9/1/17

lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four MealsThe Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I really enjoyed this book. I was first introduced to Pollan's writing in The Botany of Desire, and I liked that book so well that I looked for other books he's written.

The Omnivore's Dilemma raises fascinating and often disturbing questions about how we grow our food, about the way agriculture as an industry is harming our planet, and about the potential ways we might go about solving these problems. As Pollan says over and over again in the book, learning about the way we raise and slaughter meat on a mass scale in the U.S. is guaranteed to ruin the appetite. And yet, Pollan asserts that some of the ways people have tried to circumvent this problem (going vegetarian, only eating organic food, buying meat that comes from animals that were treated well before slaughter) come with their own sets of problems (like the large carbon footprint incurred by shipping organic fruits and vegetables all over the country/world, for example).

This book was very informative, but my favorite parts were the moments of introspection. I particularly enjoyed the part where Pollan turns up his nose at what he sees as off-putting machismo in "hunter porn" and then has to admit to his chagrin later that he can kinda see where those writers are coming from when they write about how hunting engages them on a primal level even while acknowledging how profoundly uncomfortable that realization makes him.

As someone who never ate a tomato from the store until I was an adult and who mostly ate protein as a child that was fished or shot by my dad, I appreciate stories that are about people eliminating the middle man between them and the food they eat.

Very highly recommended.



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