"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
"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)
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.
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?).
I've heard a lot of good things about this book, and when I listened to it, I now know why. Michael Pollan takes you on a beautifully written journey through the world of what we eat, and more importantly, what we eat eats!
The book is informative, and funny and disgusting at times, but you come away with a completely different view of the world of food. Thanks to the Omnivore's Dilemma, I can now make much better decisions about what I eat. Thank you Mr. Pollan.
Absolutely! And I am buying a hard copy to highlight for references.
Wonderful organization of ideas. No agenda, no diet to sell. Just a call to reconnect with our food sources and our natural world. Fantastic book.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
The Omnivore's dilemma follows the author's journey through the food chain from the farms that feed the livestock that is processed to feed us. It then goes on to explain what organic food really means, and what it takes to be a smarter eater.
In his quest for the "perfect meal", he goes everywhere from industrial farms to hunter gatherer trips to local ranches. What he learns along the way is eye opening.
No---a VERY long but also interesting journey. If it were a fictional story, that would have been fine, but as a more nonfictional educational story, VERY long
Absolutely, and I have
This book is the first I've listed to that that immediately changed my behaviour, thinking and approach to a necessary daily activity that I had always assumed was based on human nature and good intentions.
It provided insights to a series of industries that I had never seriously considered during the first 35 years of my life, that both shocked and amazed me into taking action in my own life.
The author's dialogue and rational when addressing his internal cultural conflict with completing a series of distasteful but necessary milestones necessary to achieve his objective of providing a full meal to his family and friends without depending on an industrial solution.
The FDA determination criteria for the use of "organic" and its myriad and extensive misuse in the process marketing products that are neither organic or sustainably produced.
This book is a rather in depth version of corn. Although I never made it through the whole book, due to being bored of learning about corn, I just found it boring.
One of the best. Literally life changing.
The information and presentation of information.
Customers going to outdoor slaughterhouse to watch food being slaughtered.
The model for mobile farming.
Not necessarily. I like listening to books I have not yet heard.
The research that went into the book
He did an excellent job giving the reader the interesting background about what really goes into our food
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