Gary's Reviews > The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
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's review
Feb 25, 2012

really liked it
Read from December 21, 2011 to February 24, 2012

The Omnivore's Dilemma is a book that will make you question your assumptions, in this case regarding what you eat. It's no diet book - no, instead, it is an indictment of our modern industrialized food production system, largely fueled by corn. From the "re-engineering" of cows' rumen to get them to survive long enough eating corn in a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) to the gallons of fossil fuels necessary to produce the massive amounts of subsidized corn, it made me re-think some of my long-held notions about the quality of corn-fed beef. The author spends some time on a sustainable farming operation in Virginia as a counterpoint to what he observes on an industrial corn farm in Iowa and the CAFO he sponsors a steer at in Kansas. It makes me wish there were more operations like Polyface Farm in Virginia that do not rely on fertilizer and pesticide to support the endless pursuit of higher yields in the fields and who butcher their chickens in an open area so any potential customers can see how their poultry is treated. Pollan is a skilled writer and from all accounts, also a skilled cook. I enjoyed this book very much. Recommended.

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