Cooked - On Netflix

by Liz Heather in ,

It's frustrating for me to start this post mainly because I really want to draw you into it immediately and beckon you to DEFINITELY WATCH THIS TINY, FOUR EPISODE SERIES ON NETFLIX ABOUT COOKING AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS, but I don't want to be too eager about it.

Yeah, that wasn't the way to do it, but here we are. 

You're aware already of how much I like Michael Pollan, so maybe this post should have been expected. Honestly, everything that comes out of this man's mouth is something that I'm on board with. Thankfully he's not a cult leader, but more of just a nutrition guru of sorts, and I love him. I actually love this man. I definitely think I would recognize him in a crowded group of people and it would make me react the way I would if I saw David Duchovny (...yeah, that was too strong a statement since I would react to seeing DD in an aggressive, sexual attack of some sort that would involve police) but I really, really love everything that has ever come out of Michael Pollan's mouth.

And that being said, this is such a well done short-series on the nature of cooking. The episodes are divided up into fire, water, air, and earth and they're ridiculous well-shot, beautifully done, and so eloquently put. I've already watched it a few times (why? I'm a maniac) and each time I take away something different from it. 

Watch, watch, watch. Here are my two favourite parts from it.

When you look at food, it’s not just a thing or a product – it’s a relationship with other species in nature. And it’s far too easy to forget that now. The food chain is so long and so opaque, and Kimchi comes in a jar and bread comes in a wrapper, but all these things involve these quasi miraculous engagements with the natural world… human ingenuity over tens of thousands of years, learning how to transform the gifts of nature into these achievements of culture. And that’s what cooking is.
To cook or not to cook is a consequential question. Though I realize that is putting the matter a bit too bluntly. Cooking means different things at different times to different people. Seldom is it an all-or-nothing proposition. Yet even to cook a few more nights a week than you already do, or to devote a Sunday to making a few meals for the week, or perhaps to try every now and again to make something you only ever expected to buy… even these modest acts will constitute a kind of vote. A vote for what, exactly? In a world where so few of us are obliged to cook at all anymore, to choose to do so is to lodge a protest again specialization. Against the total rationalization of life. Against the infiltration of commercial interest into every last cranny of our lives. To cook for the pleasure of it, to devote a portion of our leisure to it, is to declare our independence from the corporations seeking to organize our every waking moment into yet another occasion for consumption. Cooking has the power to transform more than plants and animals. Cooking, I found, gives us the opportunity so rare in modern life to work directly in our own support and in the support of the people we feed. In the calculus of economics, doing so may not always be the most efficient use of an amateur cook’s time. It is beautiful even so. For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for the people you love?

If either of those quotes spoke to you, you will enjoy this (short) series times ten.