Eat Anything You Want; Just Cook It Yourself

Michael Pollan has done it again. Reading his In Defense of Food changed our lives (and eating habits) forever. Now he has a new book out called Cooked, and I just downloaded it to my Kindle.

Pollan_Cooked Jacket

I love Michael Pollan because he’s not an extremist, he’s not melodramatic, and he doesn’t try to generate a frenzy with alarming headlines. He does his research and explains his findings reasonably and articulately.

This video is SO worth the 20 minutes out of your day.

The basic premise is this: “Eat anything you want; just cook it yourself.”

He points out that “when we let industry cook for us, special occasion foods become everyday foods.” He is so right. This is exactly what has happened to us as a culture.

If I have to go to the trouble to make a pie or a homemade biscuit or a batch of french fries, I’m only going to do that a few times a year. But if I can buy a biscuit or a pie or a carton of fries in a matter of minutes, I’m going to eat it as often as I can. Thus the health epidemic we have on our hands.

Not to mention the fact that if I make food at home, I will at least be making my fattening treats with basic whole ingredients. But if you buy them, they are loaded with chemicals and preservatives and artificial crap.

Another takeaway: The goal of marketing is to “create an anxiety; solve a problem” — which of course is usually to sell you something you don’t need. The food industry has made a fortune doing this (at our expense, no less) and as a result, so has the healthcare industry.

Finally, this. “In America, 75% of healthcare spending is on chronic diseases, most of which is linked to diet.”

Ouch.

There is SO much more. Just watch. Then download Cooked to your Kindle.

I’m hoping that reading Cooked will renew my passion for making food from scratch because I will be the first to admit, I’ve been letting more and more processed crap sneak into our pantry. I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

Comments

  1. says

    I love Michael Pollan, and I love Cooked–I’m lucky enough to own a signed copy! I agree about his calm, matter of fact manner–it’s easy to get overwhelmed with food, but he does a great job of simplifying it. (Love his food rules too!) Thx for posting the video–I’m going to watch while making apricot jam later today. :-)

    • says

      You’ll love it! I just started reading Cooked. I think I’ll like it better when I get into it. So far it seems more philosophical than some of his other books.

  2. Mona S says

    I have been moving (slowly) toward whole (or real) foods at my house. My kiddos take their lunch everyday and although we still put chips in them, I have stared making homemade brownies or cookies for them to take instead of prepackaged desserts. They still have sugar, white flour and butter, but at least I know exactly what is in them! I am not as worried about the chips – most of the time they have plain potato or tortilla chips (3 ingredients – oil, salt and potatoes or corn)

    I am a little worried about have enough unprocessed snacks on hand for my always hungry 13 and almost 11 year old – would love to see a post with ideas!!

    • says

      Girl. I feel your pain. It is HARD and I do use a lot of processed snacks. I also try to keep fruit and veggies and cheese around. But yeah. Boxes and bags abound. A lot is organic. My grocery bill is INSANE.

  3. Sarah R says

    Does he have recipes in his book? Or is it just philosophical?

    I *know* I need to eat whole foods, and I really am trying my best, but on those nights of 50 things going on at once, I need to resort to packaged foods. I figure it’s better than Mickey D’s! :)

    • says

      Frankly, I just started reading the book and I can’t get into it. I’m not sure if there are recipes or not. LOL!!

      Check out our real food linky on Mondays. There are some good recipes in there. I hear ya, but I guess I have always cooked from scratch, so even when we are busy, I often manage to pull something together. But we definitely have pizza nights. I think I need to get some easier recipes. I spend way too long cooking for weeknight meals. Maybe i can come up with a post roundup of EASY weeknight meals?

      Do you use a crockpot?

      • Sarah R says

        Oh yes, my crock-pot is my hands down favorite kitchen gadget. I think we would starve without it!

        I have two small kids (5 and 2) and I do love to cook, but it can be tricky on busy days. I have pinned a lot of whole food ideas and have some good fall-backs. One of our favorites is barbeque chicken. I just put the chicken in the crock pot and cover it with BBQ sauce. Super easy! We use the Stubb’s BBQ (all natural, gluten free, no HFCS).

        I would love a post round-up of quick and easy meals!

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