"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)
An excellent book about some of the important things we take for granted...presented with some intriguing philosophical questions. What Pollan describes about the food industry has to be said but makes you feel a bit ashamed of being a modern human!
I had picked this up having heard Pollan speak last year. I thought he was a good speaker but he is definitely a great writer. This book will probably be compared to Fast Food Nation frequently but I think this is a better book in every regard. It is beautifully written and in the manner of an investigative reporter as opposed to someone who is looking to confirm his views.
Pollan may take sides but only after describing the pros and cons of different types of farming, etc. Whereas Fast Food Nation leaves you feeling gross, this book leaves you more educated and allows you to decide where to go next.
Audio: The narrator was wonderful and made for a pleasant listen. There were a couple hiccups in the digital recording which were annoying but only happenned a couple times losing less than a sentence.
Michael Pollen has asked and documented questions that I believe most Americans ask themselves every day "What should I eat."
He takes us through more than one food chain, and how each one not only affects the land that is used, but how it affects us, the consumers.
Its great to listen to writer who has documented this issue though his own personal experience. Pollan is not preaching nor is he telling his readers what they should eat; instead, Pollan allows the readers to make their own decisions about the food that's on their plate.
Scott Brick was also the perfect narrator for this book; his voice has really brought the book to life. Anyone who is interested in the food that goes on our plate really should purchase and listen to this book.
If you have any interest in the status of that which we call "food" in our modern day society, then this is the audio book for you. Take with a grain of salt the naysayers who kvetch about the "bore factor" or the "terrible narration" of this piece... It's a work of scientific non-fiction, for goodness sake!! Of course it is chock full of research and detailed information, but written in such a way as to be wholly engaging, fascinating and relevant right now. (If you are bored when confronted with fact-filled research, then consider fiction as, perhaps, a better suited medium) The narration is wonderful!! After reading some of the other reviews, I worried that the narrator may prove unpalatable, but I didn't find that to be the case at all. I listen to a *lot* of audio-books, and found Mr. Brick's representation of Michael Pollen's work to be perfectly lovely. He weaves a vibrancy into what might be a bit overwhelming at times into a tasteful and easy to listen to body. If you live in the U.S. and you are a consumer who purchases food in this country, you must read this book!
Excellent, excellent book. Well-researched content, riveting to listen to ... and it definitely has made me change my food habits, from what I choose and where I buy it. The first two main sections were most interesting to me - the story of the pervasiveness of corn and corn-derived products in the American diet (along with the reasons behind it), and also the unravelling of the organic movement. Whether you eat hamburgers and Twinkies, or are a raw-food gourmet, this book provides profound information about what shapes our eating habits. Required reading for anyone who eats!
First, as the reviewer who actually heard author Pollan speak live notes, I agree that Scott Brick's reading of this book is *outstanding*--Brick has the talent of reading long sentences--many of which might be arcane or esoteric if simply read om page, and emphasize the important phrases--like reader Grover Gardner, the reading is brilliant.
I inhererited my Uncle Larry's book addiction---so I've read all that are on the list now (6 May 2006)--and the list is as streong as ever. This is a shockingly fantastic book.
The presentation is: Obective, Socially responsible, Overwhelmingly well-researched with proof in detail.
One reviewer wrote that Scott's delivery was "snobby" and "overread." So it is not for everyone, I know. This material is fact intensive, politically charged, and impeccably researched-the Sample is indicative of this long book--I listened and I thought: "Audible's first instant *classic*"---especially when you consider the price of the book-- If you are interested in this type of material: anthropology, politics, human nature, I could not recommend this more highly.
Avoid the black and white depiction of industrial versus local agriculture, selfish them versus righteous us. I am interested in learning about the subject without the tendentious tone.
"The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent. Each of them tacitly claims that ‘the truth’ has already been revealed, and that the heretic, if he is not simply a fool, is secretly aware of ‘the truth’ and merely resists it out of selfish motives." Orwell
Loved learning about how much corn is in everything and polyface farms. I have a small garden and compost pile and the book
makes me want to expand. Didn't care for the chapter about the ethics of eating animals. These animals give their life's to sustain humans. I would prefer eating Porky that was raised organically and friendly, but bacon is bacon.
The performance sounded a bit like a computer, but the story was so intriguing it keeps you interested the whole way.
How informative it was.
Michael Pollan is brilliant. Listening is more convenient for me plus I enjoy the aspect of live theater over my headphones~~ if you have a good reader. Scott Brick does a fine job. Watch Michael Pollan speaking on a YouTube clip and you will immediately understand that this man is exceptional. He courageously takes on the journey of our food in the form of the history of wheat to, and I could NOT do this- engaging himself thru the entire process of getting that chicken on your plate: the whole disgusting process. His writing saves us all and it is WELL worth the journey. I will listen to his other books. I trust his integrity in his choice of expression- no matter what. If he can question, interview and wade in it, I most certainly have the heart to be enlightened by his process. Thanks, Michael Pollan!
Mr Pollan's research is stunning. His expression of his findings is poetic no matter what the subject being covered. I, frankly, was not sure that I could actually make it from jacket cover to epilogue as I knew some of what was going to covered. This book was only brilliant.
Joel Salatin is a mid-western farmer. Michael Pollan included Mr Salatin's WHOLE agricultural process in a way that was engaging. Sustainability is a possibility. Proven here.
It is a great challenge to have the courage to look at the history of what is on our dinner plate or breakfast menu. We are so disconnected from the process of what we eat and where it comes from that it confronting the actual subject of Holistic Nutrition seems very daunting. We are disconnected from the awareness that there are more neurons in our brain than stars in the universe and the miracle that we are as physical bodies is a REAL MIRACLE. Let this book assist you by being an extraordinary 'listen' as an invitation to feel your heartbeat and breath!
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