"You can have the pasta. Maybe get whole wheat pasta if you're concerned about that."
"Whole wheat pasta sucks."
Michael Pollan's latest message about the world of food is that you are in good shape as long as a human being is cooking your food.
"This explains the health problem … The most important thing about your diet is not a nutrient, but an activity — cooking."
Colbert pointed out that you can't make Funyuns at home. Pollan added cheese doodles to the list but asked Colbert, "if you were cooking at home, how often would you make French fries?"
Colbert replied that he didn't know how to make French fries.
The theme of Pollan's new book — Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation — isn't that new. Pollan has used the line about cooking one's French fries before.
Yet, Pollan does reduce the issue to a simple term that can penetrate a cynical consumer market. Those that know aren't the cynical ones; this is about getting through to people who hate Michelle Obama because she wants them to healthier.
This doesn't mean that you can't eat out. After all, if a human cooks the food in a restaurant, then that meal qualifies on Pollan's watch.
Colbert's joke in the open of his show talked about how raw ingredients become food. "Simple. You puncture the wrapper and set it on High for 3 minutes."
Joke aside, this is how some people cook.
Pollan noted that corporations cook with lots of chemicals that you don't have in your pantry. After all, you can't buy high-fructose corn syrup in the store to sweeten your foods.
While we outsource certain kinds of cooking, Pollan breaks down cooking into Earth (cooking with microbes, using bacteria to ferment food: beer, kimchi, sauerkraut), air (baking), Water (soups, stews, braises), and fire (barbecue).
As for whole wheat pasta, I finally found an area of disagreement with Colbert over food. Yes, whole wheat pasta was not good — a long time ago. Improvement has been exponential, especially in the last few years. I suffered in those days and made it the other side. Where I would eat one or two brands, I could pick up most whole wheat pasta and be content to eat in in my home, cooked by me.