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Cooking Solves Everything: How Time in the Kitchen Can Save Your Health, Your Budget, and Even the Planet
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Cooking Solves Everything: How Time in the Kitchen Can Save Your Health, Your Budget, and Even the Planet

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Mark Bittman is one of the nation’s most trusted and beloved food writers, but there was a time when he lived primarily on vanilla ice cream and McDonald’s. Then he discovered cooking, and everything changed. In this story from the new digital publisher Byliner, the New York Times columnist and bestselling author of "How to Cook Everything" traces his journey from grilled- ...more
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Published September 20th 2011 by Byliner Inc. (first published March 1st 2011)
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Serious Weight Loss Help
43rd out of 45 books — 44 voters
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35th out of 42 books — 39 voters


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Ben
A fine, short essay of 10 points for how cooking solves everything, everything being all the problems we suspect but rarely engage with as concerns the food we eat and how it comes to us.

It's a gentle, fine first essay on Big Ag and Food Politics for folks who may want to know more but who are turned off by evangelical Vegans, trendy Locavores, and militant PETA. The tone is reasonable, and often humorous.

There's no indictment of factory-farming, just some reasonable questions to ask after looki
...more
James
Quick and inspiring read that can be life changing. I have found the joy in cooking over the past few years and agree that if its popularity and 'trendiness' continues it will have nothing but positive outcomes in our communities on a local and global scale.
Judy
A short, upbeat ode to cooking, with plenty of information to make you feel good about the time you spend in the kitchen. He covers the economy of food production, gives recipes that are fast and healthy, and much more.

Here are two of the many passages I highlighted: "Real cooking is not monotonous; it's as varied and challenging and rewarding a task as exists. . . cooking will pay you back in spades every single time you do it."

"People who prepare meals - even infrequently - achieve outcomes th
...more
Candace
Manages to go on and on without saying anything new or interesting. In fact it points out who has already said the things he's reiterating. Much of it is anecdotal, but in a bad way. Not worth your time.
Caroline Niziol
Mostly facts and ideas I already knew but I needed the reminder.
Nicole
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did. As someone who cooks probably about 90% of my meals out of How to Cook Everything and an occasional follower of Bittman's Minimalist column (when he wrote it), I was really excited for this book. But I found myself skimming through it, trying to race to the end. It's not that Bittman isn't right, or that his insight isn't, well, insightful. It's that I know most of it all already.

For those who already are familiar with the issues around
...more
Seth Heasley
I love to cook. I love that my son has come to expect pancakes made from scratch on the weekend. Oatmeal pancakes, pumpkin pancakes, sweet potato pancakes…yum! I love to make my own pasta sauce, try out new soup ideas, so on and son on, etcetera, etcetera.

But if I needed another reason to cook, other than it's awesome, Mark Bittman's little manifesto Cooking Solves Everything: How Time in the Kitchen Can Save Your Health, Your Budget, and Even the Planet provided several.

When I say little, we're
...more
Ruthie Jones
There's an extreme sense of urgency in this little book, which is a good thing. Cooking healthy at home is good for the body, environment, economy, society, and especially family. While Bittman is reiterating what we should already know, he does it in way that's helpful and encouraging. Choosing to fix our meals at home (and avoiding over-processed foods) gives us ownership in our eating that has systematically disappeared because of big business and the brainwashing that we are incapable of foo ...more
Shelley
Although I am a true believer in the slow food movement and the importance of home cooking, it's books like this one that make me want to throw a happy meal at a "foodie's" head. I'm growing a bit weary of food-related books that, in addition to rehashing Michael Pollan's arguments, turn eating a french fry into a moral issue. Oh, those poor, ignorant unwashed masses, slaves to fast food as they are! We, the enlightened, must rescue them! (The last two lines of this book actually read: "...almos ...more
Angela
Nothing new here; which is unfortunate. I loved Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, one of the first books to really open my eyes and inspire me on the issue of the American food industry (which, if you don't already know, IS BAD). Mark Bittman's another well-known soldier in this fight, and so I'm immediately interested in whatever he has to say about Big Food. This slim volume was a bit of a let-down though: he mostly lists well-known truths such as "eating in saves money and is good for ...more
Maxime Ouellet-payeur
A short essay that could've been even shorter. However, I liked to read it and I agree with the author. Learn to cook. It won't solve everything in your world, but it will help.
Lisa
For me this book was a case of "preaching to the choir" as it contained little that I didn't already know. However, it was a good concise wrap up of why we should cook our own food, especially for people who are new to the subject. The book contains a few recipes that he gives as examples of how good food can be prepared quickly and with few ingredients. I am looking forward to trying them, and to trying his recipe for "Roasted anything" and "three foolproof seasonings."
Jenny D.
I always enjoy Bittman's writing, and he always gives a few nice recipes. Basically a long essay.
Evan
I'd have given this three stars because most of the info in this essay was old-hat to someone who regularly reads Bittman and vaguely follows food politics issues. However, I feel it was redeemed by the fact that this essay gave a wonderful overview of these matters, perfectly suited for the lay-person who doesn't actively follow this stuff. And because these topics are so important to individual health as well as the health of our communities, I just can't begrudge the article that.

