Stacie'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
Jan 30, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: borrowed, non-fiction
Recommended for: People who eat food
Read from July 05 to 12, 2011

From the very beginning, Omnivore’s Dilemma, it had me thinking a lot about my childhood. I grew up on my grandparents’ farm in MN, where we had draft horses, cows, chickens, a garden filled with vegetables, apple trees and rows upon rows of corn. I learned how to take an ear off the stalk at a very young age – probably around the same time that I learned how to bale hay – because across the farm from the rows of corn, we also had a field of alfalfa and wheat. While my grandpa grew corn to sell to buyers like Blaney and Stauffer, we didn’t feed the corn to our animals – they received baled hay of alfalfa and wheat, or at the grass in the pasture they roamed every day. I always figured it was because my grandpa didn’t want our animals eating his potential profits, but after reading OD, I wonder. Unfortunately my grandparents are no longer around to ask.

What I sometimes think is ironic, is that while there are over 60 of us, not one of us stayed on the farm, even though the farm never really left us.

In my family, we are gardeners – whether we are tending a flower garden or a vegetable garden – we are growing some of the food that will be presented at our tables. Hunting was always a big thing in my family as well. My grandfather taught his children and grandchildren at an early age how to shoot a gun, but never expected anyone (I am not a hunter, but know how to shoot a gun) to hunt if they didn’t want to. What he did teach us was that you ate what you killed. Hunting and fishing (another thing we did a lot of) was not a sport, it was a way of life – it was a way to feed our family.

While I liked this book for the memories of childhood lessons it conjured for me, it also helped to remind me of my ideals around food. Ideals that have become lax of late. One example: I made all of my daughter’s food when she was a baby. She did not partake in any pre-made food, and was a vegetarian until she was about two years old. I am not sure when my desire to feed her naturally ended, but now she eats processed food when I feel busy – processed food that I sometimes cannot pronounce the ingredients much less figure out where it came from. With many things (I am looking at your Twinkies) we have a rule that if you can’t pronounce it you don’t eat it, but this goes out the window when I am too busy to make a homemade meal.

Pollan, without ever preaching, without ever scolding, reminds the reader that we owe it to ourselves and to our families to know where are food is coming from. I felt this was a very well written book – both in its content and writing. It is a book that will make you stop and think about what you are putting in your mouth.

If you eat, you should read this book.
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Reading Progress

07/05/2011 page 32
7.0% "I don't know why, but for some reason I am really craving corn on the cob!"
07/07/2011 page 123
27.0% "Very interesting and engaging!"
07/10/2011 page 250
54.0% "I am LOVING this book!"
07/11/2011 page 364
78.0% "I have gained a larger respect for the hunters in my family."
04/23/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5)

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Aylin Looking forward to reading this. I can totally pronounce twinkie (you had me scared for a minute) ;)

Jayme I love your last sentence the best. But it was all a great review, Stacie!

Stacie Aylin wrote: "Looking forward to reading this. I can totally pronounce twinkie (you had me scared for a minute) ;)"

OLO! Not sure how I missed this comment. You are so funny, Aylin.

Stacie Jayme wrote: "I love your last sentence the best. But it was all a great review, Stacie!"


message 1: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven Blankenburg Best review still...from one kindred farmer to the other.

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