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The Omnivore's Dilemma Audiobook

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of The Botany of Desire explores the ecology of eating to unveil why we consume what we consume in the 21st century.

"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 best-selling author Michael Pollan's brilliant and eye-opening exploration of these little-known but vitally important dimensions of eating in America.

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?"

©2006 Michael Pollan; (P)2006 Penguin Audio

What the Critics Say

  • National Book Critics Circle 2006 Award Finalist, Nonfiction

"Remarkably clearheaded book....A fascinating journey up and down the food chain." (Publishers Weekly)
"His supermeticulous reporting is the book's strength - you're not likely to get a better explanation of where your food comes from....In an uncommonly good year for American food writing, this is a book that stands out." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Completely charming." (Nora Ephron)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (4888 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amber Brookman San Francisco, CA United States 05-16-14
    Amber Brookman San Francisco, CA United States 05-16-14 Member Since 2012

    Amber

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love the book, can't stand the reader."
    Would you try another book from Michael Pollan and/or Scott Brick?

    YES!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Important information that everyone needs to understand.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader reads with a tone that is condescending and makes it sound elitist. He just emphasizes the wrong words to make it sound very preachy. It took me a while to realize it was not WHAT was being said but HOW it was said.


    Was The Omnivore's Dilemma worth the listening time?

    I am not finished yet but I will finish it due to the fact that I love Michael Pollan.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brittany 03-25-14
    Brittany 03-25-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "couldn't finish it"
    Would you try another book from Michael Pollan and/or Scott Brick?

    No. I had high hopes for the topic, but it ended up being more about corn and grass than I ever wanted to know.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Michael Pollan? Why or why not?

    No. I know this is a bit petty, but his voice was awful to listen to. So dull and drone-like, very boring.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    While I appreciate the immense amount of research that went into the book, it could've been MUCH shorter. The author kept repeating the same things over and over and added one to many useless anecdotes.


    What character would you cut from The Omnivore's Dilemma?

    N/a


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't even finish the book. And in the 24 years I've been reading, there's only one other book I've not finished due to boring story/bad writing (Eragon).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-20-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Please, not Scott Brick"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Great book, but the wrong narrator. Audible should really hire a different person to read the book, then let us all reload the title.


    What didn’t you like about Scott Brick’s performance?

    The narrator is perhaps we'll suited to a science-mystery TV show, but his delivery spoils the book for me.


    Was The Omnivore's Dilemma worth the listening time?

    I'm going to return it, based only on narration.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 03-08-14
    Diana 03-08-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not sure what to think"
    If you could sum up The Omnivore's Dilemma in three words, what would they be?

    What to eat?


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I am impress by the detail of his research and the comprehensiveness of his research. Good information about the different ways to obtain food. Well written so there isn't a clear bias as to which method of eating is better than another. He was able to present information without preaching.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    topic can be boring, but he seems to pull it off well.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    the amount of feces that the farm animals are surrounded in.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy Dorchester, MA, United States 11-28-13
    nancy Dorchester, MA, United States 11-28-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a great story! much more than just information"
    What did you love best about The Omnivore's Dilemma?

    it really was a good story - I looked forward to listening every day and was a little sad when it ended


    What other book might you compare The Omnivore's Dilemma to and why?

    have not read or listened to anything like this before - right after I finished this, I listened to "in defense of food" by the same author, which was more or less a continuation of this book, but it would not have been as good if I hadn't heard this one first.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I disagree with the other reviewers that say he is too dramatic - it is a dramatic story and his performance is very fitting


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no - it was a lot of information to take in, so it was perfect for me in 30-40 minute sections during my walk to and from work


    Any additional comments?

    I really loved it - one of the most interesting things i've ever listened to!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert W Ralph Overland Park, KS United States 11-14-13
    Robert W Ralph Overland Park, KS United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    1
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    Story
    "loved every aspect of this book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I found it to be well written by a highly informed author. Really interesting story about the process and history of food.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    it made me think about food production and inspired me to do more at my farm.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 10-07-13
    Linda 10-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    55
    8
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    0
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    "Scott Brick AAaaaargh"
    What did you like best about The Omnivore's Dilemma? What did you like least?

    I really, really want to listen to this book. But Scott Brick is driving me mad. His reading distracts from the substance of the book. I keep flashing back to his performances of many, many other books I have listened to. His talents are much more suited to a novel. Even then, I don't think I can listen to anything else by Scott Brick. I searched the other Michael Pollan books to find different narrators, but alas, Scott shows up over and over. A few are narrated by Michael himself, will have to listen to the previews, and hope for the best.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Scott Brick’s performances?

    No


    Did The Omnivore's Dilemma inspire you to do anything?

    Buy the book, because I can't stand to listen.


    Any additional comments?

    Michael Pollan, please release a version with your own narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric F. Omaha, NE 09-26-13
    Eric F. Omaha, NE 09-26-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrific!"
    What did you love best about The Omnivore's Dilemma?

    The story and detail of the book was as expected, if you liked In Defense of Food, you'll like this.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    The narrator was AWESOME. Really, he knocked it out of the park.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Kaplan New York 09-18-13
    Jonathan Kaplan New York 09-18-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too many words"
    What made the experience of listening to The Omnivore's Dilemma the most enjoyable?

    The book is divided into Three Parts following an Introduction:

    Introduction: OMG I have to read this thing!?
    Part I: Holy F! there is corn everywhere!
    Part II: Shut up! Just shut up already!
    Part III: A narcissist's narrative of Northern California.

    That being said, the book offers a compelling, complicated, thought provoking story, as much biography as anything else. No solutions, only problems, except per chance you are wealthy enough to keep company with a world class chef.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Cambridge, MA, United States 07-26-13
    Amazon Customer Cambridge, MA, United States 07-26-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Interesting story, but superficial analysis"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I wish that the author had more critically evaluated whether "organic" food is better for consumers and the environment and whether growing all food according to organic principles would be economically feasible. While citing a few (unconvincing) studies to suggest that organically grown fruits and vegetables have more nutrients than non-organically grown ones, he didn't critically examine the notion that organic farming is eco-friendly. Arguments can be made to the contrary, for example that organic farming requires more space per unit of output and that production of organic fertilizer is inefficient and unsustainable. (For a good presentation of this argument, listen to "Abundance" by Steven Kotler.) The author also seemed to accept at face value the claim that locally-sourced food has a lower carbon footprint and is better for the environment, which is not likely to be true in general (locally sourced bananas in Sweden, anyone?).


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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