For years, Michael Pollan has been explaining why the food we choose to eat is so bad for us. Finally, in his new book, Cooked, he demonstrates what people can do right. Cooked is made up of Pollan’s attempts to cook using four different methods: fire (whole barbecued pig), water (stewing and braising), air (fresh-baked bread), and earth (pickled vegetables and beer). It’s a cheerful, informative hike through the history of food, and rather than the anti-corn-syrup lecturing of his earlier books, Pollan instead teaches by example, making Cooked maybe his most successful book yet. (Benaroya Hall, 200 University St,, 8 pm, $24–$125)