Beet Read: Cooked: Transform Your Life and the World, By Michael Pollan


Oprah’s got a book club, Gwyneth Paltrow’s got a book club… and so does the Moscow Food Co-op! The Good Food Book Club to be exact.  Coordinated by fabulous Participating Owner, Rachel Caudill, this book club is sure to offer something for the health, eco and community minded reader. All book club selections can be purchased at BookPeople of Moscow, 521 South Main Street and are discounted for book club members.

In keeping with January's theme around the Co-op of "Fresh Starts", Rachel chose Cooked: Transform Your Life and the World, written by Michael Pollan, to kick off 2014. You can read Rachel's review of Pollan's book after the jump.

Join us in reading the January Co-op Good Food Book Club selection Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan. The Book Club will meet Sunday, January 26, from 6:00-8:00 at a member’s private residence to discuss Cooked and, in honor of the book itself, share a home-cooked potluck. Email for more information and directions.

There may be no better book to dovetail with January’s “Fresh Starts” theme than Michael Pollan’s Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. In his newest work, Pollan, perhaps our most treasured writer and thinker on the culture of food in America, turns his sharp mind to the simple act of cooking…with breathtaking results. In a global economy that’s been capsized by industrial agriculture, cooking—arguably the most human acts of our own humanity…an act that only humans employ and which may well define our evolutionary niche—has drowned in a sea of processed food and instant packaging. This has left most humans today bereft of the singular act of food transformation that, throughout time, has empowered us to nourish ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Today, cooking (or rather, its lack) is fraught with a mix of unsavory consequences: obesity, diabetes, and heart disease—along with a host of environmental catastrophes—have all soared with our lemming-like exodus from the kitchen. An exodus, Pollan argues, prompted by industrial agriculture’s shiny, easy packaging of harmful un-food, and by our culture’s shifting kitchen mores. An exodus we would do well to reconsider.

“The premise of this book,” writes Pollan, “is that cooking—defined broadly enough to take in the whole spectrum of techniques people have devised for transforming the raw stuff of nature into nourishing and appealing things for us to eat and drink—is one of the most interesting and worthwhile things we humans do.”

Find out why Pollan can make such a bold claim, and what it means for your own life, the health of your family and community, and the planet itself. There’s no better time in Earth’s history to make a fresh start by overturning our reliance on corporate agriculture in favor of something far more humane, joyous, healthy, meaningful, unifying and delicious. As the Boston Globe says of Cooked, it is, “Important, possibly life-altering, reading for every living, breathing human being.”

Please join us to share a home-cooked potluck and discuss Cooked Sunday, January 26 from 6:00-8:00 pm: potluck at 6:00pm and book discussion at 7:00pm. Remember to email for the meeting location and directions and/or to receive email reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Cooked (Penguin Press HC, 2013) by Michael Pollan is available through your local library.  If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit Book People of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website