- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (April 29, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143125338
- ISBN-13: 978-0143125334
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,740 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation Paperback – April 29, 2014
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“[A] rare, ranging breed of narrative that manages to do all… It’s nothing short of important, possibly life-altering, reading for every living, breathing human being... In Pollan’s dexterous hands, we get the science, the history, the inspiration, ultimately the recipe. What feels like all of it. It doesn’t hurt that he also happens to be very funny.”
"Because of the power of his prose and his reasoning, Cooked may prove to be just as influential as Pollan’s seminal book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma… The results are fascinating, but the magic of Cooked lies not in its ability to unlock the secrets of slow-roasting a whole hog or brewing beer… No, what Pollan pulls off is even more impressive: He manages to illuminate the wealth of connections that stem from our DIY time in the kitchen.”
--The Washington Post
"As in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan is never less than delightful, full of curiosity, insight, and good humor. This is a book to be read, savored, and smudged with spatterings of olive oil, wine, butter, and the sulfuric streaks of chopped onion."
“The book's surplus of fascinating tidbits—about everything from barbecue (which Pollan connects to ritual animal sacrifice) to the mysterious workings of bread yeast — makes it a feast for intellectual omnivores.” – Entertainment Weekly
“Through cooking, Pollan argues, we clear a space, allowing ourselves not only to consider our sometimes troubled bond with nature but to reestablish our ties to one another, and to become makers instead of consumers. Cooked is a potently seductive invitation to discover—or rediscover—our most primal connection to the natural world.” – Bookforum
"Spurred by a number of objectives—improving his family’s general health, connecting with his teenage son, and learning how people can reduce their dependence on corporations, among others—Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma; In Defense of Food) came to the realization that he’d be able to accomplish all those goals and more if he spent more time in his kitchen. He began cooking. Divided into four chapters based on the four elements, Pollan eloquently explains how grilling with fire, braising (water), baking bread (air), and fermented foods (earth) have impacted our health and culture. ... Engaging and enlightening reading."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“New York Times best-selling author Pollan (The Botany of Desire; The Omnivore’s Dilemma) delivers a thoughtful meditation on cooking that is both difficult to categorize and uniquely, inimitably his… Intensely focused yet wide ranging, beautifully written, thought provoking, and, yes, fun, Pollan’s latest is not to be missed by those interested in how, why, or what we cook and eat."
—Library Journal (starred review)
"Having described what's wrong with American food in his best-selling The Omnivore's Dilemma (2006), New York Times contributor Pollan delivers a more optimistic but equally fascinating account of how to do it right.... A delightful chronicle of the education of a cook who steps back frequently to extol the scientific and philosophical basis of this deeply satisfying human activity."
—Kirkus (starred review)
"Pollan’s newest treatise on how food reaches the world’s tables delves into the history of how humankind turns raw ingredients into palatable and nutritious food. To bring some sense of order to this vast subject, he resurrects classical categories of fire, water, air, and earth… Four recipes accompany the text, and an extensive bibliography offers much deeper exploration. Pollan’s peerless reputation as one of America’s most compelling expositors of food and human sustainability will boost demand."
—Booklist (starred review)
About the Author
Michael Pollan, recently featured on Netflix in the four-part series Cooked, is the author of seven previous books, including Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire, all New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to The New York Times, he is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
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Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
This was the bottom line, and it was satisfying to have found it, a piece of hard ground deep down at the bottom of the swamp of nutrition science: seven words of plain English, no biochemistry degree required. But it was also somewhat alarming, because my publisher was expecting a few thousand words more than that. Fortunately for both of us, I realized that the story of how simple a question as what to eat had ever gotten so complicated was one worth telling, and that became the focus of that book.
The focus of this book is very different. It is much less about theory, history, and science than it is about our daily lives and practice. In this short, radically pared-down book, I unpack those seven words of advice into a comprehensive set of rules, or personal policies, designed to help you eat real food in moderation and, by doing so, substantially get off the Western diet. The rules are phrased in everyday language; I deliberately avoid the vocabulary of nutrition or biochemistry, though in most cases there is scientific research to back them up.”
~ Michael Pollan from Food Rules
Michael Pollan is the author of a number of New York Times best-selling books on nutrition (including In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma). He’s a longtime New York Times contributor and Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
If you’re looking for a SUPER compact, witty look at the primary rules on how to eat well, this is it. I HIGHLY recommend you pick up a copy as I think it’s the page-for-page best guide on the basic fundamentals of nutrition.
It’s a fun, witty, concise guide to eating well featuring 64 food rules structured around Pollan’s seven words of wisdom:
Part 1 = Eat food.
Part 2 = Mostly plants.
Part 3 = Not too much.
I'm excited to share some of favorite Big Ideas:
1. Nutrition: 2 Facts - Everyone agrees on.
2. Rule #1: Eat Food - Not edible foodlike substances.
3. Low-Fat - Made us fat.
4. Will Your Food Rot? - Good test.
5. 66% - 80% - Not too much.
Let’s have fun optimizing our food rules as we eat food... not too much... mostly plants!
More goodness— including PhilosophersNotes on 300+ books in our *OPTIMIZE* membership program. Find out more at brianjohnson . me.
The links between diet and health according to this novel is that individuals who eat a Western diet (lots of processed food, food with added sugar and fat, and lots of refined grains) will suffer from Western diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardio diseases. That totally makes sense to me but I didn’t know it was known as a Western diet. The second link is that if you eat a traditional diet (a lot of different varieties here) you will not suffer from these diseases. Which basically means, no one diet is perfect but as humans we have adapted to different diets to make them work for us. The Western diet, as it stands now, is the diet which makes everyone ill. Inside this novel, there are 64 rules to live by to eat a healthy diet. These rules are explained further with a brief explanation, if needed.
Some of these rules I had heard about before but about half of them were new to me. There are three parts to the novel: What to eat? What kinds of food should I eat? And How should I eat? Each of these parts have different rules to follow. I liked that these rules are, for the most part, something I could memorize on my own and therefore, I could recall when need be. There is the rule about not eating food that you cannot say, rule about eating a variety of colors, and a rule about eating at a table, these are a few of the rules I already knew.
Here are a few of the rules that I really enjoyed:
Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry.
So, cellulose, thiamine mononitrate is not something I would have on hand, therefore this product should not be in my house.
Avoid food products that contain more than 5 ingredients.
Wow, that would eliminate a lot of the processed foods I have on hand.
Avoid food products that contain ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
Again cellulose, thiamine mononitrate are out and I need to start thinking simple.
Cook food that has only been cooked by humans.
Again, lots of preservatives, added sugar, and other interesting items are added which we don’t need.
Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
This one is a killer. I have literally cut down on the number of French fries I eat as I think this rule says it all. I’m not physically making French fries out of potatoes every time I want them, it’s too time consuming and too much work. The novel says there is nothing wrong with sweets, soda and other sweet snacks as long as you prepare them yourself. If I had to prepare potato chips, snack crackers, or cookies as much as I consume them, my consumption would really go down.
Spend as much time enjoying your meal as it took to prepare it.
I think this book has a lot to offer, things you might know and things that you should know. I like the short and sweet aspect of the novel, it’s not a wordy or a complex read, the author gives his readers just the facts in an easy way to think about them and how to apply them to their own lives. I’m ready to jump on board and I know it will take some time, strength and willpower to incorporate these rules but I know the benefits will be worth it.
Stay away from "factory made food"!.....
Shop the perimeter of the supermarket. Shop produce, go to dairy, then meat department and the to the checkout. Most everything in the center is factory made, and in a can, bag, or box.