Michael Pollan on Cooking

Michael Pollan on Cooking


(GASPS) When I started learning
about nutrition – about which, by the way, much less
is known than you might think – I learned that what mattered most
about one’s health was not necessarily the nutrients, good or bad, that you were consuming
or staying away from, or even the calorie count. What predicted a healthy diet
more than anything else is the fact that it was being cooked
by a human being, not a corporation. Corporations cook very differently
than people do. They use vast amounts of salt,
fat and sugar. Much more than you would ever use
in your own cooking. The reason they do that is those
are three incredibly attractive and incredibly cheap ingredients. And when they’re layered properly, as in a chip or pastries
and forms of junk food, they’re incredibly addictive,
they really press our buttons. They activate our dopamine network,
our cravings. In fact, they don’t talk about
“addiction” in the food industry, even though they traffic
in addiction. They talk about “cravability”.
It’s the same thing. “Snackability” is another term
they use. It’s a lovely word(!) The last point
about corporate cooking that’s important to understand is they cook different stuff
than you do at home. In general,
they don’t cook that well, but things like chips
they cook incredibly well. Here’s a classic food
that if you make it yourself… If you’ve ever made French fries,
you have to wash the potatoes, you have to peel the potatoes,
slice the potatoes, fry them in a LOT of oil. You have to spatter
your entire stove top. You have to clean up and then
you have a pot of oil to get rid of. It’s really difficult
and it’s a pain. They’re wonderful, but it’s a pain. If you make them yourself, you’ll
only eat them every six weeks, two months, cos it’s too much work. But when you let corporations
cook for you, it’s so simple and so inexpensive
and they’re really good, that you’ll have them twice a day,
as many people in America do. The kinds of foods you end up with are labour-intensive foods
and desserts. These special-occasion foods
become everyday foods when we let industry cook for us. Eat anything you want,
just cook it yourself.

65 thoughts on “Michael Pollan on Cooking”

  1. The best thing about making it yourself at home is the lack of additives i.e flavour enhancers, preservatives, thickeners etc. All these additives are not made for for human consumption, but in low levels big industries consider them to be harmless. But when we start eating high levels of convenience foods, it all adds up to a very unhealthy diet.

  2. This was excellent. The idea that eating food made for us completely takes away from our knowledge of how much effort and time goes into it really brings it into perspective. For corporations, it's small scale. But try doing it at home, and it's a lot more work than previously thought.

  3. But chips have always been a mass production; the chippy has been a foundation of British food (a weekly or biweekly occurrence for most) for more than 140 years. Certain foods are always best when done by professionals, and chips are no different.

    Also, what of the oven chip? Corporate-made yes, but baked at home in portions one controls.

    "Eat anything you want just cook it yourself." I want eat nothing but red meat, fried in butter and used chip oil, breakfast, noon and night, with fried potatoes and cream corn, everyday for the rest of my life, cooked by my own hand. Tell me, is that healthy?

  4. Not a bad idea, in theory. In my home however it would turn into a nutritional disaster (if not supplemented with other ideas) 

  5. this is terrible advice, "eat whatever you want as long as you cook it yourself". watch the sodium, sugar, cholesterol, and most importantly fat carbs and protein on the foods you eat. as long as you stay within moderate range of these three things, you really can eat whatever you want. if you dont take my word for it, look up the man who just went on a 90 day diet of mcdonalds and lost weight

  6. I feel like he should define what "making it yourself" means. If you have pasta, can you buy that? Or should you have to make that yourself from flour? Or maybe you need to grind your own wheat to make the flour to make the pasta! If you define it that strictly, then sure you're going to be eating healthier, because you'll only be eating vegetables or whatever you can grow at home.

  7. Get an air fryer and enjoy home-made chips ("fries" for you 'Mericans) with a lot less of the harmful fats… and a lot less mess 🙂

  8. I agree with that. People need to cook more but at the same time I do not agree with your example, chips are easy as hell to cook, cut up a potato add oil add salt and oil and stick in the oven for half an hour or so.But I get what you mean and a lot of people are lazy ad after a 40 hour work day the last thing most people want to do is start cooking, and even less people have the for thought to cook and freeze or put something in the slow cooker.

