The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan


The author tracks down the origins of 4 meals as best he can to get to know our food systems through The Omnivore’s Dilemma. His exploration of the food industry covers social, ethical, and environmental ramifications of our modern ways of production and distribution. The journey leads him from a cornfield monocropped to capacity, a standard feedlot to visit his own cow, a week assisting on a pasture-based farm, and finally to the forest for hunting and gathering his own ingredients.  

What I Learned from The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Most food travels an average of 1,500 miles before it gets to us! That figure is astonishing to me. I work my own homestead and try to keep my food from traveling that far when I do buy it in the store. When the miles are added up on conventional stuff though, no wonder the food industry is changing.

The Thing I Found Most Interesting and Why

“As a relatively new nation drawn from many different immigrant populations, each with its own culture of food, Americans have never had a single, strong, stable culinary tradition to guide us.” He goes on to suggest that this lack of stability makes us particularly suggestible to changing food trends, especially fad diets. I’m inclined to agree with The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

What I Didn’t Like about The Omnivore’s Dilemma

I don’t like that I don’t have his other books. They immediately went on my to be read list, which is getting quite long once again.

Final Thoughts

Pollan’s writing style is so engaging it’s hard to put the book down! He brings you along on his journey and openly shares his emotional experiences with the reader. Get The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Read it. Cry. Rejoice. Read it again. 

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