Jillian'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
Oct 31, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction
Recommended for: foodies

This book is mostly awesome, and is a chronicle of where our food comes from. The first chapter is an in-depth look at large-scale agriculture, from corn to beef to fast food, and is pretty horrifying. The second chapter is about organic and sustainable agriculture (NOT necessarily the same thing), and I was especially entranced with the sustainable farmer in the book. This guy is the real deal, I wish he was my neighbor. The third chapter involves hunting and gathering, and basically depending on only oneself (and friends) to procure food.

Each chapter ends with a meal made from the food the chapter describes, such that the food can be traced from the ground it was grown in to the animals it was fed to to the slaughterhouse to the plate. The Omnivore's Dilemma is specifically "what should we eat?" and after reading this I have a good idea of how to support sustainable enterprises and leave a smaller footprint upon the earth. Being a vegetarian certainly helps.

One lame part of the book is at the end when he discusses vegetarians, and succeeds in lumping us all into one category of animal-rights fanatics who think that it's OK to sacrifice retarded children. I've got some issues with that. He manages to screw up there but for the rest of the book he seems pretty good at portraying the whole story.

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