Mark Bittman on Cooking Up a Story

Mark Bittman, whose “How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food” is the best present you can give a young wannabe cook — I still turn to my decrepit copy weekly for simple, delicious, reliable recipes — has become quite vocal in the past year or so about how important it is to chew the right thing. He writes and blogs frequently for the New York Times now about the ethical and environmental evils of the meat industry, about why cooking matters, and other SOLEful topics. Now he has a new book out, “Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes,” which I’m psyched to get (and sad that no one has offered us a review copy).

Bittman stopped by the offices of Cooking Up a Story, a website long overdue for a big cheer from us, for an interesting interview. In Part One (below), he discusses how important it is to demystify cooking for Americans, so that we can start being a healthy country, instead of just a health-obsessed unhealthy one.

If you aren’t familiar with Cooking Up a Story, bookmark, favorite, or subscribe to it now — Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy churn out the best sustainable-food-centric video segments around, focusing on farmers, artisans, cooks, food-politics news, and more. Their segments are way better than anything on the Food Network — and it’s all commercial free!

3 Responsesto “Mark Bittman on Cooking Up a Story”

  1. Nicole deB says:

    I just read Food Matters and found Bittman’s chapter on “Does the government hurt or help?” to be highly accessible to anyone outside the good food bubble. The more people with Bit’s stature writing about food policy, the better. And he includes good recipes, a month-long suggested meal plan, and a no-shame attitude about food that just seems to make sense. I liked his source materials; all the usual suspects. And I particularly like the origin of the title; from Marion Nestle, whom he remembered hearing talk about how much Food Matters. Good stuff!

  2. MaryAnn says:

    I learned how to cook from scratch out of necessity, due to a threadbare budget, when I was first married. In later years, when I could afford to, iI was never tempted to buy prepared foods, even before learning about trans-fats, etc. By then I was comfortable with cooking from scratch with fresh vegetables, dry beans and brown rice; baking our own bread, etc. At this point I won’t even eat in a restaurant due to the trans-genes.
    There was a great BBC documentary by Adam Curtis, called ‘The Century of the Self’, about the use of propaganda to encourage the people to become self-centered consumers, so that industry could make us dependent upon them, and make megabucks off of us. Part Four described the focus groups that helped the advertising agencies figure out how to convince housewives to buy convenience foods without feeling guilty about not cooking from scratch.
    The fantastic health food supermarket where I’m vacationing in FL (in the county with the highest foreclosure rate in the nation) is going out of business. Today’s post by Ran Prieur states that even those of his readers who are hosting him on his travels do not buy organic food, they buy the cheapest food.
    Here’s an article posted at the Guardian about cheap food: Top stores call them ‘budget food lines’. I say they are a disgrace. The video with this article shows injection of a chicken breast with water to 40% of the weight sold!

  3. Ess says:

    Very Cool. Thanks for the share. I was at the event that is showcased in the beginning of the film. He seems much thinner than he did at the end of his Spain trip.
    Just in case some don’t know, there was also a film put out last year about these food issues which was also called, “Food Matters” and it looks very good (I keep meaning to watch it but keep getting sidetracked by urgent things, and mundane ones as well…). The trailer looks great.