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The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat, Young Readers Edition Paperback – October 15, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Based on Pollan's best-selling adult book of the same title, this (slightly) shortened version will appeal to thoughtful, socially responsible teens. The book is divided into four sections: "The Industrial Meal" (exemplified by the fact that only two companies, Cargill and ADM, buy nearly a third of all the corn grown in the U.S.); "The Industrial Organic Meal" (covering most of what's found in stores like Whole Foods); "Local Sustainable" (small farms typically based on grass, not corn); and what he calls the "Do-It-Yourself Meal" (where he hunts a wild pig and gathers wild mushrooms). Pollan has done an amazing amount of research, both of the typical kind (there are 16 pages of footnotes) and the more personal kind. His own research includes slaughtering a chicken himself and eating a fast-food meal in a moving car with his family. He explains complicated issues clearly, offers compelling evidence of the environmental damage done by what he calls the industrial meal, and urges readers not to look away from animal-welfare issues: "We can only decide if we know the truth." An afterword, "Vote with Your Fork," recommends simple actions that will improve the health of our bodies, our society, and our planet.—Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL END --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Not every volume will change a reader's life, but this one just might...lively writing rooted in fascinating examples make this accessible and interesting." --Kirkus

"[W]ill appeal to thoughtful, socially responsible teens." --School Library Journal

"[T]his book uses a recipe of science, history, and humor to create an edifying yet entertaining story." --Horn Book

"Young readers--and older ones, too--will find their thinking about food forever changed." --VOYA
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; Reprint edition (October 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803735006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803735002
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Pollan is the author of five books: Second Nature, A Place of My Own, The Botany of Desire, which received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best nonfiction work of 2001 and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and Amazon, and the national bestsellers, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and In Defense of Food. A longtime contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Pollan is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. His writing on food and agriculture has won numerous awards, including the Reuters/World Conservation Union Global Award in Environmental Journalism, the James Beard Award, and the Genesis Award from the American Humane Association.

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Customer Reviews

This young readers edition is a very easy read for adults.
Amazon Customer
This book really gets you thinking about your food source and where it comes from.
Eileen Pagan
I originally bought this book for my son as I had read the "adult" version.
Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Mom on October 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I originally bought this book for my son as I had read the "adult" version. I think this one may be an easier read for adults who don't really get into foodie/nutrition/enviromental style books. So I would say it is not just for kids!!! Also, this version has a few photos that area great addition.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Annabelle Lee on November 30, 2009
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Everyone should know where their food comes from so that they can make informed choices. This book is full of good information about the food we eat and it's sources. It is not a book for young children as they will have difficulty digesting all this information but it is definately recommended reading for children 11-12 and older, it is even a good read for adults who may not have the time or inclination to read the full version.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By J. Stinson on November 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
I previously read the adult version of this book and really enjoyed it. When I saw this I thougth I would give it a try. I have to say that this book is not only easy to underdstand, it also gives me more insight into the book. Love this book, and would suggest everybody read it.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lora L. Seybert on February 17, 2010
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Industrial food is not just at the local fast food restaurant. it is also at our grocery stores. Food is made to taste better and have a longer shelf life, but is the chemicals and preservatives we use really worth the health risk? Do we know where our meat comes from, the diet of the cows before they go to the slaughter and become our hamburger and steak? This book is an eye opening education. You can read the adult version, "The Omnivore's Dilemma, A History of Four Meals" also. Michael Pollan, the book's author is not trying to make us all into vegetarians, although he did try that lifestyle for a short period of time and then went back to eating meat. The point is to be informed about our food, because diet is just as important as exercise. You cannot put empty calories and lots of high fructose corn syrup and genetically modified food into our bodies and then be surprised at the poor body figure we now have.

Also have a look into sustainable farming and learn why our current methods of producing food cannot last forever. Why do we dump fossil fuels on our fields? What does this do to the ecosystem of the land, the soil? Also, learn why we cannot go back to using cow manure for fertilizer. Why is it (the cow manure) so toxic to the soil and to us? What is genetically modified corn and other grain doing to our field and why can't we control it from going into other fields? Perhaps industrial food and industrial farming needs to change. Why do farmers over produce and why can they never get compensated for their grain and make a living?

When you are through reading this book, Michael Pollan appears in the movie, "Food Inc." which is a great movie to continue on your way in discovering the problem with many American foods.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful By KM on October 17, 2009
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This is a great book but not for 4-8 year olds as listed above? Amazon do you have the wrong information? This is a Young Adult book, or a family discussion book. Please note before purchasing!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By SueCooks on February 6, 2010
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If you're trying to decide whether or not to buy this book, there really shouldn't be any dilemma....just buy it. You will thank Michael Pollan later. Our copy arrived on Tuesday and our 9 year old daughter has been devouring it. My husband and I have read the adult version and we are all having fantastic dinner time conversations about the education we are receiving from Mr. Pollan's work. I truly believe that the information in this book holds some of THE MOST IMPORTANT lessons we can teach our children. As a matter of fact, I am ordering 4 more copies today....one to donate to my daughter's classroom at school, one for the school library, one for the health teacher and one for the public library. My daughter and her friend have decided to read this book together on the bus to school in the morning and are then going through their cafeteria lunch line to read the ingredients on the "edible foodlike substances" (they both bring their lunches from home :-) ) I can't make this stuff up! They completely came up with this "research" project on their own because of this book. Thank you Mr. Pollan, for making our parenting job so much easier! We're on to reading Food Rules now....that, too is a good family read. Very different than Omnivore's Dilemma, but a good, quick family read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By loyal book clubber on August 1, 2010
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My grand daughter, Hannah, who is 11 years old, was reading this book and it totally changed her previous passion for pizza, fries, chicken nuggets, etc. This book explains how food is "processed" and it is quite disturbing. Better to eat food without all those additives, and food grown locally. It's very interesting and though it is the Kids Version, it contains all the information we need to know...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Volkert Volkersz on February 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
I recently purchased this "Young Readers Edition," for our high school library. The "for kids" label here is a bit misleading, as I believe the best audience for this book is grades 7-12, as well as adults (like me). After I started reading this, I discovered that our agriculture sciences teacher hopes to make this required reading for one of her classes next year.

I "devoured" this book (pun intended). I found it to be a very readable introduction into where our food comes from. I personally have been trying to avoid corn products for years, just because I could sense something wrong in my body every time I ate them, but this book helped to explain why.

I like Pollan's style in the way he does research and the way he makes this book a personal journey through the world of food. He interviews farmers, works on a sustainable farm, goes hunting and gathering, and he grows his own. After reading this book the word "sustainable" finally makes sense to me in the way he describes the operation at Polyface Farms.

I will be recommending this book to any of our students who interested in food or agriculture. But if you are an adult who hasn't read the full version, go ahead and read this one. You'll be glad you did.
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