Michael Pollan Wellbeing Lecture: How Cooking Can Change Your Life
The average American spends just 27 minutes a day preparing food—which means that many people now spend a lot more time watching other people cook on TV than doing it themselves. But the outsourcing of this work to corporations has had disastrous effects on our health, our family life, and even on our agriculture. To reverse the trend in his own life, Pollan apprenticed himself to a series of gifted chefs, pit masters, bakers, brewers, cheesemakers and picklers. Using his own kitchen adventures as the thread, Pollan makes a compelling case that cooking is one of the simplest and most important steps people can take to improve their family’s health and well-being, build community, help fix our broken food system, and break our growing dependence on corporations. Approached in the proper spirit, Pollan suggests, cooking becomes a political act.
For the past 25 years, Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment. He is the author of Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (2013) and of four New York Timesbestsellers: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001). The Omnivore’s Dilemma was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by both The New York Times and The Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.