The first half of the book affected me like nothing I've read in a long time. But once he's done painting a vivd picture of how broke the system is, he starts down this inane path about hunting and gathering and trying to cook some special meals. It's self-indulgent and uninteresting beyond words. But the first half was SO GOOD. It's still worth it to me.
MOST: Investigation into the realities of where our food comes from. LEAST: His personal quest to build meals in the second half.
Polyface Farms. Such a brilliant model.
It was long. And the second half seemed interminable.
It was worth it.
What surprises me again and again with Pollan is how his books have overlap without ever feeling redundant. I never feel he is covering the same ground or just trying to keep up a formula to break the bank. Of all his books- and I've read them all- as a foodie and a non-fiction buff, this is probably my favorite, and I think the most rewarding, for me. My highlight was Polyface Farm. I loved hearing about all the innovations. It is my pipe dream that we could all go back to farming a little, and has been in part ever since I was a kid with the trained nostalgia one gets from James Herriott, and this is the kind of farming that should be done in a perfect world. However, I lack the money to buy the land, and the world is completely against animals being animals or being able to walk about, and most farmers are, sorry to sound judgemental, probably about as lazy as all Americans nowadays and don't want to do this kind of innovative and creative work.
The chapter on hunting was also very good, though the end felt like the weak link to me. Gets a little sappy I guess. Scott Brick is sometimes the scourge of my life because he reads every book the same and enunciates so perfectly, and I have trouble hearing him as various authors and not always Scott Brick, celebrity master reader. He is great, but he's always Scott Brick, you know. Its the way I feel about say, Tom Cruise. Who is always Tom Cruise in every movie, doing Tom Cruisey things, and acting parts well, in a "hey, let's not forget the people are here for Tom Cruise and I'm Tom Cruise" winking sort of way. But in this book I loved his narration and he did not take over in my opinion. Maybe I just had not heard him narrate in long enough that I could forget him from many other parts.
A right leaning, open-minded, history science and international intrigue buff.
This book gave me a near complete view of where our food comes from. I've heard many of the stories - tidbits here and there about hormones in our meat and antibiotics in our milk - but this book filled in all those gaps and then some.
There's no one "tidbit" to get from this book. It's loaded with interesting info about our foods. From corn-based everything, to self sustaining farms, to the mysteries behind mushrooms this book covers it all.
Being the judicious person I am I'd like to read something from a counterpoint and I intend to do that. I would say that Pollan was very evenhanded in this book. I'm quite sure that he is something near an evolutionary atheist, but he treated those of differing views with complete equality. The Christian farmer was not portrayed as an closed-minded buffoon as most east coast based journalists would do. Pollan even defended this farmer against one of his elitist colleagues. I give him credit for this.
This book is meant to be about food, the history of food sources and how it becomes our food. I understand that there must be some talk about the purpose and function of various organs or components of all the species involves. Pollan spends much time describing the evolution based development of these organisms. I don't mind this, but if he is going to devote so much ink to this belief I'd like to see him be just as judicious with this subject as he was with all the others. Maybe some ruminating about the implications of intelligent design along some about evolution.
I very much enjoyed this book. It was educational, informative and entertaining. I especially enjoyed the part on Polly Face Farm the best. It has caused me to reevaluate my eating habits. my only complaint is that the book ended on a bad note. The last section was very boring and hard to get through, but I would still listen to this book again. Great listen overall.
I favor history, non-fiction, lectures, and the occasional purely fictitious work. I also listen to many children's books with my family.
Scott Brick is consistently good - I've never felt he was great, but this is definitely the kind of book I think he excels at. I'd have to see what Pollan is writing about as I found this book a bit overly repetitive.
I actually agree with the message the book presents. I think the book is well researched and interesting, but the book *beats you over the head* with the information! I felt like I the book started to drag because of the slow pace of new information. If the book was abridged wisely I think it'd be a better listen. I hate to say this as I normally abhor abridgement.Anyway I do believe people should know where their food comes from and how absolutely screwed up the system has become and how unhealthy we are becoming due to the problems of industrial farming. The government is not helping us by propping up the system and lying to us about nutrition either.
He is consistent - his reading hasn't seemed variable to me.
No, though I have seen at least two movies with Pollan and other notables from this book in them:FreshFood, Inc.
I agree with most to nearly all of what this book promotes/decries. I think knowing how screwed up our food system and farming has become is important. I just wish this book was less repetitive!
It's hard to say as I didn't look at or read the book. The book was great however and I listened to it while I was in my vehicle etc.
How food has become a commodity and how everything is industrialized. We are now raised to believe food should be cheap and easy to obtain which is not the case. The food we are eating now is clearly unhealthy as evidenced by our growing obesity epidemic and deaths from heart disease etc.
How Big Business' greed is destroying our health.
The Faithful Traveler
I agree with everyone else. This reader needs to chill out a bit. This isn't melodrama.
The content is absolute aces, though. Very helpful info, excellently researched and written.
The contrasting of two very different food supply chains and the symbiosis or lack thereof with other entities in the food chain.
This was my first but have listened to another since. Thought it was equally well done.
The narrator, Scott Brick puts the right emphasis and pauses to make sentences alive!
I have no idea but I keep going back to this over my other audio books.
No character since it is a non-fiction.
Why every animal in North America is fed corn and the devastating consequences.
Scott Brick is fast becoming my my most favorite narrator, dethroning George Guidall.
Author traced the origins of the four topical meals he ate: at MacDonald's, groceries from a Whole Foods store, products from an poly-phase organic farm and foods he hunt and gathered personally. The author seamlessly amalgamates science, history and philosophy into a classic that just may change how I eat.