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Corn - first section of Omnivore's Dilemma

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message 1: by Doug (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Doug | 17 comments Mod

This discussion topic should be used to discuss Corn, the first section of "Omnivore's Dilemma".


message 2: by Doug (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Doug | 17 comments Mod

I have finished the first section, 'Corn', and am about halfway through the section section, 'Grass'.

I came into the book, having read "The botany of Desire" - which was well written and interesting. However, what really made "The Botany of Desire" was its premise, which was different, exciting, and pure fun!

Although the premise is not as surprising, alot of what is in the 'Corn' section is stunning, even to someone (me) who considers themselves a well-read vegetarian (for the last 20 years). The idea that most people are made of corn is surprising and worth considering.

What does is mean to us if we are made up of corn? It seems to me that we are putting ourselves in jeopardy from argriculture in the U.S. being a monoculture, from a health perspective we are limiting the essential nutrients we are receiving, etc.

For me the key takeaway from the 'Corn' is to eat more local produce. Also, eventhough, I don't eat meat it gave me a new respect for the Local Organic, Grass based (more on this in the 'Grass' portion of the book) meat rpoducers in our area.

We are lucky in that we have a Wonderful Community Supported Garden (The CSG at Genesis Farm), so we are able to eat more than half of our food from local sources. Needless to say, more than half in the Summer, and a little less than half in the Winter (our CSG does have a greenhouse and also provides us with a wide variety of root vegetables during the Winter).


message 3: by Lisa (not getting friends updates) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) Hi Doug and All,

Doug, thanks for starting these discussion threads.

I’ve read the corn section also, and I’m even more determined to avoid processed foods that contain corn products, which means just about all processed foods; I haven’t implemented this diet change yet. I want to do this not so much for my health but to stop supporting the current agricultural practices.

I agree with Doug about this book vs. The Botany of Desire. In this book, the depiction of corn and its infusion into the diets of Americans was educational but not as elegantly written as when he wrote about the 4 crops in the previous book. And, while I was appalled at all the hidden corn products in our processed and prepared foods, as a vegan, it wasn’t the amounts of corn, although I found that unappealing also, but the cow & chicken parts of the meals described at the end of this section that disturbed me the most, which I know is a minority opinion.

I have to say that, in my opinion, this is definitely an omnivore’s book, not a vegetarian or vegan book.

More when I've read the next two sections.

I'm looking forward to everyone's input!

- Lisa

message 4: by Doug (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Doug | 17 comments Mod

I especially agree that we need to avoid processed food - and that includes Organic processed food. Pollan does alot to point out that Organic Industrial Agriculture isn't much better than non-Organic Industrial Agriculture. I didn't really want to hear that...although, I was aware of and have petitioned against the policies of 'Horizon Organics'.

Lisa's point on this not being a vegetarian/vegan book is so true!


message 5: by Lisa (not getting friends updates) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:12PM) (new)

Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan (lisavegan) Doug and All,

Yes, I usually try to buy organic, but have always wanted veganic. Not too much option for that unless you can grow it yourself, and I can't. But, after reading Pollan's disheartening description of industrial (massive) organic farms, I'm sure that the agricultural industry would find a way to make even veganic produce bad for one's health and the environment.

- Lisa

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