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The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals Paperback – Large Print, 1 Apr 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 709 pages
  • Publisher: Large Print Press; Lrg edition (1 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594132054
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594132056
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

An eaters manifesto ... [Pollans] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner!
"The Washington Post"
Thoughtful, engrossing ... Youre not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from.
"The New York Times Book Review"
Michael Pollan has perfected a toneone of gleeful irony and barely suppressed outrageand a way of inserting himself into a narrative so that a subject comes alive through what hes feeling and thinking. He is a master at drawing back to reveal the greater issues.
"Los Angeles Times"
If you ever thought whats for dinner was a simple question, youll change your mind after reading Pollans searing indictment of todays food industryand his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives.... I just loved this book so much I didnt want it to end.
"The Seattle Times"

A brilliant, eye-opening account of how we produce, market, and agonize over what we eat. ("The Seattle Times")

Thoughtful, engrossing . . . Youre not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from. ("The New York Times Book Review")

An eaters manifesto . . . [Pollans] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner! ("The Washington Post")

If you ever thought whats for dinner was a simple question, youll change your mind after reading Pollans searing indictment of todays food industryand his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives. . . . I just loved this book so much I didnt want it to end. ("The Seattle Times")

Michael Pollan has perfected a toneone of gleeful irony and barely suppressed outrageand a way of inserting himself into a narrative so that a subject comes alive through what hes feeling and thinking. He is a master at drawing back to reveal the greater issues. ("Los Angeles Times")

Thoughtful, engrossing . . . Youare not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from. ("The New York Times Book Review")

An eateras manifesto . . . [Pollanas] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner! ("The Washington Post")

If you ever thought awhatas for dinnera was a simple question, youall change your mind after reading Pollanas searing indictment of todayas food industryaand his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives. . . . I just loved this book so much I didnat want it to end. ("The Seattle Times")

Michael Pollan has perfected a toneaone of gleeful irony and barely suppressed outrageaand a way of inserting himself into a narrative so that a subject comes alive through what heas feeling and thinking. He is a master at drawing back to reveal the greater issues. ("Los Angeles Times")

aAn eateras manifesto ... [Pollanas] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner!a
a"The Washington Post"
aThoughtful, engrossing ... Youare not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from.a
a"The New York Times Book Review"
aMichael Pollan has perfected a toneaone of gleeful irony and barely suppressed outrageaand a way of inserting himself into a narrative so that a subject comes alive through what heas feeling and thinking. He is a master at drawing back to reveal the greater issues.a
a"Los Angeles Times"
aIf you ever thought awhatas for dinnera was a simple question, youall change your mind after reading Pollanas searing indictment of todayas food industryaand his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives.... I just loved this book so much I didnat want it to end.a
a"The Seattle Times"

An eater s manifesto . . . [Pollan s] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner! ("The Washington Post")

Thoughtful, engrossing . . . You re not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from. ("The New York Times Book Review")

Michael Pollan has perfected a tone one of gleeful irony and barely suppressed outrage and a way of inserting himself into a narrative so that a subject comes alive through what he s feeling and thinking. He is a master at drawing back to reveal the greater issues. ("Los Angeles Times")

If you ever thought what s for dinner was a simple question, you ll change your mind after reading Pollan s searing indictment of today s food industry and his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives. . . . I just loved this book so much I didn t want it to end. ("The Seattle Times")

An eater's manifesto . . . [Pollan's] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner! ("The Washington Post")

Thoughtful, engrossing . . . You're not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from. ("The New York Times Book Review")

Michael Pollan has perfected a tone-one of gleeful irony and barely suppressed outrage-and a way of inserting himself into a narrative so that a subject comes alive through what he's feeling and thinking. He is a master at drawing back to reveal the greater issues. ("Los Angeles Times")

If you ever thought 'what's for dinner' was a simple question, you'll change your mind after reading Pollan's searing indictment of today's food industry-and his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives. . . . I just loved this book so much I didn't want it to end. ("The Seattle Times")

"An eater''s manifesto ... [Pollan''s] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner!"
-"The Washington Post"

"Thoughtful, engrossing ... You''re not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from."
-"The New York Times Book Review"

"Michael Pollan has perfected a tone-one of gleeful irony and barely suppressed outrage-and a way of inserting himself into a narrative so that a subject comes alive through what he''s feeling and thinking. He is a master at drawing back to reveal the greater issues."
-"Los Angeles Times"

"If you ever thought ''what''s for dinner'' was a simple question, you''ll change your mind after reading Pollan''s searing indictment of today''s food industry-and his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives.... I just loved this book so much I didn''t want it to end."
-"The Seattle Times"



"An eater's manifesto ... [Pollan's] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner!"
-"The Washington Post"

"Thoughtful, engrossing ... You're not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from."
-"The New York Times Book Review"

"Michael Pollan has perfected a tone-one of gleeful irony and barely suppressed outrage-and a way of inserting himself into a narrative so that a subject comes alive through what he's feeling and thinking. He is a master at drawing back to reveal the greater issues."
-"Los Angeles Times"

