Any time there will be a mention of food movement, people will remember Michael Pollan as a key influencer. Michael is food journalist and he is professor at UC Berkeley . I found him during my desperate search for answers to my basic questions in relation to what and how should I eat. He turned out to be the Messiah. His books,lectures and movies gave me inspiration to take this initiative . From him, I learnt about food movement, I learnt about US Food and agriculture industry related fact sand how in mid 60s a local farm that was feeding 50 houses in a most healthy fashion wiped out and got replaced by mega industrial farms.These farms changed the landscape of how food reached our plates. It was very shocking and eye opening discovery and av ery unfortunately truth. If you would like to learn more about these events, you may check out Edible 101 course by UC Berkeley recording…..Edible 101
Michael also has interesting perspective on cooking and its history in US and how fast food industry took over America’s kitchen. In his Netflix series Netflix “Cooked” “Cooked” he highlights how cooking food at home as opposed to factory processing makes it more nutritious. Cooking food and using traditional techniques of fermenting, stone grounding, sprouting, etc add a colony of microbes to the food that are essential for good digestion and providing the nutrition to the body. Modern food industry practices are processing food such a way that it is depriving food of nutrients and adding unnecessary calories.
The tradition of cooking almost disappeared from America’s kitchen in mid nineteenth century with the onset of women liberation. The women decided to go to work to fulfill their aspirations, dreams and to prove themselves. Unfortunately, least they realized that they were leaving behind a very decent important job of cooking fresh and healthy meals for the family (I know it may sound very anti feminist) but in fact the job was not paid and least appreciated and people didn’t think it requires any talent. And it was by no mean a wrong decision but it had impact on what we put in our plates for dinner and how it gets there.
When women went to work, a conflict arose between men and women on the issue of cooking. Smart, educated and working women refused to take single handed ownership of cooking at home. This increasing conflict open the door for the fast food industry that came with the promise to share the burden of cooking for the household and also to resolve this fight between men and women. And as a result 60 years after this change, we see the epidemic of chronic illness and obesity on a rise here.
Cooked series invite America’s public to go back to their kitchens and re engage into small and basic cooking practices that adds nutrition and flavor to their food. He also specifies that we all need to rise above gender or age clashes when it comes to cooking. A family should come together and cook as a fun activity and not as chores without any gender bias. Practice of cooking is an art and it is satisfying. What the home cooked food offers to the body is far more satisfying and healthy.
Mindful Living club’s philosophy is greatly impacted by Michael Pollan’s ideas and have guidelines on how to identify what is a real food, where to find it and how to eat it. Eating food is not just a physical activity. People need to get connected with the food they put in their month more at spiritual and mental level. This approach nourishes the body completely.