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a natural history of the transformation of cookery
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013: Who has untangled the nature of modern America’s relationship with food
more effectively than Michael Pollan? After sharing the experience of growing his own food in Second Nature, he
illuminated how our appetites drive the evolution of edible plants with The Botany of Desire. Then he pondered The
Omnivore’s Dilemma, weighing our precarious food chain and popularizing the pleasures of eating local; In Defense of
Food and Food Rules distilled his conclusions into a manifesto and a manual. With Cooked, he closes the seed-to-table
loop with a passionate exploration of the satisfying transformation of grilling, braising, baking, and fermenting--and
their primal roots. Learning to cook elevated humans from lone animals into increasingly intelligent, civilized groups,
and though we spend scant time doing real cooking, we’ve become obsessed with watching people cook--a paradox that
points to longing for a lost experience. Through his own experiences making and enjoying food with pit masters, chefs,
bakers, and “fermentos,” he retraces our path to connection with real ingredients and health for people and planet.
Whether you’re sympathetic or skeptical, you can’t help but appreciate Pollan’s genius for conveying the elemental
appeal of making a meal. --Mari Malcolm