Michael Pollan does it again with this book, exploring the elements that humans have harnessed to help us cook: fire, air, water, and earth (which he translates to mean fermentation).


I know I'm on a bit of a Michael Pollan kick right now, but this book rocked my world. In finishing this book, I felt like I had just learned a semester's worth of information about cooking and food from past to present. I have never felt more excited to share what I was learning about elemental cooking with anyone who dared to engage me in that conversation. 

These are principles that everyone who eats (so...everyone) should understand. It's not just about what makes up the food that we eat but why those elements are important to our chemistry as humans. Most importantly, Pollan addresses (because he's Michael Pollan) how we can begin working these simple ideas back into our diet in 2017.  Who knew that fermented food (like, uh, beer and wine) was so good for you? I cannot be the only one who is as fascinated about this as I am. I love this! I love food science! Where was this when I was struggling to wake up for chemistry in high school! 

I also loved the interview bits with chefs, bakers, and nun cheesemakers that were sprinkled throughout. Talk about a colorful cast of characters. Wow. Ok. I'm almost done. Sorry.


If you think that the science behind what you eat is interesting and important, call me when you finish this so we can discuss. Otherwise, maybe skip this one and call me anyway so I can give you the big takeaways.