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The Omnivore's Dilemma A Natural History of Four Meals

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9781594200823

ISBN10:
1594200823
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
4/11/2006
Publisher(s):
Penguin Press HC, The
List Price: $26.95

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Summary

The bestselling author of The Botany of Desireexplores the ecology of eating to unveil why we consume what we consume in the twenty-first century "What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't-which mushrooms should be avoided, for example, and which berries we can enjoy. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance. The cornucopia of the modern American supermarket and fast-food outlet has thrown us back on a bewildering landscape where we once again have to worry about which of those tasty-looking morsels might kill us. At the same time we're realizing that our food choices also have profound implications for the health of our environment. The Omnivore's Dilemmais bestselling author Michael Pollan's brilliant and eye-opening exploration of these little-known but vitally important dimensions of eating in America. Pollan has divided The Omnivore's Dilemmainto three parts, one for each of the food chains that sustain us: industrialized food, alternative or "organic" food, and food people obtain by dint of their own hunting, gathering, or gardening. Pollan follows each food chain literally from the ground up to the table, emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the species we depend on. He concludes each section by sitting down to a meal--at McDonald's, at home with his family sharing a dinner from Whole Foods, and in a revolutionary "beyond organic" farm in Virginia. For each meal he traces the provenance of everything consumed, revealing the hidden components we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods reflects our environmental and biological inheritance. We are indeed what we eat-and what we eat remakes the world. A society of voracious and increasingly confused omnivores, we are just beginning to recognize the profound consequences of the simplest everyday food choices, both for ourselves and for the natural world. The Omnivore's Dilemmais a long-overdue book and one that will become known for bringing a completely fresh perspective to a question as ordinary and yet momentous as What shall we have for dinner?

Author Biography

Michael Pollan is the author of three previous books: Second Nature, A Place of My Own, and 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. 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.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Our National Eating Disorderp. 1
Industrial Corn
The Plant: Corn's Conquestp. 15
The Farmp. 32
The Elevatorp. 57
The Feedlot: Making Meatp. 65
The Processing Plant: Making Complex Foodsp. 85
The Consumer: A Republic of Fatp. 100
The Meal: Fast Foodp. 109
Pastoral Grass
All Flesh Is Grassp. 123
Big Organicp. 134
Grass: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Pasturep. 185
The Animals: Practicing Complexityp. 208
Slaughter: In a Glass Abattoirp. 226
The Market: "Greetings from the Non-Barcode People"p. 239
The Meal: Grass-Fedp. 262
Personal The Forest
The Foragerp. 277
The Omnivore's Dilemmap. 287
The Ethics of Eating Animalsp. 304
Hunting: The Meatp. 334
Gathering: The Fungip. 364
The Perfect Mealp. 391
Acknowledgmentsp. 413
Sourcesp. 417
Indexp. 437
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


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