The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals

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The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals

by Michael Pollan

Penguin Books | August 28, 2007 | Trade Paperback

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals is rated 4.4444 out of 5 by 9.
One of the New York Times Book Review''s Ten Best Books of the Year

Winner of the James Beard Award

Author of #1 New York Times Bestsellers In Defense of Food and Food Rules


Today, buffeted by one food fad after another, America is suffering from what can only be described as a national eating disorder. Will it be fast food tonight, or something organic? Or perhaps something we grew ourselves? The question of what to have for dinner has confronted us since man discovered fire. But as Michael Pollan explains in this revolutionary book, how we answer it now, as the dawn of the twenty-first century, may determine our survival as a species. Packed with profound surprises, The Omnivore''s Dilemma is changing the way Americans thing about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.

"Thoughtful, engrossing ... You''re not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from."
-The New York Times Book Review

"An eater''s manifesto ... [Pollan''s] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner!"
-The Washington Post

"Outstanding... a wide-ranging invitation to think through the moral ramifications of our eating habits."
--The New Yorker

"If you ever thought ''what''s for dinner'' was a simple question, you''ll change your mind after reading Pollan''s searing indictment of today''s food industry-and his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives.... I just loved this book so much I didn''t want it to end."
-The Seattle Times


Michael Pollan’s newest book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation--the story of our most trusted food expert’s culinary education--was published by The Penguin Press in April 2013.

 

