Netflix has another wonderful food series with Michael Pollan’s Cooked. I’ve been a fan of Michael Pollan, the food writer that has written a lot about food in the past decade for . His focus has been food since The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006). I’ve read his books In Defense of Food (2008) and Food Rules (2009) which offers three simple dictates, Eat food(that your grandmother would recognize as food) mostly plant, not too much. In Cooked he looks at the process of cooking through the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) and adds that we should be cooking the food that we consume with family.
The Netflix series is four episodes each focusing on one of these. It begin with Fire and takes a look at Carolina Barbecue, in Water it looks at braising, in Air it talks about bread an in Earth it talks about fermentation. In each episode we visit with a person or group of people doings something. In the first episode we meet a pit master from North Carolina and a group of Martu in Australia and the discussion is about we started cooking and our brains grew as we could eat more calories quicker. In the second episode we go to India into a community kitchen and talk about cooking in pots. In the third episode we go to Morocco and a mill there talking about the how wheat runs the world and in a majority of the world they can’t grow enough wheat for themselves in their nations. In the final episode we met The Cheese Nun (Sister Noella Marcellino), some food scientists, touch on beer brewing and go to a cacao farm. The show offers some interesting opinions like that the rise of Gluten intolerance in America might be due to the over processing of wheat in America and the food industry in general. There are some cool bits about like how about a third of the food we eat in fermented (ketchup, cheese, hot sauce, chocolate, etc.) or how some anthropologists say that human became a civilization to brew/ferment alcohol while other say that it’s because of bread. I think my favorite quote from the whole show was “Eat whatever you want as long as you make it.” It did offer some unique experiences like I didn’t really know how chocolate was made so that we interesting for me and I liked the part with Sister Noella since it’s a unique call and cheese making is something that I would like to do at least once in my life.