Omnivore’s Dilemma-A Book Review
Easily documented by the rise in obesity and Type II Diabetes, we, as a nation, have an eating disorder.
Where to buy– The Book Garden
My Rating– 4 0f 5 Stars★★★★
Publisher: Penguin (August 28, 2007)
Bio-Michael Pollan is the author of five books: Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, which received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best nonfiction work of 2001 and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon, and the national bestsellers, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food. A longtime contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Pollan is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. His writing on food and agriculture has won numerous awards, including the Reuters/World Conservation Union Global Award in Environmental Journalism, the James Beard Award, and the Genesis Award from the American Humane Association
Omnivore’s Dilemma – If you aren’t ready yet to question or open your mind to your views on food, or are afraid of what you might learn, then you really need to avoid this book. Easily documented by the rise in obesity and type II diabetes, we, as a nation, have an eating disorder. To explain this disorder Pollan dissects the food or, rather, the components of what we eat in four different meals and investigates their relationship to our health and to business interests.
He starts with a McDonald’s lunch which, he admits, he served to his family as they sat in the car. Why start here? To show everyone what a cornfield in the Midwest can do. Corn feeds the steer that turns into the burgers, becomes the oil that cooks the fries and the syrup that sweetens the shakes and the sodas, and makes up over 30% of the different ingredients that make up a Chicken McNugget.
Pollan expands the observations to include the changing landscape of the farm as agribusiness takes hold and how this has had an effect on the very organic makeup of the plants grown therein. Corn itself is a prime example of these changes and now corn or it’s byproducts are occupying a space in over 25% of food items found in most grocery stores.
Pollan crosses the country taking the reader from the Midwest to an “organic” California chicken farm to Vermont, and then South ending up in the Shenandoah Valley. Everywhere he asks basic questions about the moral and ecological consequences of our food chain, what we eat, how it is grown, prepared, packaged and consumed.
If you, like me, want to know about the moral and ecological consequences of our food chain, what we eat, how it is grown, prepared, packaged and consumed, then this book is for you! Critics agree it’s a wake-up call and, written in clear, informative prose, very entertaining and informative.
Omnivore’s Dilemma is a fascinating journey which examines our food chain, one that might change the way you read the label on a frozen dinner, dig into a pork chop or decide whether to buy organic corn or eggs. You’ll certainly never look at a chicken mcnugget or burrito the same way again. Pollan comes to us not as an activist but as a naturalist. “The way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world.” All food, he points out, originates from the plant kingdom or animals and fungi.
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To your reading enjoyment,