October 12, 2010

Book Review- The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Last week I finished reading Michael Pollan's, The Omnivore's Dilemma.  Wow!  Was I blown away!  This is a must-read for anyone interested in food or the environment.  Pollan really is an excellent writer.
Some highlights for me:

I liked that he faulted not only big companies but also the government, whose subsidies and other legislative actions have really shaped our national food chain.

It opened my mind to the possibility of local, sustainable farms. 

It inspired me to eat less processed foods.

It inspired me to try new vegetables (Cabbage Casserole anyone?)

It encouraged me to keep on gardening and learning about growing our own produce.

It pointed out the flaws of 'industrial organic', so I have no guilt about not buying organic produce that's way out of my price range.

It inspired me to seek alternative sources for chicken and pork, since both animals suffer in the industrial food chain.  (I already know where my beef comes from!)
Just a week or two before I read this book, I had decided I should hunt a deer to feed my family (not that I like to hunt, just to introduce some truly grass-fed meat in our diet).  I loved the part about him hunting the pig, because he was honest about the emotions he experienced, and if he can do it, so can I!

A warning:
The section about the ethical implications of eating meat may be disturbing to some readers.  Heck, I've butchered my own beef and it bothered me!  However, I am happy to report that Pollan decides he can still justify eating meat (as long as it is locally and sustainably raised). 
To sum it up, Pollan inspired me to really be more mindful of what I am eating.

Have you read any good books lately?  Tell me about them!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved this book, too. It changed a lot of the decisions I made when choosing and buying food. His book The Botany of Desire was very interesting, too, without being quite as disturbing!
Looks like you're going to have a very intersting blog. Good Luck!