Saturday, February 2, 2008

Review: The Omnivore's Dilemma

Absolutely one of the best books I have read in a long time.

Michael Pollan is one of those writers who could probably draw any reader into any topic. Omnivore's Dilemma is a captivating and enriching narrative of Pollan's journey to

"look as far into the food chains that support us...and recover the fundamental biological realities that the complexities of modern industrialized eating keep from our view" (281).

From a family meal at McDonalds to a meal wherein he "hunted and gathered" all the ingredients himself (or mostly), Pollan details how we face a much larger question than simply "meat or no meat." He reveals how shopping at Whole Foods presents its own dilemma, even for those who are already conscious about what they eat.

In the end, Pollan doesn't really come to a conclusion in terms of a choice. His point is to start a conversation that needs to happen because we are allowing the USDA to dictate our eating habits. We have taken for granted that while we may be on the top of the food chain, we are still a chain, linked to countless other forms of life and ecosystems. Pollan hopes for a day when

"...we would no longer need any reminding that however we choose to feed ourselves, we eat by the grace of nature, not industry, and what we're eating is never anything more or less than the body of the world." (411)

Book 1/50 for the 50 Book Challenge 2008

1 comment:

raych said...

I wasn't going to read this, but I think I will now. The sign of a good author is when they can interest the reader in a topic that is otherwise uniteresting (like Mary Roach with 'Stiff'). I'm really interested in health and diet, and this looks pretty good. Thanks for the review!