Monday, January 14, 2008

The Omnivore's Dilemma

I have just finished the Omnivore's Dilemma. It is an intense book. It is one of those that you really want to read with a highlighter and a pen to write in the margins. lol... I am interested in reading whatever else Micheal Pollan puts out.

Man, the book is SO interesting. Really good information, put out in a way that is matter of fact, and not alarming in the slightest (unless of course, the content is alarming... I think I meant not "alarmist" in the sense that he doesn't go "This is TERRIBLE, look what THEY do....." KWIM?) He goes through four different meals, from as industrial as you can get to as 'natural' as you can get. McDonald's of course, came first. Then Whole Foods industrial organics. Then PolyFace Farms (a sustainable grass/meat farm). Then a meal he hunts, kills, grows or gathers himself.

He follows each one back to the very start of the food chain on which they were formed.

For McDonald's it was industrial grown corn to feed the chickens and the beef (cows are not made to eat corn). It is pretty amazing how much of the fast food is made from corn. You'd never know from eating it, but really, it is all corn fed meat, fried in corn oil, battered in corn starch, corn fats, and salts from corn, with a side of High Fructose Corn Syrup soda. I had some idea, but I just didn't realize how true his most famous quote is: "So that's us; processed corn, walking."

He follows that up with a nice stint on an industrial organic farm. Then moves on to PolyFace, then on to his own hunting/mushroom hunting/gardening experiences.

Fascinating. Just really really interesting stuff.

He makes a point of staying very objective through out the entire book, and sharing his opinions in a language that it is clear he is owning each and every one of them. He doesn't expect you to think the way he does... he just says what HE thinks. It is a nice refresher for those of us who have read "fad" diet books where there is only ONE way to do things (and here is why - and here is the science behind it is on page 452 - and here is why everything else is wrong on page 597... lol.).

The other two books I have right now promise to be lighter, and I am ready. Don said to me the other day that I really need to find something that I can read for pleasure. Something that doesn't give me more to work on and worry about at the end of the day. I said that is what NetFlix is for. lol... he wasn't convinced.

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