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The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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About the Author
MICHAEL POLLAN is the author of six previous books, including Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and The Botany of Desire, all New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to The New York Times, he is also the Knight Professor of Journalism at Berkeley. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
"What should we have for dinner?" asks Pollan in the opening of this unique history of four meals--from McDonald's fare to personally hunted wild pig. Award-winning narrator Scott Brick--truly one of the best in the business--takes the listener on a mesmerizing adventure to find some answers. The investigation could have bogged down in Pollan's exhaustive details, but Brick captures each experience with a tempo and emotional coloring all its own. From the comedy of gobbling Chicken McNuggets while speeding down a highway to the deliberately paced tension of stalking and killing a wild pig, Brick gives each story a distinctive voice--and taste. M.T.B. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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This is a very interesting book - well thought out and investigated. I am not certain that I want to consume meat again as Pollan tells the reader how these feeder lot cows, pigs and chickens actually live and die. Really, not my idea of humane. Just as interesting is his investigation of corn. It is amazing how corn is in absolutely everything from high-fructose corn syrup to fish food; gasoline to paint; fish to .... well, you get the idea. While more and more acreage is devoted to mono-crops, chiefly corn, we are the "benefactors" of everything that is corn related. Feed lot cattle are fed corn to fatten them up even though it makes them terribly sick and reduces the number of valuable nutrients available to grass fed cows. Multiply that by lamb, chicken, goat, salmon, tilapia, shrimp and you get an idea of why you are eating corn at every meal whether you know it or not. Compound this with the fact that 3 companies control the corn product from seed to pesticide to fertilizer and this monoculture is there to get you in one way or another. Corn that can be sprayed with pesticides that kill everything except the corn - bugs, weeds..... Makes you wonder what you are eating. Anyhow, Pollan has done a wonderful job investigating the food chain and its effect on the environment be it our internal flora or life on earth.
Where we are heading in regards to food is anyone's guess but this book should help inform all of us to make better decisions when purchasing produce and subsequently improve our health.
From an AP lang point of view, this is a great book to study about what a good argument essay looks like.
I recommend you buy it from Amazon, I originally bought it from a different book company and never got my book.
Michael Pollan discusses how we raise meat in this country. Take the millions of steaks served all across the country every day. The cattle slaughtered were mostly raised on a CAFO(Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) on a diet that evolution ill suited them to eat. A diet consisting largely of Corn. The Angus cattle spend most of their lives on lots devoid of grass or vegetation and full of eye irritating dust. They spend their lives ankle deep in their excrement and require antibiotics and anti parasitic drugs to survive until slaughter. They suffer from acidosis of the rumen, an organ evolved to break down the cellulose in grass. The E-Coli that sicken so many Americans every year are of a strain that adapted to survive in the now more acid rumen and which now can survive our acidic stomachs to make us sick.
Michael Pollan contrasts this form of agriculture to a farm in Virginia that raises chickens(broilers and eggs), and Cattle on only grass. The cattle feed on luscious grass kept that way by rotating the cattle from one area of the pasture to another to avoid overgrazing. The chickens feed on the grass and insects attracted to the farm life. The grass benefits by the natural fertilizer these animals provide. The farm is as productive per acre as an Industrial farm yet there are no hidden costs. No animal suffering, fertilizer runoffs, government subsidies, and the carbon footprint is far less.
Although the author does not devote a chapter on health and food, the health implications of how we grow our food is a common theme throughout the book. The organic food industry is talked about in length. The origins of the term 'Organic' as well as how that term has now been co-opted by large industrial food producers thanks in large part to the federal department of agriculture. The book slips into the esoteric realm of philosophy of food on more than one occasion, but the forays are usually brief and welcome.
How to grow food for 300 million people is immensely challenging. Especially since we're all so used to such a varied diet year round (strawberries in January). Yet there are costs to the way we grow our food that are not paid at the supermarket register. These hidden costs are in the form of environmental damage, governmental subsidies sought by a very powerful farm lobby, and even national security costs in having a food supply so dependent on fossil fuels supplied by foreign countries. Eating local, the author strongly suggests, could be a viable alternative. Expenditure on energy for transportation would be significantly cut, and a firsthand knowledge of where and how the food you consume would be gained. This might seem like a small benefit but the author argues that this could potentially be positivelytranformative in the quality of the food we eat.
Although this isn't a diet book, you can't help but change your eating habits after reading this book. I learned a great deal. I highly recommend it.