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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Book Review: The Omnivore's Dilemma

How appropriate that I would have finished The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan just minutes before I started to make dinner for my family! Literally, I closed the book and turned to my lasagna ingredients.

The book's introduction opens with the question many mothers find both mundane and challenging: "What should we have for dinner?" Mr. Pollan never presumes to answer the question definitively for us. Instead, he invites us to make that determination ourselves by asking hard questions about where our food comes from. Along the way he does do a lot of the legwork for us by exploring three different "paths" a meal might take to the table: industrial, pastoral, and personal. There are visits to factories, farms and forests to explore each of the various food "paths" as well as a good deal of philosophical and political discussion along the way.

Four hundred and eleven pages later, Mr. Pollan has done an excellent and entertaining job of helping us do some serious thinking about our food choices. And he does it all without even a touch of preachiness!

From vegans to hunters (and the majority of us in between), I highly recommend this book to anyone who eats... and anyone who thinks.

In the coming days, I'll be posting my "Notes & Quotes" from the book. You can subscribe to this blog's feed by email or RSS to get those blog updates.

Next on my reading list is Pollan's book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.

Enjoy other book reviews: Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm my husband bought this one & I've been thinking about reading it for months now. Glad to hear you liked it - I may need to bump it way up in the reading pile!

Kerry said...

K - Oh, my goodness, it really is so good. This book could have been very dry and scholarly, but his writing is so descriptive, witty, and thoughtful - and REAL that it is a delight to read. And the conversation it starts is a very worthy one.

If you do read it, please let me know!