Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Omnivores Dilemma

The Omnivores Dilemma:
The Secrets Behind What You Eat
Young Readers Edition
By Michael Pollan
Published by Dial Books
Copyright ©2009

Where does your food come from? Does it taste good as it should? Is it good for you? These are just some of the questions that Michael Pollan asks, questions that we should be asking too.

In search of the answer to these questions Michael decides to follow his food from beginning to end. He wants to know where his food is grown, what does his food eat, how is his food treated, in the case of animals how did it become food, and how does my food affect the environment?

This book pinpoints 4 distinct food chains that we all eat from: The industrial meal, the industrial organic meal, the local sustainable meal, and the do-it-yourself meal. The industrial meal is our widespread, corn fed, fast food system. The industrial organic is the growing number of formerly idealistic farms that sold out to large corporations (the food is still organic, but it is now being produced with industrial efficiency). The local sustainable meal is built on buying our foods from local environmentally conscious farms. And finally the do-it-yourself is built on extremely local products that are hunted/gathered/grown all by ourselves.

In examining these 4 eating options the Omnivore’s Dilemma aims to make us think critically about what we eat. We think of eating as such an inconsequential matter, when really it affects our current and future health, and it affects the health of our planet. It also will make you question the efficacy of eating meat. I think you will be quite surprised by the author’s choice and the sound reasoning behind his choice.

In the end the author is really encouraging you to make the best food situations you can given the circumstances that you live under. So maybe you are financially strapped and can’t afford to buy organic food, but you can make wiser choices at the supermarket such as buying less processed whole foods and learning to cook your meals from scratch rather than buy overly processed prepared goods that can be microwaved. This is a thought provoking book that I think all people should read cover to cover.

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