TV Review: Netflix’s Cooked bites off more than it can chew

Food is the key issue of the modern world, intricately connected to health, the environment, and poverty. It is also—according to Netflix’s four-part documentary series Cooked, based on the book by Michael Pollan, who hosts—the story of humanity itself. Everything from the formation of communities to the very path of evolution is directly related to what we put in our bodies—often, the show argues, without much thought.

This is a huge topic, and in trying to cover it all, Cooked comes off as both overstuffed and underdeveloped. The episodes take aim at a lot, with each featuring an anthropological look at an element of food, a modern take, a poetic interlude in a traditional community abroad, some detail about the chemistry of cooking, and a political section about a food issue. Each of those could support a far more in-depth look; Cooked would breathe better with …

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