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 8.58 × 5.6 × 1.02 in

Published: August 28, 2007

Publisher: Penguin Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143038583

ISBN - 13: 9780143038580

Found in: Health and Well Being

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life changing! I highly recommend reading this book. That and watching Food, Inc. This was a life changing book for me. I used to be a fast food addict and could care less where my food came from or how nutritious it was. This book was eye-opening and makes you want to know more. I definitely recommend it to everyone. I wish that all this stuff about food wasn't a mystery so get this book and get informed!
Date published: 2012-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great storytelling! The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a fascinating story about where our food comes from, and it’s not an overstatement to say that it changed my life. It sounds like it could be an incredibly boring read – Michael Pollan talks about the modern food production industry by following the path of four different meals, from farm to plate. However, it’s anything but boring – I couldn’t put this book down, and I recommend it to anyone who is curious about what they’re eating. Even though this is a non-fiction book that is full of facts and figures, it still manages to be a really interesting read because Michael Pollan is such a great storyteller. When he is telling the reader about where a McDonald’s meal comes from, he visits an industrial feedlot and describes the disgusting and disturbing sights and smells of where cows are fattened up before slaughter. When he decides to find out what it’s like to produce your own food, he describes a hunt for a wild boar that is both funny and frightening. He describes in great detail shooting the boar, bleeding it, and butchering it, and then describes the meal where he serves boar prosciutto to a group of friends. The Omnivore’s Dilemma, at its centre, is just a really good story that kept me turning pages late into the night; an unusual way to describe a non-fiction book about the food industry. More importantly, Pollan’s book changed how I understand the food on my plate, and changed how I eat. I was a vegetarian for sixteen years because of my disgust with the industrial farming complex, and what it was doing to our health and our planet. This book changed that. Pollan makes a compelling argument that in order to change the way our food is produced, we can’t just opt out of the system as I had for more than half of my life. Instead, it is important to engage in food production that is ethical and environmentally sustainable. I am no longer a vegetarian; I now take part in the system by eating local, sustainably raised meat, and supporting local farmers. This book changed what I eat, and what I feed my family. If you have any curiosity about food, or if you just like a good story, buy this book – it just might change your life, too.
Date published: 2011-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyone should read this! The Omnivore's Dilemma is just fabulous. As a long-time vegetarian I thought I was already aware of the issues concerning where our food comes from, but I learned a lot from this book. Not only is it extremely well written, but the way Pollan goes through his thought process really gets the reader thinking too. I spotted a few small errors, but nothing major. The author touches on the link between global warming and agriculture, but misses the opportunity to mention what an important factor it is. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2010-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Informative but presented in an entertaining manner. This book is very informative about the way food gets to our tables. I have to say, it has definitely caused me to be more mindful of the food I purchase and feed my family. I found it to be a long, slow read as I wanted to absorb everything. It is a reference book full of great information, but presented in an approachable, entertaining way.
Date published: 2010-05-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from very good In this book, Michael Pollan investigates how food gets to our plates, following the food from start to finish. The book is split into three main sections: industry, organic and hunter/gatherer. The organic section of the book is split into what he calls “industrial organic” (what the government has incorporated into standards to call food “organic”) and what someone else calls “beyond organic” (more what most people would think of when they think organic, not only healthier feed, but including cage-free, animals allowed to act like animals, etc.). He ends each chapter with a meal gained from the processes he was just investigating. It was very good. I found the organic section very interesting, and I feel less trustworthy of the industrial organic foods. I particularly was interested in the chapter entitled “The Ethics of Eating Animals” (part of the hunter/gatherer section of the book), because it’s something I’m struggling with myself. And who knew learning about mushrooms would be so interesting!? He describes his meals in full detail, which wasn’t as interesting to me, but would probably be very interesting to a foodie
Date published: 2010-04-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Needs to be savoured... A book about food that truly needs to be savoured...read this book slowly, the way food is meant to be eaten and enjoyed, to truly understand and appreciate the work Pollan has done.
Date published: 2008-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from How did that food get onto your plate? Pollan explores the omnivore's dilemma -- what shall we have for dinner today -- from the perspective of four styles of food production. First up is the modern industrial meal purchased from the drive-by window of McDonald's and eaten in a speeding car. This meal is largely dependent on massive corn production and has an energy return on investment of less than 10:1 -- ten units of fossil fuel energy required to produce one unit of corn food energy. The ratio falls to 100:1 when we eat beef. Next up is the industrial organic meal -- not much different from the McDonald's industrial agriculture model, except for a few less chemical inputs. Most heartening was the very sane approach of a middle-American "grass farmer" who manages to make money and produce astonishing amounts of food from a small-scale, closed loop farm. This sounds like farming as we imagine it should be, but rarely is these days. Sadly, as Pollan elaborates, government agricultural policies do everything they can to destroy this very sane style of farming. Lastly, Pollan takes us on a California hunter-gatherer adventure. The life-long anti-gun liberal overcomes his rifle repugnance to shoot a wild boar, attempts to produce salt from the polluted waters of San Francisco Bay, cracks the secretive cult of wild mushroom pickers and takes about a week to prepare one hunter-gatherer dinner. The effort may be staggering, but the results sounded pretty mouth-watering! This is an important book for understanding where our food comes from and how dependent we are on today's mammoth industrial agricultural food system.
Date published: 2007-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What's For Dinner? Or an even better question is 'what is dinner made of?'. Michael Pollan brings to us his journey to find the 'perfect meal'. In the process of his search, he debunks several myths about the industrial agriculture that produces the majority of food at your local supermarket. One of the more revealing discoveries is that buying 'organic' is pretty much the same as your ordinary industrial agriculture, sometimes grown right next to the regular supermarket foods. While Pollan does go on to describe a meal entirely hunted and gathered (mostly but not entirely actually), he concludes to eat this way in our modern world is virtually impossible. So, we basically have no choice other than to eat what is available in the supermarkets and 'organic' food stores which after all hasn't decreased the average lifespan. Ultimately, while corn-fed animals may not be as 'clean' as grass-fed animals, it won't make much difference in how long you live. The book is very well-written and Pollan's research is extensive. His mix of documented research and first-hand accounts is what makes the book so credible and insightful.
Date published: 2007-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought provoking doesn't quite describe it - Omnivore's Dilemma - catchy title, but after reading this book, there doesn't seem to be any dilemma. The choice is clear. This book is very well written, well-researched. Pollan has a great vocabulary, prompting a frequent use of the dictionary, but the message couldn't be any clearer. Our food chain is made complex by government policies, business decisions, economics, and history, and it obscures our vision of what it is exactly that we eat. Pollan's book challenges the reader to find a simpler, cleaner, more environmentally friendly, animal-friendly, healthy source of food. Personally I am a changed consumer. I hardly could imagine anyone who reads this book not to embrace its message.
Date published: 2007-02-06

