Year 3, Book 81

81. The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
I picked up this book because it is the book Loyola’s annual Humanities Symposium is based on this spring. It sounded like something I would be interested in reading, and if I decide to attend any of the events having read the book will be beneficial. I really enjoyed the book, but the title is very apt. Pollan follows three meals from the raw ingredients to the table. First, a fast food meal, which he shows is almost completely made from corn. Second, a meal from grass-fed animals (He also discusses organic food in this section). Finally, he discusses the forest and creates a meal entirely out of things that he has hunted or gathered. Although this is not what Pollan talks about when he refers to the omnivore’s dilemma in the book, after reading this book like after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver I feel slightly guilty about what I eat. I definitely feel compelled to eat more locally grown foods (which I have done much better with this year) and like Kingsolver to only eat meat that is grown in humane ways and not in a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO). The dilemma of course is how difficult this would be to do. I already rarely eat meat at home because of Paul being a vegetarian, and it would be almost impossible to eat meat at restaurants if I refused to eat meat from a CAFO. Reading this book again points out to me how messed up our food system is and that it’s definitely not a surprise that American’s are so unhealthy. I did find it interesting that desipte Pollan’s stand against the food industry that he fully admits to still occasionally enjoying a fast food meal. That totally surprised me as I completely expected him to be someone who refuses to eat stuff like that. And thus he too exhibits what I see as the omnivore’s dilemma. It’s just too hard for a person who is not willing to completely revolve their life around the food they eat to eat a meal that is good for them and good for the earth. I give the book an 8 out of 10.

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