The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After reading books like these, I'm not sure what to eat anymore.
Michael Pollan, a sort of food journalist, doesn't always give you the kind of clear-cut answers you'd like if you're reading books like this in order to learn what's healthy for your body and what's not. However, here are two important things I did learn:
#1 - Eating only one thing is not good for you in the long run.
#2 - Corn is in nearly everything we eat these days.
America grows corn. The American government pays for its farmers to grow corn. Corn syrup goes into an alarmingly high percentage of our daily foods. Our farmed-fish and cows subsist on corn. Hell, some of our cars run on corn!
Another issue is the nitrates used to grow all this corn. Because it's less physically demanding, farmers spread chemical nitrates over their fields. To ensure a good crop, they overcompensate. All this excess washes into our water system, contaminating our drinking water and destroying fish habitats. The Gulf of Mexico spreading outward from the Mississippi Delta is fucked.
The Omnivore's Dilemma is one of those books I've been hearing about for years. In the past, I've read other Pollan books and they were good, but for some reason I held off on this one. Maybe it was like that character in Lost holding on to a copy of Our Mutual Friend, the only Dickens book he hasn't read. I knew this book would be special. I wanted to wait and savor it. I also knew it would be slightly depressing. I wanted to be ready for it.
But it's not all doom and gloom. Pollan is hopeful and allows for the light at the end of the tunnel. He's also willing to try new things like hunting and vegetarianism. He gets his hands dirty and that's what I like to see in my journalists.
Fantastic book! Recommended to all!
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