I'm happy I
...more
Jen A.
An essay on cooking, and how the simple act of choosing to buy ingredients and cook meals instead of eating out and purchasing processed foods can make a huge change that ripples throughout the local economy, big agriculture, even politics. Bittman's essay is short & sweet -- he makes his points quickly and then moves on. I liked that he wasn't preachy about it; he simply shared his understanding of the entire process and made a case for cooking, for getting families and friends back in the ...more
Jessica
I've been using Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for years, and I've always loved his writing. So when I saw this on Byliner, I couldn't resist downloading the iBooks version. This is a terrific Sunday morning read ... Make your own breakfast from scratch, sit down at the table, and devour the meal and the book (manifesto?) in one sitting. At least that's what I did.
Lisa
Short read about the problems of processed foods versus home cooking. I enjoyed the statistics on costs of eating out versus cooking a home including s few references to childhood issues like ADHD and obesity. however, If you have read any of Michael Pollans books, or seen movies like fast foot nation or super size me, this short read isn't so new information but a continued reminder to move away from America's SAD diet and get back to our roots.... In our own kitchen.
Lisa
This isn't really a book, but more of a booklet. People who already know about cooking and food policy won't find much new in here, but I already liked Mark Bittman so I thought it was worth checking out. I liked his point about how most people now spend more time watching people cook on TV than actually cooking themselves, and it did motivate me to locate a farmer's market on a cold rainy day in the Northeast.
Emily
While the title still reads slightly hyperbolic to me, Bittman provides a remarkably concise overview of the American food system and ways of eating in this pint sized book. While some of his arguments are more compelling than others, his words will certainly motivate most any reader to find the time, energy, and skills to cook more and realize the joy in doing so.
Kim
I really like Mark Bittman and enjoy his conversational writing style. This long essay is informative and full of reasonable arguments of why cooking is important, even for those who think they're too busy to cook. That being said, I feel like I've heard or read everything in this book through Bittman's NPR interviews and NY Times editorials.
Jennifer
Not a book, but a Kindle single. Easy reading, and not much new that has not been said before. But it was good for another motivational boost for me in the kitchen. And it is always interesting to read American perspectives on the food industry, supermarkets, etc. since I am raising my children in Japan.
Amy
An ok essay on the positive effects for people and the planet of cooking real food at home. Long on the effects, but short on creation. Bittman seems to think that by creating the demand for quality home-cooked food, the supply will appear, overturning decades of big agri-business policies.
Barbara
I love this short book / long essay, especially the recipes at the end. Bittman has some funny and insightful ways to convey his points about cooking. And I definitely agree about the importance of the family dinner - around a table with plates - not in the car!
Judie Holliday
I might have given this more stars if the recipes weren't so uninspiring. It's a short, sweet kick in the butt that worked even on me and I do a lot of cooking AND try to buy locally. The first direct result: homemade BBQ ribs for the next family meal.
Fayola
Quick, common sense book(let) about the benefits of cooking over eating out or processed junk. I liked learning that he has a small kitchen. I have a kitchenette -- one burner and a microwave -- so I appreciate his focus on simplicity.
Carlos Quijano
A boiled down version of "Food Matters," this book reads more like a manifesto than anything else. It's a bit preachy at times, but bittman makes some excellent points on how we should approach food and eating.
Shannon
I really enjoy Mark Bittman. He's down to earth and he's passionate without being impractical. This book is just what it says it is. A solid, well-presented argument for cooking our food more often than not.
Marty
I like Bittman's cookbooks. But his premise here is over broad and flawed. Also, once you establish your niche in the Punditburo you end up writing variations on the same theme, nothing else.
Jameson
A great essay on the movement to today's food paradox; why we should eat local; and what we can do get back on track. Bittman's no-nonsense writing style makes for a simple, matter-of-fact, read.
Lauren
A celebration of cooking and why it matters: Bittman succinctly discusses the health, economic, and societal benefits of cooking your own food. It's a great primer for someone new to food politics.
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MARK BITTMAN is one of the country's best-known and most widely respected food writers. His How to Cook Everything books, with one million copies in print, are a mainstay of the modern kitchen. Bittman writes for the Opinion section of New York Times on food policy and cooking, and is a columnist for the New York Times Magazine. His "The Minimalist" cooking show, based on his popular NYT column, ...more
More about Mark Bittman...
How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food How to Cook Everything Vegetarian Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good The Best Recipes in the World

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