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Author Topic: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan  (Read 6607 times)

Offline Marlina E

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The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
« on: September 08, 2006, 09:34:45 AM »
The relatively new book, The Omnivore's Dilemma, is a great read as far as I can tell from the Introduction and Chapter One which are available as a free PDF download at the following link:

Now that I have had a chance to sample this excellent book, it is on my list for immediate purchase!  Michael Pollan really engages us in a discussion about exactly where our food comes from.

From the website:  "What should we have for dinner? The question has confronted us since man discovered fire, but according to Michael Pollan, the bestselling author of The Botany of Desire, how we answer it today, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, may well determine our very survival as a species.   Should we eat a fast-food hamburger?  Something organic?  Or perhaps something we hunt, gather, or grow ourselves? The omnivore’s dilemma has returned with a vengeance, as the cornucopia of the modern American supermarket and fast-food outlet confronts us with a bewildering and treacherous food landscape. What’s at stake in our eating choices is not only our own and our children’s health, but the health of the environment that sustains life on earth.

In this groundbreaking book, one of America’s most fascinating, original, and elegant writers turns his own omnivorous mind to the seemingly straightforward question of what we should have for dinner. To find out, Pollan follows each of the food chains that sustain us—industrial food, organic or alternative food, and food we forage ourselves—from the source to a final meal, and in the process develops a definitive account of the American way of eating.  His absorbing narrative takes us from Iowa cornfields to food-science laboratories, from feedlots and fast-food restaurants to organic farms and hunting grounds, always emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the handful of plant and animal species we depend on.  Each time Pollan sits down to a meal, he deploys his unique blend of personal and investigative journalism to trace the origins of everything consumed, revealing what we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods and flavors reflects our evolutionary inheritance. 

The surprising answers Pollan offers to the simple question posed by this book have profound political, economic, psychological, and even moral implications for all of us. Beautifully written and thrillingly argued, The Omnivore’s Dilemma promises to change the way we think about the politics and pleasure of eating.  For anyone who reads it, dinner will never again look, or taste, quite the same."

Michael Pollan really caught my attention when I read his previous book, The Botany of Desire, which describes the unique relationships that featured plants have developed with humans.  I highly recommend that one as well!

BA Environmental Studies UCSB
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Offline Stefanie Bollini

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Re: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2006, 03:58:34 PM »
I am in the middle of reading this book right now and it is very interesting.  I especially appreciate Michael Pollan's ability to expose all perspectives surrounding this complex topic about our food sources.

He will be speaking at the SF public library in November, check out his website for details...I am going to try and make it there.

Thanks Marlina for the web address!