I am ~ObSesSeD~ with Netflix, as I am sure many of you are as well. Recently I discovered the Netflix original short docu-series based on the book by Michael Pollan called Cooked. I normally am not one to watch too many docummentaries, especially ones on food and consumer habits. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this 4 part series that takes a diffrernt view on how the world feeds themselves through the four earthly elements: Fire, Water, Air, Earth.
Pollan takes you around the globe to discuss how food connects us all and how we cook is crucial to our cultural identity. Each episode goes through a different story of a different element and talks about the importance of the element in the way we cook. Pollan discusses how cooking with fire not only changed humans diet, but that it also changed our physical anatomy. Pollan asserts that it is from cooking that we are distinguished from our ape-like-ancestor and it is what inheriently makes us human.
Pollan proceeds to explain throughout the role our consumption plays in the global ecosytem and how lack of cooking is also changing who we are as humans. The discussion of the importance of grain for bread and the concerns with fast food in our diets.
Pollan’s book is vividly displayed through strong images and interviews, so I commend Netflix for what they have done. However, Pollan leads to a lot of viewer guilt for our eating habits. I am not sure how much I love how he addresses this. He combines his guilt with factual information that create very contrasting opinions in viewers.
I definitely recommend checking it out because there is a lot of cool information worth watching. There is a lot of interesting insights into other cultures and history about how we eat.
Check out this NYTimes review for more information