states the following, [paraphrasing]- “Have an apple pie for dinner. Have cookies for dinner, have ice cream with it too. Enjoy your food and have as much of it as you like. But do one thing for me. Make all of it. Make the apple pie, make the cookies and make the ice cream. Most people won’t make any of it, so therefore you won’t be eating apple pie for dinner”. What he addresses in this monologue was that people don’t eat a lot of junk food when they have to make it all, because let’s face it, making ice cream and apple pie takes time and skill. It’s not impossible, but most people would more likely pick up an apple pie in the bakery section of the grocery store and maybe a tub of ice cream in the frozen aisle than make it themselves. That’s the danger. A new culture of food accessibility is upon us and I can still see the positive side of that. For example, there are many ingredients that I haven’t cooked with before and that excites me. There are also a bunch of junk foods from other countries that I haven’t tried before.
Anyways, -ranting-, I really hope you do take some time to watch this show because I found it to be thought-provoking and educational.
The Simmering Pot