In “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation,” Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Organized by sections that each delve into one of the four elements (earth, water, air, and fire), he uses their power to transform the stuff of nature into delicious eats and drinks. Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.
The reader learns along Pollan’s journey, with lessons eventually moving beyond cooking and investigating how cooking involves us in webs of social and ecological relationships.
Ultimately the food expert makes the case that in addition to the undermined relationships and environmental impacts, relying on corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt. “Cooked” argues that taking back control of cooking is nothing short of a personal and societal revolution.