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The Omnivore's Dilemma Audiobook

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

"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. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance.
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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 (4353 )
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4.4 (2013 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Rockford, IL, United States 07-08-12
    Amazon Customer Rockford, IL, United States 07-08-12 Member Since 2012

    A right leaning, open-minded, history science and international intrigue buff.

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    "Change the way you look at food"
    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph 06-29-12
    Joseph 06-29-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Morgan Tennesse 06-23-12
    W. Morgan Tennesse 06-23-12 Member Since 2005

    I favor history, non-fiction, lectures, and the occasional purely fictitious work. I also listen to many children's books with my family.

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    "You told me that... yeah... and that... I know!!!!"
    Would you try another book from Michael Pollan and/or Scott Brick?

    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.


    Would you recommend The Omnivore's Dilemma to your friends? Why or why not?

    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.


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

    He is consistent - his reading hasn't seemed variable to me.


    Could you see The Omnivore's Dilemma being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No, though I have seen at least two movies with Pollan and other notables from this book in them:FreshFood, Inc.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael meridian, ID, United States 06-18-12
    michael meridian, ID, United States 06-18-12
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    "Amazing Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Omnivore's Dilemma to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    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.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    Narrative tone


    If you could give The Omnivore's Dilemma a new subtitle, what would it be?

    How Big Business' greed is destroying our health.


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 06-14-12
    Diana 06-14-12 Member Since 2011

    The Faithful Traveler

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    "Great Content, Overly Dramatic Reader"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    stewart Elkhorn, WI, United States 05-14-12
    stewart Elkhorn, WI, United States 05-14-12 Member Since 2014
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    "So enlightening! Changed the way I eat forever."
    Where does The Omnivore's Dilemma rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    #1


    What did you like best about this story?

    The contrasting of two very different food supply chains and the symbiosis or lack thereof with other entities in the food chain.


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

    This was my first but have listened to another since. Thought it was equally well done.


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

    Definitely


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Customer 03-07-12
    A Customer 03-07-12

    A Customer

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    "Excellent narration for a first class topic"
    What made the experience of listening to The Omnivore's Dilemma the most enjoyable?

    The narrator, Scott Brick puts the right emphasis and pauses to make sentences alive!


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I have no idea but I keep going back to this over my other audio books.


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

    No character since it is a non-fiction.


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

    Why every animal in North America is fed corn and the devastating consequences.


    Any additional comments?

    Scott Brick is fast becoming my my most favorite narrator, dethroning George Guidall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Spokane, WA, United States 02-03-12
    Daniel Spokane, WA, United States 02-03-12

    Avid Listener

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    "Amalgation of science, history and philosophy"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julio 6321 Walnut Grove Street Frederick, CO 80516 01-16-12
    Julio 6321 Walnut Grove Street Frederick, CO 80516 01-16-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Conocemos de donde provienen nuestro alimentos?"

    Después de la lectura de este libro escrito en forma amena e interesante uno necesariamente se cuestiona una cantidad de cosas acerca de nuestra comida de todos los días.
    Si bien yo soy un medico oftalmólogo, debo confesar que encontré una información sobre la forma de producir alimentos que me dejó pensativo durante un largo tiempo.
    Este libro es recomendable para toda persona que se interese acerca de lo saludable de su forma de alimentarse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. W. 12-16-11
    G. W. 12-16-11
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    "Wonderfully written and very insightful!"

    I just loved every moment of this book. It is read well in this audio version, and Michael Pollan is a descriptive, intelligent writer. He incorporates little jokes and makes his own vices and mistakes a delightful part of the story here.

    I appreciate what Pollan did to make this about the practical aspects of what and how we eat now, as much as the moral and historical ones.

    A MUST-read for anyone curious about how our food system became how it is today, and the questions we should be asking ourselves when we choose what to eat and "vote with our dollars" by purchasing different foods.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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