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Showing 1-10 of 672 reviews(5 star, Verified Purchases). See all 1,474 reviews
on May 29, 2015
Fascinating book. My son sent it to me as a “must read”. He was right! The book takes an in depth look at where our foods come from and the economic, chemical, environmental and social impact of the process. The author takes a long look at the overproduction of corn in this country (who knew?) and how apparently as a result of this government supported process, many animals raised for meat (cows, chickens, pigs) are fed corn as part of a mass production process. This changes the chemical makeup of the meat, results in hormone and antibiotic use, and cruel conditions for the animals, who are raised simply as production units with everything designed to maximize weight gained per unit of corn required to feed them. He goes on to look at what “organic” has come to mean in this country, (not much), and then to work briefly on a farm which really does raise cows, pigs and chickens in fields of grass in a sustainable way. He also discusses vegetarianism, presenting some of the arguments pro and con. From there he decides he will eat meat but needs to experience hunting, so we get his perspective on this, as well as going into forests to gather mushrooms.
For me, this was a truly eye-opening and fascinating book. I felt like I learned a lot of things I should have already known and now have much more insight into. Also, his whole approach to food just felt so wholesome as to make me want to move our own lifestyle in that direction, particularly making more effort to buy locally produced food items, even if they cost more. Also, to pay more attention to where the foods we buy come from and think about the carbon footprint of, for example, blueberries flown here by jet from Central or South America. (Why not buy them in summer as preserves or jelly and just not eat them fresh out of season?). So, all in all most highly recommended to be read by everyone!
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on December 1, 2015
Well, this book is about beef. It is about corn. It is about how the mega industry has manipulated the food chain and altered the diet of beef cattle in the most dubious ways. It is the dark side of the story of how we mistreat beef in order to meet the demand for meat. It is both revelatory and disturbing. You may not give up beef after this but you will never think about the meat again the same old way.
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on May 12, 2017
This is a must read for all human beings, whether you're a vegan, vegetarian, carnivore etc. I learned so much and will now be extra careful on where I shop and what I buy. This book inspired me to find a local farmer and buy all of our grass-fed meat locally...and even though I've never been a big fan of Whole Foods I will do my best to shop seasonally at my local farmer's markets etc. I REALLY like Michael Pollen and have also watched all of his documentaries on Netflix but I wish he would do an investigation into the ketogenic diet and think he'll retract most of his previous statements of us needing a mostly plant-based diet. Eating healthy grass-fed meats with very low carbs is the healthiest way to science says.
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on March 29, 2016
If you're truly interested in modern food issues and your relationship with healthy eating, then most of Pollan's books are must reads, including this modern classic. For example, if you do not know America's relationship with corn, learning the troubling facts about this issue alone is worth the cost of this book. Used copies have become dirt cheap, and Pollan's, technically, is a great and smooth writer--so do make the effort to get this book and do read it.
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on January 13, 2015
Definitely eye-opening. Hard to get through in some spots simply because the truth about factory farming is so completely horrendous that it is hard to listen to. But honestly, if you eat meat, you really should read this book. Not to change your mind necessarily, but because eating meat should be a conscious decision a person makes after knowing all the facts about what it does to the environment, a person's health, and of course the life (and death) of the animal. Very well written. I love Michael Pollan. It isn't a preachy book,...just very interesting and educational. Will definitely make you change the way you look at your food choices. Hopefully encouraging the reader to make more ethical choices.
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on March 30, 2017
I'm really impressed with this book. Harvest For Hope initially made me more concerned with food in 2008, and this book has reinvigorated my interest in eating better. I love the author's passion and drive to see into so many different aspects of the industry.
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on January 8, 2017
Fantastic book. Changed how I think about eating in a modern environment of industrial food. Your body was designed for a wide range of foods, but even that wide range has limits. The sellers of industrially produced food face strong incentives to produce food that is cheap, convenient, and yummy to our tastebuds. There's nothing immoral about that, but you'll notice that the word "nutritious" doesn't appear in that list. In the past hundred years or so, we have embarked upon a great social experiment of producing new "foods" that never existed on the planet. Are those foods and the diet they comprise compatible with our physical health and well-being? Maybe. But also: maybe not. It's probably worth thinking about.
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on March 1, 2017
I am a big fan of Mr. Pollan! without saying too much... he got me to try McDonald's again after over 11 years out of sheer curiosity, and I agree with his description wholeheartedly. lots of great agricultural history and context of food, rich imagery, and personality in this book. definitely look into more of Mr. Pollan's writing and his series on Netflix if you liked this one.
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VINE VOICEon September 7, 2008
Michael Pollan comes through with another excellent book to trace food from the ground to the dinner table. I appreciated his conversational style and narrative that started from step 1 and ended with a dinner with his friends and family. Pollan muddies the waters about how we should be eating - sustainable, not, organic, not, "natural", not - it is certainly complex to figure out what we should be purchasing and eating, and what we should not.

I did appreciate that Pollan calls out a number of shady practices in the organic food world. Free range chicken is not always as described, industrial egg production isn't sustainable, and you probably would not be interested in eating beef from Wal-Mart after finishing the book.

It does not, however, push people to go vegetarian, organic, vegan, or anything outside of our omnivore heritage. In fact, Mr. Pollan goes through a number of excellent arguments about why to eat meat, or not eat meat, depending on the reader's perception. An excellent book that kept my attention straight through.
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on January 10, 2015
So I am late to the game with this one. However, even though I finished this in 2015, it is amazing how salient The Onmivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan still is. If you are into sustainability, don't discount the importance of food and agriculture to the overall conversation. This book is full of sustainability lessons.

I have loved this book and have found myself talking about it, writing about it and sending out tweets that quote the book. In fact, I was speaking to someone at Georgia Organics and she told me that it was required reading for all employees when they first start. That's how powerful this book is. Plus, it's very, very well written. The words drip like honey and put you in each setting that makes you feel like you are there with Pollan whether it's preparing a meal or killing Joel Salatin's chickens.

The book explores four topics: small organics, industrial organics (is it me or does that sound like a conflict of words), hunting and harvesting your own food. The most interesting to me was how organic went big business, really big business. Understanding how big organics is effecting the whole conversation nationally on organics is important for anyone who is making shopping choices solely based on the organic label. Knowledge and transparency are the two best weapons consumers have when shopping for their families. The Omnivore's Dilemma helps make shoppers smarter and able to make better choices.

You can now get the book used which I did. So there really isn't any excuses.
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