Michael Pollan: Why You Must See Cooked on Netflix
Michael Pollan: Why You Must See Cooked on Netflix

“Eat real food, not too much. Mostly vegetable ». Or again: "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't have eaten." And then: «I eat meat obtained only from sustainable and humane productions. At most once / twice a week ".

To whom do these mottos belong that echo as a mantra in the global discussion on food issues?

60 years old, New York Times columnist among the most listened to, writer elevated to the rank of guru by the large sales of his books (The dilemma of the omnivore has converted crowds of eaters, including Italians, to the verb), Michael Pollan it's making us feel guilty again.

This time with Cooked, one docu-series in four episodes on Netflix, the streaming service that changed the way people watch TV.

Mind you, he does it with his usual style, polite and informative, but those who have not yet been catechized by the pleasant mix of erudition, irony and complicity that pushes Pollan's viewers to a healthier and more sustainable approach to food, immediately know that by looking Cooked will feel guilty about how he eats.

The series, which debuted on Netflix on February 19th around the world, including Italy, is based on the book of the same name written by Pollan in 2013, in which he explored the past and present of food through four millennial natural elements: fire, water, air, earth - trying at the same time to improve himself as a cook.

A book suitable for film adaptation edited by David Gelb, former director of Chef's Table, another docu-series in 6 episodes that delves into the life and especially into the kitchens of as many international chefs, including our Massimo Bottura.

(Incidentally, another 16 episodes of Chef's Table will be shot over three seasons with chefs such as Alex Atala - Dom, Brazil; Grant Achatz - Alinea, Chicago; Alain Passard - L'Arpege, France; Michel Troisgros - Maison Troisgros, France and others but no Italian).

In the first episode, Fire, Pollan explores cooking on fire, what we now call barbecue, visiting areas of Australia where the practice has been widespread for millennia and meeting a modern pitmaster. And it is from the fire that, after all, the rest comes. It opens a new range of flavors, explains Pollan, and it is thanks to the fire that the kitchen is born.

In the episode Water, on the other hand, the American writer is in the role of a student: it is he who takes cooking lessons in India, investigating the misdeeds of industrial food.

We got used to the idea of being too busy to cook, and by "cooking" we mean creating something, not defrosting it and cooking it in the microwave. We have outsourced our nutrition to the food industry, which through advertising instilled in us the idea of not having time for cooking, so that we can help us with products of dubious nutritional value.

In Aria Pollan goes to the discovery of bread, leavening and gluten, whose intolerance affects more and more people in the Western world: have we really become so sensitive to gluten or have the cultivation methods changed?

The latest episode, Terra, guides us to discover fermented foods.

Also on Netflix Michael Pollan is the crusader we know, ready to remind us how far we have strayed from our culinary roots.

In one way or another, each of the four episodes of Cooked regrets the progressive detachment from the food we eat, and the healthy habit of preparing it ourselves.

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