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Cooking Solves Everything: How Time in the Kitchen Can Save Your Health, Your Budget, and Even the Planet (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Bittman
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mark Bittman is one of the nation’s most trusted and beloved food writers, but there was a time when he lived primarily on vanilla ice cream and McDonald’s. Then he discovered cooking, and everything changed. In this story from the new digital publisher Byliner, the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of "How to Cook Everything" traces his journey from grilled-cheese-making neophyte to confident cook. More than that, he makes the case for why all of us should spend more time in the kitchen, regardless of how comfortable we are there. After all, even he was a beginner once.

Bittman argues that a simple meal prepared at home is a powerful tool: It’s one small step toward improving your health and, by extension, the health of the planet. Our reliance on prepared food—in the form of snacks, soft drinks, frozen meals, and fast food—supports a system of agriculture that is playing havoc with our bodies, our economy, and the environment. How can we break the cycle? By cooking.

"People who prepare meals—even infrequently—achieve outcomes that extend far beyond the morsel at the end of the fork," writes Bittman. "Cooking may not solve everything, but it solves a lot. When people make food a priority in their lives, they actively contribute to society. Cooking can change our collective lives for the better."

"Cooking Solves Everything" is an engaging manifesto that inspires non-cooks to reach for a pan (Bittman’s shopping list and foolproof recipes will get them started) and encourages all of us to take a closer look at how we feed ourselves and our loved ones.

Editorial Reviews Review

Continuing the conversation started by Michael Pollan in The Omnivore's Dilemma and Karl Weber in Food, Inc., Mark Bittman makes a compelling case for curbing our take-out and eat-out habits in the Kindle Single Cooking Solves Everything. Everyone knows that dropping the frozen fish sticks and driving through the drive-through are better for your health, but most of us have succumbed to the convenience these things provide, especially when the media is so skilled at persuading us that our busy lives don't allow the time to prepare good, wholesome food for ourselves and for our families. However, as Bittman points out, we do seem to find the time for The Real Housewives, Snooki, and SpongeBob SquarePants, spending an average of two hours and forty-five minutes, each day, watching television. But this Kindle Single does not aim to scold. It's meant to empower us to take control of our diets, and in doing so, we're not only helping our waistlines, but also the economy and the planet. Moreover, the communal benefits of cooking at home with family and friends are not to be underestimated, and you don't need to possess Bittman's culinary gifts to enjoy them. Take it from someone who has ruined JELL-O (don't judge), there are plenty of easy, tasty, and nutritious meals that you can put on the table. Sure, it's going to take longer than it takes for you to warm a White Castle in the microwave, but as Bittman convincingly contends, the rewards outweigh the added efforts. --Erin Kodicek

Product Details

  • File Size: 366 KB
  • Print Length: 37 pages
  • Publisher: Byliner (September 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005OKGVT0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bittman's recipe for good food and good old common sense September 25, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mark Bittman has taught me a thing or two about life and food. When he was known as "The Minimalist" in his food column in "The New York Times," he admonished me (I took it personally, anyway) to never buy a kitchen utensil or gadget that had only one use, a rack for hanging bananas or a cherry pitter, for example. I took what he said to heart and it's become a maxim to live by.

Another thing food-wise he put me onto was that pimenton (smoked paprika to most of the world) is the best of all spices and will make almost anything good taste better. This essay is his food manifesto augmented with some sensible kitchen tips and easy-to-prepare recipes that coming from Bittman promise to be as flavorful as they are simple.

Bittman wants us spend more time in the kitchen and less time standing in line at Mickie D's. If we do that everything will get better: we'll lose weight, we'll be healthier, our relationships will get stronger, the economy will improve and the world generally will be a better place. He says, "If you're a more-or-less typical American - cooking will change your life for the better."

He tells us how cooking for himself, changed his life. He began frequently spending time in the kitchen preparing food in 1968 when he was an eighteen year-old New York kid, a sophomore in college. He's been hanging out in the kitchen since and he's much better for it, he says.

About of third of the calories we eat come from restaurants. That's almost double the percentage of thirty years ago. And how do you think that statistic is tracking with the rate of obesity in America? Yup, the rates for both are rising like puff pastry and at about the same amount over the same period of time. So stay home and cook, for god's sake. That's all Bittman is asking.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cycle of life and dining September 24, 2011
By M. Peck
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Bittman's book very much. Since I have lived long enough to have experience all aspects of the dining cycle, from the sit around the dinner table meat, potato, and veggies, to each child preparing a family dinner once a week, (oldest daughter still does the tuna casserole with crushed potato chips on top, but I know my son would never think of feeding anyone his famous runza, using canned biscuit, ground beef and saurkraut). To the healthy style of cooking which Bittman embraces. I hate the fact that when we do go out to dinner I am disappointed because I could cook it better and cheaper, that is old age...I read cook books like most people read a novel, so needless to say this little book was a 5 star..
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Practical and persuasive article by Bittman November 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I own Bittman's How to Cook Everything, Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food, which I've found very useful in my journey through culinary knowledge. I enjoy reading diet and nutrition books, books about food, how food is processed, and anything dealing with the food industry, so I picked up this "ebook" based on the positive recommendations. I do not like to comment on product prices in my reviews, but it should be noted that this ebook is 37 pages long. It took me around 15 minutes to read, which I felt was way too short for the price I paid. "Cooking Solves Everything" is more of an extended article than an actual ebook, and I don't feel like the information in it was worthy enough to sell as an ebook. It doesn't even seem like much effort was put into it and it's just a quick way to make a profit with minimal overhead.