– More About This Product –

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals

by Michael Pollan

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 8.58 × 5.6 × 1.02 in

Published: August 28, 2007

Publisher: Penguin Books

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0143038583

ISBN - 13: 9780143038580

About the Book

The bestselling author of the "Botany of Desire" explores the ecology of eating to unveil why man consumes what he consumes in the 21st century.

Table of Contents

The Omnivore''s Dilemma Introduction: Our National Eating Disorder

I. Industrial: Corn

One. The Plant: Corn''s Conquest
Two. The Farm
Three. The Elevator
Four. The Feedlot: Making Meat
Five. The Processing Plant: Making Complex Foods
Six. The Consumer: A Republic of Fat
Seven. The Meal: Fast Food

II. Pastoral: Grass

Eight. All Flesh Is Grass
Nine. Big Organic
Ten. Grass: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Pasture
Eleven. The Animals: Practicing Complexity
Twelve. Slaughter: In a Glass Abattoir
Thirteen. The Market: "Greetings from the Non-Barcode People"
Fourteen. The Meal: Grass Fed

III. Personal: The Forest

Fifteen. The Forager
Sixteen. The Omnivore''s Dilemma
Seventeen. The Ethics of Eating Animals
Eighteen. Hunting: The Meat
Nineteen. Gathering: The Fungi
Twenty. The Perfect Meal

Acknowledgments
Sources
Index

From the Publisher

One of the New York Times Book Review''s Ten Best Books of the Year

Winner of the James Beard Award

Author of #1 New York Times Bestsellers In Defense of Food and Food Rules


Today, buffeted by one food fad after another, America is suffering from what can only be described as a national eating disorder. Will it be fast food tonight, or something organic? Or perhaps something we grew ourselves? The question of what to have for dinner has confronted us since man discovered fire. But as Michael Pollan explains in this revolutionary book, how we answer it now, as the dawn of the twenty-first century, may determine our survival as a species. Packed with profound surprises, The Omnivore''s Dilemma is changing the way Americans thing about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.

"Thoughtful, engrossing ... You''re not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from."
-The New York Times Book Review

"An eater''s manifesto ... [Pollan''s] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner!"
-The Washington Post

"Outstanding... a wide-ranging invitation to think through the moral ramifications of our eating habits."
--The New Yorker

"If you ever thought ''what''s for dinner'' was a simple question, you''ll change your mind after reading Pollan''s searing indictment of today''s food industry-and his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives.... I just loved this book so much I didn''t want it to end."
-The Seattle Times


Michael Pollan’s newest book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation--the story of our most trusted food expert’s culinary education--was published by The Penguin Press in April 2013.

 

About the Author

MICHAEL POLLAN is the author of six previous books, including Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire, all New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to The New York Times Magazine, Pollan is the recipient of the James Beard Award and is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world. His most recent book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, was published by The Penguin Press in April 2013.

www.michaelpollan.com
 

 

Editorial Reviews

"Thoughtful, engrossing ... You''re not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from."
-The New York Times Book Review

"An eater''s manifesto ... [Pollan''s] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner!"
-The Washington Post

"Outstanding... a wide-ranging invitation to think through the moral ramifications of our eating habits."
--The New Yorker

"If you ever thought ''what''s for dinner'' was a simple question, you''ll change your mind after reading Pollan''s searing indictment of today''s food industry-and his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives.... I just loved this book so much I didn''t want it to end."
-The Seattle Times


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