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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

Critic Reviews

  • 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 Ratings

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Amazing and thought provoking.

I have yet to pickup a Pollan book that I have not enjoyed. Thank you Mr Pollan.

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Read it for a class. Was not disappointed

This book was enlightening and it was a great read. I enjoyed listening to this book in the car as I drove and I loved that it was so descriptive. I recommend reading it.

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  • Ex
  • 02-09-16

annoyingly read

while the prose are fine And it is thorough in its reporting, the subject matter paired with such a holier-than-thou affectation rendered the message moot.

I would rather exist solely on McDonalds food for the rest of my life than be condescended to for 15 hours.

should have picked this one up in paperback. hopefully you will.

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  • Tina
  • Nibley, UT, United States
  • 02-08-16

So much to think about

Michael Pollan writes a very well researched book on how our choices when eating impact our local and global world. I think I will ask of myself much more because I have read this book. Worthwhile.

My complaints about this book are editing and narrator. While I think this book is good I think it could have been more heavily edited. Maybe as much as a third could have been left on the cutting room floor.

Narration requires an understanding of the topic AND the willingness to research correct pronunciation. The correct plural of beef is beef. The correct pronunciation of carrageenan is ghee or gi (martial arts uniform, not G as in Leave it to Beaver 'Ah, gee, Wally.'

Not sure I will listen again but if I do I will consider 1.25 or 1.5 speed.

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Content good, narrator irritating

Learned ALOT from this book! Sometimes the author is overly verbose and I feel the book could have been reduced a couple of hours if conciseness had been more of a focus. But, overall, very thorough and insightful look into the great national American food disorder, as the author calls it.
The narrators voice, however, is incredibly irritating. I wish Michael had read it aloud himself. The narrator for this book has a preachy tone, and pompous accent. And at times an almost condescending, aggressive tone when not even discussing something around which there might be a cause for aggression.
Read the book rather than the audible!

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Want to change the way I nourish myself

What did you love best about The Omnivore's Dilemma?

The way Michael Pollan can tell a story completely engaged me. I will never look at food, especially corn, the same way. The stories made me pause and hesitate before selecting food and I have already changed the way I source my food and what that food is.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

I thought the narration keep me interested in the story. I will do some of my own investigation about where my food comes from

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

He kept me listening to things that I really did not want to know about. I can no longer go to the supermarket with blinders on

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

The industrial complex that the meat supply comes from.

Any additional comments?

Michael Pollan weaves an interesting story about how food is produced in this country. I was moved to change my food sourcing.

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Creates new appreciation ❤️

Starts off slow, yet, this book is immensely important to bring us back to having a connection between something as intimate as what we put in our bodies on a daily basis and to the beauty of nature 🍃🌹
I recommend everyone have a chance to read or listen to this thought out book.

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a gift to our generation

That moment when you read the last line of a book and knowyouwil read it again. Not an easy read but a delightful and essential one. Thank you, Michael P!

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A must read!

America must wake up to our demise and wake up you will if you dare to read the truth with an open mind.

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excellent listening

some people have complained about the narrator... speed it up and he sounds great, highly enjoyable voice.

I enjoyed the content so much that I purchased the version of the book geared towards young adults, hoping to teach kids about more conscious eating vs unconscious shoveling of food type products into their mouths. it's still a work in progress.