Cooked, a four-part documentary on Netflix based on Michael Pollan's book, made me think cooking could be a means to defend my humanity against the endless tide of industrialized consumerism. Exploring ways to transform food through four "elements" - fire, water, air, and earth, made cooking seem a more fundamental part of being human than I had ever realized. The microbes in fermentation were especially intriguing. Fermented foods are often an acquired taste, and as such, can be culturally defining. Now I am wondering if becoming a better cook could make me a better person, or at least more tasteful.