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The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Search for a Perfect Meal in a Fast-Food World (reissued) Paperback – 17 Jan 2011
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'Beautifully written and shocking investigation of what slips into the swelling American stomach ... entertaining and eloquent' (Daily Telegraph)
'This is one of the most thought-provoking books I've read in a while ... After you read this book there will be things you don't want to eat, ever again ... An honest, brilliant, troubling book. I recommend it to anyone' (Evening Standard)
'Convivial, creative and deeply disturbing, though he does offer hope ... it has certainly changed the way I think about food' (Audrey Niffenegger, Guardian)
'On our we-need-to-know-this reading list ... a patient investigation of his nation's calorie industries' (Mail on Sunday)
The startling truth behind the food we consume in the twenty-first centurySee all Product description
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Why do you eat what you do? How was it produced? If you can answer with more than the aisle of the supermarket you bought it from, well done. If you can’t, does that worry you? Is all food created equal and of equal health benefit? Is beef from a grass-lot the same as feed-lot, or vegetables grown industrially the same as organic? Do you know the answer to that? If not, does that worry you?
Michael Pollan argues it should worry us. Three principle chains of food sustain us, all of them linking one biological system, ourselves, with another, a patch of soil. Most of us, however, remain woefully ignorant of any sort of understanding of our food systems. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pollan explores each of the three methods of food creation, industrial, organic, and hunter/gatherer, and examines the costs and benefits of each.
There are of course two sides to every story, and Pollan is careful to examine the benefits from cheaper food in terms of health and living standards. He’s right, and the animal rights movement sometimes unfairly ignores these benefits. The reality though is that most of us aren’t in a position to decide either way; we remain willfully blind to the reality, ignorant of what we eat and where it comes from. Perhaps the tradeoff is worth it, but we should at least be aware of the processes our food goes through, whether that means glass walls on slaughterhouses or increased education about industrial production. In the end, what you eat is a personal choice, but it’s one that should be made out of information, not ignorance.
If you want to open your eyes to the food industry and learn something, then I suggest you read this book, if not, then trot off to McDonald's.
I believe anyone who wishes to eat meat should be prepared to visit an industrial farm and an abattoir and/or kill the animal and prepare the corpse - Michael Pollan grits his teeth and does all three for the sake of this fascinating study.