75 reasons to love the West

The top people, places, things, and trends that make us happy to live here now

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Michael Pollan keeps changing the way we eat
Courtesy of Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan keeps changing the way we eat

What’s the gist of your latest book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation? The decline in home cooking has meant outsourcing cooking to corporations that will never support local agriculture. On the West Coast, we can eat locally year-round—farmers’ markets are open 52 weeks a year. It’s an extraordinary blessing. In many parts of the country, that’s simply not possible. My hope is people will recognize that cooking is the best way to support your local food economy and eat more healthfully. It turns out that the single most important dietary choice is not about a nutrient or even calories, but an activity: cooking.

What’s your home routine? We make a point of cooking at least four or five nights a week. It’s often something simple we can pull together in 40 minutes or so—roast vegetables, pasta, a piece of fish on the grill. Then there are the meals that roll over one to the other—the roast chicken that becomes chicken tacos, then soup.

What’s your advice for people who rarely cook? Try to make something you usually buy processed—a pizza, say, or a stir-fry. I think you’ll be surprised how satisfying it is to make it yourself, how much better it tastes, and that it really doesn’t take much longer.

More: 10 ways to eat healthier

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