The Omnivore’s Dilemma

As a food lover, it might not be too surprising to find out that I read a lot of books about food.  While I have some favorites (i.e., Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain, and Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper, by Fuchsia Dunlop), none have caused me to reevaluate the way I look at food and food culture the way The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, has.  And to be honest, this book has done far more than change my view of food, it’s changed the way I eat.

In a time when all we hear about is “America’s obesity epidemic,” it is easy to become desensitized and apathetic.  And if you’re not feeling that way, you might be feeling confused by all of the food jargon out there:  all-natural, organic, free range . . . .  What does any of this mean?

In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan takes you on three journeys—from the corn farm to the table, from the pasture to the table, and from the wild to the table—to find out what we are really eating.  He meets interesting farmers and foragers along the way who really care about what they do and who are involved in getting our food onto our tables.

In this fascinating and terribly informative book, Pollan not only clarifies all of the confusing food jargon, but he illuminates what we are really putting into our bodies and the bodies of the ones we love.  It is not a book containing weight-loss techniques, and it is not a book geared toward those with sophisticated palates.  It is a book full of information—information that all of us, as food consumers, need.

Like I said earlier, this book has changed the way I eat.  That doesn’t mean that I have stopped eating meat (or ever will) or that I quit using butter (or have even shied away from it); it just means that I am more selective about what I purchase and what I consume.  With this powerful information, I genuinely think that I will be a healthier person, and my family will be too.

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