The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's Dilemma

A Natural History of Four Meals

Book - 2006
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"What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't-which mushrooms should be avoided, for example, and which berries we can enjoy. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance. The cornucopia of the modern American supermarket and fast-food outlet has thrown us back on a bewildering landscape where we once again have to worry about which of those tasty-looking morsels might kill us. At the same time we're realizing that our food choices also have profound implications for the health of our environment. The Omnivore's Dilemma is bestselling author Michael Pollan's brilliant and eye-opening exploration of these little-known but vitally important dimensions of eating in America.



Pollan has divided The Omnivore's Dilemma into three parts, one for each of the food chains that sustain us: industrialized food, alternative or "organic" food, and food people obtain by dint of their own hunting, gathering, or gardening. Pollan follows each food chain literally from the ground up to the table, emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the species we depend on. He concludes each section by sitting down to a meal--at McDonald's, at home with his family sharing a dinner from Whole Foods, and in a revolutionary "beyond organic" farm in Virginia. For each meal he traces the provenance of everything consumed, revealing the hidden components we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods reflects our environmental and biological inheritance.



We are indeed what we eat-and what we eat remakes the world. A society of voracious and increasingly confused omnivores, we are just beginning to recognize the profound consequences of the simplest everyday food choices, both for ourselves and for the natural world. The Omnivore's Dilemma is a long-overdue book and one that will become known for bringing a completely fresh perspective to a question as ordinary and yet momentous as What shall we have for dinner?
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, c2006
ISBN: 9781594200823
1594200823
Branch Call Number: 394.12 POL
Characteristics: 450 p. ; 24 cm

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l
LizSJ57
Feb 09, 2015

Loved this book. Great for expanding our critical thinking and provides lots of "food" for thought.

r
Ron
Feb 06, 2015

excelent

i
ilovesfpl8392
Jan 07, 2015

A great book about food and the choices we make

s
sharon711
Jan 03, 2015

Pollan gives us a massive amount of info about where our food comes from and how our food production systems sustain themselves (or not...).

His writing is entertaining, anecdotal, and matter-of-factual, rather than alarmist or dooms-dayish. Pollan's "Omnivore's Dilemma" is a must read for anyone pondering about what makes an ethical food choice for good health - both for the good of our own bodies and that of planet Earth.

It's not till towards the end that Pollan turns seriously to the subject posed in his title... the omnivore's dilemma. The book really gets to the heart of things at this point. His thoughts on animal cruelty, especially, shed a lot of light on this highly fraught subject.

All in all, I thought this an excellent nonfiction book with plenty of food for thought. But then, I'm a foodie...

l
lonnylu
Sep 06, 2012

This book gives great insight into the food system in the US. It is so easy to read and it never seems like the author is preaching to you about what you should or should not eat - just giving you the facts and his opinion.

m
meldaravaniel
Aug 24, 2012

The facts in this book frighten me, but I think it's a good fear. I've certainly become far more conscious about what I eat and where it comes from. I appreciate that Pollan says he isn't perfect, either, but this is the way our food system is. It makes it feel less like preaching and more like an honest layout.

l
Lauren31
Apr 08, 2012

Excellent, easy-to-read book on the state of the North American food system, the disengagement of most from how food winds up on our plates, and encouragement on how it is possible to eat healthfully and ethically! I really enjoyed this book, and found the dissection of the industrial and organic food systems quite interesting. Also, as a vegetarian, I found the discussion of moral conflicts on eating animals, whether farmed or wild very relevant. Highly recommend this book.

fastace911 Jan 28, 2012

Great insight into the food industry from the beginning to the end of the food chain. It's amazing that the author Micheal Pollan personally experienced every moment of the book. He provided great history (sometimes overly elaborate), but interesting nonetheless. Shocking revelations about the meat industry and the business of organics.

k
Kiirsti
Aug 04, 2011

Definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone! This book has made me see food in an entirely different light. I learned a lot and changed my diet quite a bit after reading this book. If you're looking for a good non-fiction read, this is it. Brilliantly written :)

RenGrrl May 02, 2011

Fascinating read. A very interesting and different perspective on food. He's a little hard on vegetarians though.

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