  9. Sometimes, junk food is more expensive than the home made food. For example (in Greece) it costs you less to make your own sandwich with a drink, than buying a Cheeseburger, Fries and Coke from McDonalds. 

  10. That all depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you're trying to lose weight, calorie count. If you're trying to eat "healthier", consume more greens and whole grain (not organic-> if people flip a shit, I'll cite the study to prove that) stuff. Based on his sole assumption, if I eat whatever I want (just because I cook it) there won't be any negative connotations.

  11. great points…only issue is what is considered cooking..so we should as far as possible try to cook "from scratch"

  12. Why should people cook becuz you dont know what the put inside the food.
    If you eat everything what the make you can have faster sick and lazy
    There are so much theorys about fastfood and junkfood
    Did you ever watch that guy that eat 30 days mcdonalds food in the morning and evening 

  13. Thats right kids, vitamins and minerals don't matter.  Corporations make food taste good… AND SO ITS ADDICTIVE!!!

    This is why I left the fitness and nutrition industry and never went back.  It's this kind of stupid that made me leave.

  14. This is a great video the message is clear as crystal, I just don't like to see people using the word addiction when talking about food. Guys, unless you're eating morphine, you are not addicted to food!!! If you want some french fries and for some reason you forgot your wallet, you can go without it, because you WANT to have some chips, you just want it. An addiction is not a matter of wanting it, it is a matter of NEEDING, you wont vomit, cramp or have a seizure if you can't have some chips, but try going without a really addictive drug. Then you'll know how frivolous it is to call food an addiction.

  15. This video makes a good point, but it's not entirely accurate. You can definitely become fat/unhealthy from eating purely home made food, maybe just not as quickly as from a purely fast-food diet.

  16. Remember that science teacher that ate at McDonalds for 3 months and got healthier…? Yeah… Science and planning trumps blanket statements dude. Sorry.

  17. I dunno…what about when I want to make bread? I'm always going to prefer the taste AND the ease of white bread as opposed to the difficulty and not-so-cravable taste of whole wheat…so if I always made my own bread, I'd eat less nutrition than if I bought it! But I really like the video, and I think it makes a good point: eat that horrible stuff as much as you want, if you go through the effort of cooking it yourself.

  18. My grandmother's pancakes are really addictive.. because they taste good. I bet you guys if I eat as many of them as she'll bake I'll become as obese and unhealthy as they come.

  19. We're very excited to announce that our new RSA Short is due to be released on 25th March. In anticipation we take a look back at our most recent RSA Short, 'How Cooking Can Change Your Life'. http://youtu.be/N7Ty8HoIEEg

  20. But, but, I don't know how to make chocolate, only use it 🙁
    Mmmm brownies… pardon me I need to go cook.

  21. And not to mention the cacophony of random chemicals added to the factory foods that act as texture modifiers and preservatives! We have no idea how they affect the body exactly, but as long as they don't show any visible short-term effects, they are used!

  22. You make the claim that better nutrition is found in people who more often cook for themselves/have other people cook for them rather than corporation-style cooking. I totally believe that could be true. However, I'd love to see where this claim came from. Is there a research paper or something of that ilk I can read that's relevant to this?

  23. Simple cake? 5 minutes putting stuff together, an hour of cooking. Loads of delicious carbs with very little work.

  24. Keep telling my hubby this but he Won't listen

    I hardly buy the chit in supermarkets I read and read the labels

    Who makes gravy or even stock with sugar!❣

    Great video

  25. Fries every 6 weeks? I make my own fries whenever I want. It's never too much work for me. I can't stand fast-food fries, they make me sick.

  26. America has ruined the world more with their spreading of fast food than anything their military has ever done. 🙁

  27. woaw woaw woaw, eat anything i want? lmao does this guy understand that 99% of the food people cook for themselves are processed foods made by food corporations? that is terrible advice! OH hey im going to go eat a whole cake because i baked it myself

  28. wtf making home made frenchfries takes me about 40mins, i cut them up (without peeling) sprinkle oil on them and some salt. and in the oven and after 40mins you should have perfectly good frenchfries

  29. Happy Valentines Day! Make sure to be aware of what is on Your plate during Your lovely date in a restaurant 🙂

  30. The information is appreciated, thank you.
    Shared on LSWD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SurvivenThrive/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *