Michael Pollan’s Cooked Currently Showing on Netflix!
The series is broken down into four episodes. Each related to the four ‘elements’ of Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
Fire is correlated to the food we ‘roast’ or grill and what fire does to fire does to food which is cooked with dry heat (BBQ, grilling, frying, etc).
Water associates with food that is moisture cooked (steamed or boiled).
Air relates to food which uses air (or gases) in the process of refining it for our body’s use.
Finally, Earth wraps it all up by looking at the microbial cultures which process our food for us and in doing so make it healthy, safer and/or easier for us to digest. It also touches on the microbes in our gut and how this has affected us in the modern world of food processing and sterilizing.
Of course, many foods use more than one of these ‘elements’ in the journey from it’s source to our stomach. Bread (Which is featured in episode 3) takes every one of the elements. Not all bread, mind you. Sourdough bread does but only traditional sourdough. Chainstore market bread does not and this is one of the reasons that it is making us sick. Even the supermarket sourdoughs are usually regular modern S. cerevisiae yeast bread doughs that have had lactobacilli bacteria added to produce a sour taste. It has not fermented to produce the bacteria naturally as a byproduct of the fermentation process and therefore has none of the benefits of fermentation which is what makes the bread healthy and easy to digest.
The healthy side of fermentation is well documented. Here is an indepth article from breadmatters.com that does a better job than I at explaining what happens during a slow fermentation.