The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

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Great, great book. I didn’t really mean to read this — but I was at Logan a couple of weeks ago with nothing to read (a very strange happenstance for me), and this was the best thing I could find to read at the bookstore there. I’m really happy I picked it up — fantastic look at why Americans eat the way we do, how food gets to us, and some of the implications of living the way that we do. 3 sections: (1) the industrial food chain, (2) organic (both industrial organic and local organic), and (3) hunting & gathering.

The book is full of little tidbits that I didn’t really know — things like how “super-sizing” came to exist, that we didn’t have high fructose corn syrup until 1980, and how morels appear in forests following fires as a crisis defense mechanism.

But also full of major themes like why corn completely, totally dominates our food chain (and it does in ways that are much more pervasive than I really thought). And the ethics of meat eating. (For the author, he ultimately decided he thinks there’s nothing particularly wrong with the philosophy of eating meet, but there’s much wrong with the practice of how we do it today.

Anyway, lots and lots of great insights here and things to think about — has already affected the way that I notice the world around me. And has made me a little ill every time I think of all the corn I’m eating now. (It’s everywhere!)

12 Replies to “The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan”

  1. I loved that book. One little geeky think I loved in it was the fact that you can tell based on the amount of a certain type of carbon in your body what percentage of you is “made of corn.” Mind blowing, really. With all the cheeseburgers and chips I’ve eaten in my life I’m sure I’m more than half corn at this point.Corn has done a great job of domesticating us.

  2. I loved that book. One little geeky think I loved in it was the fact that you can tell based on the amount of a certain type of carbon in your body what percentage of you is “made of corn.” Mind blowing, really. With all the cheeseburgers and chips I’ve eaten in my life I’m sure I’m more than half corn at this point.

    Corn has done a great job of domesticating us.

  3. From a health standpoint, I generally feel better about eat corn products (like corn tortillas) rather than white flour products (flour tortillas), because the corn stuff is often a whole food, whereas white flour is essentially sugar, having been stripped of the bran.Obv corn syrup is a separate nightmare.

  4. From a health standpoint, I generally feel better about eat corn products (like corn tortillas) rather than white flour products (flour tortillas), because the corn stuff is often a whole food, whereas white flour is essentially sugar, having been stripped of the bran.

    Obv corn syrup is a separate nightmare.

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