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

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
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Sep 21, 08

bookshelves: food
Recommended for: anyone who eats food
Read in September, 2008

I approached this book warily, expecting a preachy polemic. What I got was a lot of (sometimes repetitive) fascinating information, personal anecdotes, philosophizing and historical perspective about food in America: what it is, where it comes from, and who benefits from our dietary habits.

I was horrified by the first section, but felt a bit smug because I eat very little processed food; I was educated by the second section, learning that the "industrial organic" machine is far from the pastoral image most of us have (and this gives me more impetus to buy my organics from the natural food coop rather than the big grocer; and to favor local conventional over shipped-in organic); and I was nodding my head through the last section, because I hunt fish (spearfishing) and gather mushrooms, and I understand exactly the joy of eating what you have taken from the wild.

I really enjoyed the writing style, and I learned things. That's about the best I can say about any book.
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Writerlibrarian I heard him in interview on Good Food (a food radio show from California) and I was very impress. Not preachy but informative are the right words. I saw him again on The Hour the CBC late night talk show and he was again really good.

It's in my list of to get books.


Chris I loved his writing style, and I really want to read his earlier books my library didn't have. The Botany of Desire is fascinating. (In Defence of Food seems to have got a lot more attention, but The Omnivore's Dilemma is the better book. It's worth reading the NYT essay In Defence of Food is based on, though.)

Have you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle or The 100-Mile Diet? They're great if you're looking for more food-political entertainment.


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