Food journalist Michael Pollan says we should cook. That’s the thesis he outlines in his latest book–the appropriately titled Cooked. Pollan visited the WFPL studios earlier today for a news special.Over the course of the hour, Pollan discussed why humans started cooking, why many stopped cooking, and why the practice is beneficial for health and society. He also talks about bacteria, gender, microwave dinners and food deserts. Listen to the full audio here:

For the last decade, Pollan has been writing about what and how we eat. His books include The Botany of Desire, In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

In Cooked, Pollan delves into the scientific and historical processes behind what and why we cook. It’s a chronicle of his cooking education, as he explores four classical elements—earth, air, fire and water—and the way each is used to cook.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's News Director.