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Omnivore's Dilemma- A Review

I think I'll take a minute to write a few thoughts about the book "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan.

I liked the book. It was not quite as easy to read as the Barbara Kingsolver, but I'm glad I read it. At times, especially during the descriptions of the history of the industrial food complex, the book was a bit dry. I understand that there was a point, and I need to know this stuff if I'm going to make educated choices at the supermarket, but gah, dress it up a bit, huh?

I especially enjoyed the chapters on hunting and gathering (mushroom hunting and actual hunting of animals). Mr. Pollan showed the very human and emotional side to hunting that few of us ever think about. Of course, few of us ever eat meat that has been killed in this manner.

Which brings me to the lessons I learned from this book...

1. We (speaking of Americans) are blissfully ignorant of the origins of our food. People think their food comes from the supermarket- but it had to be somewhere before it was there and we don't take the time to find out. I think we would be healthier if we did a little homework and made the effort to educate ourselves about how our food is processed. Mr. Pollan has done this and it is quite an eye opener.

2. The industrial food industry has done a miraculous job of creating thousands of products from one commodity- CORN. I have become a much more dedicated label reader after reading this book. The chapter on fast food and the amount of processed corn in most of its offerings was surprising to me. The amount of processed corn in everything is shocking.

3. I can not possibly live my life eating a completely unprocessed, organic diet- but I can get a lot closer and get more involved in the origins of my food. I can educate myself and take the time to seek out more local sources. I can plan better meals so I'm not lurking around the frozen pizza aisle at the store after school.

That's about all I have to say about the book right now. I highly recommend it- although not as "an entertaining beach" read- more like a "because you really need to" read.

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