The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Michael Pollan 2007
Read: 2020

If you have looked at my book list before, you have seen a lot of books on the art of cooking and grilling and smoking. I am certainly an omnivore. My wife is a pescatarian, but the rest of the family are omnivores. The Omnivore’s Dilemma is written by a carnivore who seeks to learn more about the nature of food in our country. 


The author’s chapter on the role of corn in our food economy and our economy in general is brilliant. I learned so much about the dominance of the corn industry in our economy. One of the questions my older son ponders about the $5 Costco rotisserie chicken is, “You’d think a chicken’s life would be worth more than that.” When I read this chapter, I began to understand. Between government subsidies and the massive amount of corn that is produced and utilized in this country, I start to get it. Pollan also goes into the details of large-scale farming, which I know something about, and which are never enjoyable to read. He has a spectacular chapter on sustainable pasture-based farming that, if you have the means, is clearly the way to go. I will be paying more for the farm products that I buy, making some adjustments in what I eat, and I found this book incredibly motivational in doing both of those things.



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