I just started watching Cooked I am obsessed. Cooked is a 4 part documentary series on Netflix about cooking and the way we eat. The show opens with Michael Pollan (who wrote the book Cooked) saying “When we learned to cook is when we became truly human.”
Cooked does an incredible job of telling the story of how we learned to cook, how it has evolved, the science behind cooking, and all of the issues surrounding the way we cook/eat today.
It is really sad to me that America has moved to a convenience culture. We cook less than any country in the entire world. It’s even more depressing that our obsession with convenience and the bottom line has affected the rest of the world as well. We’re addicted to fast food that is low in nutrients and food companies capitalize on that. Obesity is a disease that we are spreading to the rest of the world.
I really think that everyone can get something out of watching Cooked. It’s not just a show about coking, it’s a show about being human.
Cooking and sharing a meal brings people together in powerful ways. It is such an important part of human connection. Pit roasting pigs during the tobacco harvest in the slave era was the only time black and white people shared a meal together. We cook to celebrate, we cook to mourn, and everything in between. Life is centered around food because it is what sustains us. We need to give a fuck about what we are eating and how we eat because it is the core of being human. It’s what gives us life.
I know a lot of people don’t really enjoy cooking, especially on a busy weeknight. There’s a lot of stress involved in making a meal in a limited amount of time, especially if you don’t know how to cook. But I think that everyone can have a great cooking experience if you take the stress out of the equation. About a year ago, I was watching one of those Chopped amateur specials and one woman on the show was talking about how cooking for her is a way of showing her family love. If you view cooking as an act of love and not this huge, labor intensive ordeal, you’re going to have a pleasurable experience in the kitchen. Whether you are cooking for yourself or a crowd, do it with love. There is no better meal than the one you make with real food and enjoy with the people you love. That’s what food culture should be centered around, not convenience.