Diving into Digestion: To Cook or Not to Cook?
To cook or not to cook? This is a familiar question we can ask ourselves in today's modern lifestyle.
We have the option to have so many things done for us. We can request any cuisine we desire, practically whenever, and wherever we want it. It will be handed to us. All you need to do is eat - no grocery shopping, no prep, and no cooking necessary.
Most of us are not professional chefs, so why bother spending what little leisurely time we have doing something that someone else can do better? This division of labour and the creation of specialization allows us to leave cooking to the experts while freeing us up for other activities we believe are more important or productive.
But what is more important and productive than good health?
With good health you feel energized getting out of bed, you feel good in your body, and your body allows you to do anything you want with no complaints like pain, and feeling like a sloth. Your accomplishments skyrocket!
Without good health, things become more of a struggle, and there is less room for leisure.
This is why we must realize that cooking is the most simple and fundamental way to foster health. It plays an unassuming character, but has the powerful ability to make us the best version of ourselves.
Cooking, after all, sets us apart from any other living organism on this planet.
It's what makes us human - and we humans are capable of incredible things when good health is on our side.
It's at the core of cultures, it bridges connections and fosters our sense of community.
When you decide to cook, you demonstrate control over your health. The beauty is that this powerful act is accessible to anyone.
Explore different forms of cooking by using the four fundamental elements.
Fire - enhancing the flavours of a feature ingredient by barbecuing
Water - harmonizing multiple ingredients from nature by making a squash risotto
Air - elevating simple grains and water by baking bread
Earth - remarkably preserving food without needing a fridge by fermenting vegetables
Choosing to cook constitutes as your vote. A vote that prioritizes your commitment to achieving good health.
"Cooking has the power to transform more than plants and animals: it transforms us too, from mere consumers into producers.
Not completely, not all the time, but I have found that even to shift the ratio between these two identities a few degrees towards the the side of production yields deep and unexpected satisfactions."
- Michael Pollan, Cooked
By choosing to cook when you don't need to, you are protesting against being a lay consumer of commercial interests.
By choosing to cook, you are getting better at an incredibly useful and relevant skill. You sharpen your senses and develop more awareness for your body. You utilize all your innate tools to select ingredients, to flavor, taste, smell, listen, admire, to feel proud of being a creator of, and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Cooking is an incredibly complex interplay of activities, but we can often enjoy it in the company of others, while listening to music, or even while daydreaming. The results may not be perfect, but the rewards are so worth our practice.
We're not saying that it's all or nothing.
What we suggest is that you reignite the idea that cooking is vitally important for achieving your best health. It's a skill we should not find irrelevant, unimportant, or a waste of time, but one to value and enjoy, as cooking is the most relevant, daily action governing the success in all areas of life.
Try cooking a few more times than you normally would this week. If you never do, try it twice. If you only cook dinners, cook your breakfast, lunch, and dinner one day on your weekend. You get the idea.
"Cooked is an invitation to alter, however slightly, the ratio between production and consumption in your life. The regular exercise of these simple skills for producing some of the necessities of life increases self-reliance and freedom while reducing our dependence on distant corporations... our power flows toward them whenever we cannot supply any of our everyday needs and desires ourselves. And it begins to flow back towards us, and our community, as soon as we decide to take some responsibility for feeding ourselves."
-Michael Pollan, Cooked