MAMA WAS RIGHT
Health Benefits of Cooking Your Own Food
November 03, 2014, 12:00 PM
By going Meatless Monday and making the simple choice to avoid meat one day a week, you already know that you’re doing something good for your health and the health of the planet.
But if you’re looking to make your Meatless Mondays even more meaningful, best-selling author, celebrated food activist and longtime Meatless Monday supporter Michael Pollan has a suggestion: cook your food yourself!
That’s the message of Pollan’s latest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, which argues that cooking meals from scratch is a powerful act that can help make our food system more sustainable and make us healthier.
Having previously examined the complex ways modern food is grown (in 2006’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma) and the nutritional importance of eating real food instead of manufactured “foodlike substances” (in 2008’s In Defense of Food), in Cooked Pollan turns his attention to the significance of how we prepare our meals.
So why is cooking so important?
One reason is that when we cook for ourselves from scratch we’re bound to pick healthier ingredients than those found in processed, ready-to-eat foods. Another is that cooking is prime bonding time, a chance to bring friends and family closer together (this idea is the driving force behind another initiative of The Monday Campaigns, The Kids Cook Monday, which aims to get families to prepare and eat a healthy meal together every Monday).