"If you ever thought 'what's for dinner' was a simple question, you'll change your mind after reading Pollan's searing indictment of today's food industry-and his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives.... I just loved this book so much I didn't want it to end."
-"The Seattle Times"



"Thoughtful, engrossing ... You're not likely to get a better explanation of exactly where your food comes from."
-"The New York Times Book Review"

"An eater's manifesto ... [Pollan's] cause is just, his thinking is clear, and his writing is compelling. Be careful of your dinner!"
-"The Washington Post"

"Outstanding... a wide-ranging invitation to think through the moral ramifications of our eating habits." --"The New Yorker"

"If you ever thought 'what's for dinner' was a simple question, you'll change your mind after reading Pollan's searing indictment of today's food industry-and his glimpse of some inspiring alternatives.... I just loved this book so much I didn't want it to end."
-"The Seattle Times"


--This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

Book Description

The startling truth behind the food we consume in the twenty-first century --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the most basic culinary detective book. In modern America, Michael Pollan wonders what to eat: "... imagine for a moment if we once again knew, strictly as a matter of course, these few unremarkable things: What it is we're eating. Where it came from. How it found it's way to our table. And what, in a true accounting, it really cost."

Of course most North Americans can't answer these questions in any self-satisfying way, so Pollan sets off on the case. He journeys through the belly of the food industry beast -- to the massive government-subsidized corn plantations of Iowa, the huge cattle feed lots and the slaughterhouses. He visits the plants where trainload after trainload of corn is refined into the chemical components of processed food, and then he takes his family to McDonalds.

Searching for alternatives to totally explore, Pollan visits large-scale organic plantations. He works for a spell on an organic family farm in Virginia, helping to slaughter the chickens for his next gourmet meal. And last he goes whole hog back to the hunter-gatherer days, searching for mushrooms and shooting a wild pig in the forests of Northern California.

The whole experience yields tons of great stories, and the kind of good common sense I can't resist quoting:

"A tension has always existed between the capitalist imperative to maximise efficiency at any cost and the moral imperatives of culture, which have historically served as a counterweight to the moral blindness of the market. This is another example of the cultural contradictions of capitalism -- the tendency over time for the economic impulse to erode the moral underpinnings of society." (p.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Omnivore's Dilemma addresses the question: if you have the opportunity to eat anything, how do you know which things are best to eat? It delves into the food chains behind various meals, from the industrial to the pastoral.

The skills of Michael Pollan, the Knight Professor of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley, shine through in this book. It is remarkably clearly written, and addresses a broad range of perspectives and potential criticisms. It avoid preaching, which would be so easy to do with this subject, and instead presents information as information, and opinion as just that.

If you are remotely interested in what you put in your mouth, and where it comes from, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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Format: Paperback
This book is very similar to 'fast food nation' in the way that it exposes the hidden mechanics of the food industry. But it does not focus solely on fast food.

The first section concentrates on the way a MacDonalds meal is produced, from its humble(?) beginnings in a corn field in Iowa, to the end product being consumed in the author's car; fascinating and page turning. The middle section concentrates on an 'organic' meal, and really opened my eyes to the idea of organic - it is not all you think it to be, and after reading this book I have reassessed what I think to be an environmentally friendly food. The last section outlines the author's search for a meal from foraging in the forests and fields around his Californian home. Fascinating again. Noone should think they know enough to pass this book by.

I gave it four stars, because the last section gets a little heavy going, but it all ties up well at the end, and worth sticking with it; I love the way that he concludes that the first (fast food) and last (foraged) meals are both two extremes and both unsustainable in the present world. MacDonalds should be saved for a 'treat' once a year and although he doesn't say it, he implies that we should all aim towards consuming locally produced, (not neccessarily organic) food that is the least 'costly' towards the environment - outlined in the meal of the middle section.
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Format: Paperback
The Omnivore's Dilemma is this: what to eat and what not to eat. Sounds easy, but as Michael Pollan shows this dilemma is at the heart of what both divides and joins people at the most visceral level. The dilemma is sharp because the question of what to eat and what not to eat is moral as well as nutritional. It is practical as well as esthetic. It is a question that engages all people in all cultures. It pits traditional values against modernity. There is the family that eats together a meal prepared by a family member or members, and the meal that is eaten on the run prepared by agribusiness and heated in a microwave. There is fast food and the Slow Food movement. There is the question of whether to eat meat or not, and if not, whether to be a vegetarian or a vegan or something in-between. And if we do eat meat, should a distinction be made between free range flesh and the factory kind? Should the suffering of animals spoil our appetite? We are omnivores, but in a world of so many of us, can we really continue to eat so high on the hog?

Pollan addresses these questions and many others in a courageous and uncompromising way that should gain the respect of all readers, whether they agree with his conclusions or not.

The book is in three parts, with four characteristic meals.

Pollan begins with "Industrial Corn" (Part I) and a fast food meal from McDonald's in the car. This part of the book, which could be an entire book itself--and a very good one--tells the story of corn and how it has come to dominate the American food industry.
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