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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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  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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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.

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Do yourself a favor and download this book!

Wow! One of the best books I've ever encountered. Totally reshaped the way I eat in a good way.

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could not even finish it.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The listening experience was fine, it was the book content that was lacking.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something not pure propaganda.

How could the performance have been better?

Reader's performance was fine, again it was the book content which was lacking.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not particularly.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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sounded great.

relative and important information on the cycle of pure food systems. support local products to gain control of our food systems.

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love the first 2/3 of it

the first 2 thirds of it were great and interesting, but then author goes into a tale of hunting and gathering that doesnt fit in the original narrative of food practices. i couldn't care less abiut his dinner with friends, it would've been better to end it before the hunting trip stories.

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Excellent!

I have long been a fan of Michael Pollan's work. He is an evocative and funny read. I felt that the narrator, Scott Brick, presented his fanciful, stylistic flourishes well (contrary to what other commenters have said). If you are interested in the ethics of food, this is a great teaser. He bridges the gap from personal experience to big picture. I wouldn't call this the seminal text on environmental/ethical eating, but I think it's an excellent introductory work.

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In-depth and entertaining as well as educational.

A sensible layout of material, easy to follow and interesting to listen to. Never once did I find myself bored, fast forwarding through information, or daydreaming.
This is the kind of information that I would like to share with my children, I know they would not sit through the entire discourse, but when they're in the car riding along with me I like to play these types of informative pieces of material for them. I'm surprised at how much interest my nine-year-old and seven-year-old take in where their food comes from and the way animals and Earth play into that.

Unfortunately, there was a few, very few, instances of adult language. Therefore, I did not feel comfortable letting her play on in the vehicle without first listening through its passage myself

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Awesome

Well wriiten -appears to be well researched -nice that he didnt get accusatory about vegetarianism or encourage likewise. Very interesting findings presented in an educated voice. Glad i read this book. It came after i had already decided not to purchase my meats from the grocery store -but even this book recognizes that i can only do that as long as i can afford to do it. Overall a great book -that i look forward to sharing with my friends

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Everyone: Be Scared About Corn

What disappointed you about The Omnivore's Dilemma?

While it is interesting to follow the history of corn's unlikely rise to world domination, this book is just one big misdirected hit piece. I haven't even made it to the end, and honestly I'm not going to. This is just some kind of hippy ammunition...because, you know, evil corporations and stuff.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Nothing by this person...ever

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

Corn

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Historical Timelines

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Will change the way you think about food

Any additional comments?

A fantastic book with a great ending. As someone who has experimented with many different diets and looked into where our food came from, this reignited my motivation to eat "cleaner" and have a greater awareness to what I'm serving for supper. I learned so much from this book, and thoroughly enjoyed it.