That being said, as an article, "Cooking Solves Everything" is a slightly above-average read. There is no real revelatory information in it or much of interest, especially for those who are already committed to a healthy lifestyle. The main point Bittman is trying to make is that cooking at home is much better for your health and your lifestyle than consuming processed foods. There is some inspiration to be found behind Bittman's words and despite having seen this message before, I was temporarily inspired to try to make something from scratch, but overall, it is a bit of a fluff piece that seems like it was designed to fill space in an issue of Food Magazine. There is nothing wrong with the article, there's just nothing that really grabs you.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful September 21, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For someone who likes to eat out every night, this book was an eye-opener. I've always enjoyed Mark Bittman's writing and this is no exception.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take A Pass on the Processed Junk! September 22, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I already was a big fan of Mark Bittman. This makes me a disciple. Bittman's argument for why we should take the time to cook--as little as 15 minutes is enough--will make me think twice before I toss that frozen pizza into my grocery cart. Bittman's clear, straightforward discussion of our food system is great food for thought, and his advice will inspire even the laziest eater. ANYTHING cooked at home with simple ingredients can make a good meal: a bowl of pasta, tuna salad on toast, a dish of roasted vegetables. This book makes Bittman's love of cooking contagious. I'm canceling tonight's restaurant reservation!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's helping to make a needed difference September 23, 2011
By Janet
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am impressed with his help to others. It has been my lifetime philosophy that when I make good food at home, I enjoy better health. When I 'fall off the wagon' and go the 'easier' route, soon I'm feeling sick everyday. I finally got smart and gave up soda pop every day, which cured my ills at least 50%....I do have some occasionally but not often. PLUS I have learned: it is NOT expensive to eat healthy; which is why I created my blog: dollar a day meals
Mark has the name and fame to take the message to thousands and help our nation heal. Truly I have found that if I do 10 extra minutes of planning here and there, it takes less time to cook healthy simple meals at home than to fight traffic/go buy a meal/eat out. Thank you Mark.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Love Love
Short but brilliant. We need to get back to understanding the far reaching effects of our decisions. Read more
Published 14 hours ago by Barbara Kilpper
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It's okay
Published 4 months ago by Augusto Sr
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
if you'd rather read principles of cooking than strict step by step instructions. Personable and entertaining-guidleines for basic feeding of yourself and others.
Published 9 months ago by moonwampum
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, sweet and concisely written!
Well thought out and fully explained so the layman or women can understand why cooking at home is the best solution to many of the problems of the world. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Deanna E Wells
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not very inspiring
I understood the overall message and agreed with some but I don't care for the author's style/attitude in writing. Read more
Published 10 months ago by S. smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Health for all starts with one
Anyone who cares about the USA economy and culture should read this book. Anyone looking for a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families and communities should read this... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Emily
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooking Solves a lot
Mark Bittman makes a great case for cooking as a means to joy, integrity, and improving yourself and the world. WARNING: this very short book can make you happier.
Published 12 months ago by Ann
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for food!
Great way to explain the importance of preparing your own meals. From health to the effect on family life, he covered it all. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Michael Pierce
5.0 out of 5 stars motivating book to get you cooking,
This was a very good read. I have read this book 3 times now and this last time, I highlighted my favorite points and statements from the author. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Brian T Farmer
5.0 out of 5 stars I should have read this in high school
Instead, I spent years on crazy diets, binges, slim-fast and gallons of soy milk.

Why? To avoid the evils of food. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alice in AZ
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More About the Author

Mark Bittman is one of the country's best-known, most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with one million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen. Bittman writes for the Opinion section of the New York Times on food policy and cooking and is a columnist for the New York Times magazine. He is regularly featured on the Today Show in How To Cook Everything Today cooking segments. For 13 years he wrote "The Minimalist" column and now a "Minimalist" cooking show is featured on the Cooking Channel. The How to Cook Everything series is highly respected: the first edition of the flagship book How to Cook Everything won both the IACP and James Beard Awards, and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian won the 2008 IACP award. He is also the author of Food Matters, Food Matters Cookbook, Fish, and Leafy Greens.

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