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Apr 22, 2006 10:35 AM

The Omnivore's Dilemma Thread

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I started reading this new book (put a hold on it at my library before the hard copy even came out so I'm the first one to read this copy) a few days ago and it's one of those can't-put-down reads. I read Fast Food Nation and have seen Supersize Me a bunch of times but this book offers a different approach. While Pollan does critically cover the industrialiazed/chemically processed food industry he also investigates the confusing, if not deceitful organic food industry - one side is not a whole lot better than the more frequently bashed conventional system.

I find myself shaking my head a lot while reading it but so far I haven't found it nearly as nauseating as Eric Schlosser's coverage in Fast Food Nation, probably because in The Omnivore's Dilemma the focus is more on government regulation and Big Business Interest at the expense of society's health.

Anyone else read this yet??


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  1. I'm waiting for it from my library system now. His "The Botany of Desire" is worthwhile reading too.

    5 Replies
      1. re: EMZ

        Mna's relationship with plants. The two I remember are apples and marijuana. It's a smart book, well written, and even funny in places.

        1. re: Pat Hammond

          Sounds like Pollan. I am enjoying his writing style. Very well-researched and while it's a little dry in some spots, I like how he lightens it up with plenty of humor.

          1. re: Pat Hammond

            Pat, potato and tulip are the missing plants. My copy of THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA is on my night table patiently waiting its turn while I finish other reads.

            1. re: Sherri

              Oh, right! Thanks! I think you'll enjoy it. pat

      2. You corporatize any system and some of those corporations are going to become deceitful and corrupt.

        A long time ago I started researching WHICH organic brands to use: for instance I use a local organic milk brand that actually does allow the cows to roam and be 'free range' rather than the 'open air available' which can mean anything. There are a lot of resources out there to research companies and like with anything - it takes some work.

        Like RJ Reynolds/Horizon....I won't buy from them.

        I haven't read the book yet, but like the others, I will and then I'll find ways to overcome the dilemna (I haven't eaten fast food since reading Fast Food Nation and went 100% organic about at that time). I hope the author gives somes answers, as well?

        All I can do is my very best for a healthy body and a sustainable earth and creatures that we treat with respect.

        3 Replies
        1. re: krissywats

          I'm waiting for my copy to arrive. It's been discussed on NPR alot in the past 2-3 weeks. I bet you can find it on and stream it or download it into your ipod. So interesting!

          1. re: Gayle

            particularly good on NPR was the author's interview with Leonard Lopate on WNYC - it was a three way discussion with Ruth Reichel, which added another dimension to the talk
            (I had heard him on Terry Gross's show the day before that - looking forward to the book)

          2. re: krissywats

            Hi Krissy,

            What's the RJR/Horizon connection? I googled around for a while and all I found was that Horizon is owned by Dean Foods (not that it's by any means inconceivable that Dean is owned by RJR, but I couldn't find anything saying that's so).


          3. j
            janet of reno

            I haven't red the book yet, but I intend to. However, I found the author's interview with Terry Gross on NPR to be fascinating. The discussion about corn/corn products/corn syrup etc. now has me obsessed with corn syrup. He is absolutely right that it is everywhere in American processed food products. Its even in pretzels, for pete's sake....

            1. We just got our mail from yesterday and in the bundle was the latest issue of Mother Jones. Funny - the cover story is an excerpt from The Omnivore's Dilemma. Lots of cool pictures of Joel Salatin's *beyond organic* pastured farm. It's a Weston Price devotee's slice of heaven.

              1. In the same vein, I read a lovely article in the New Yorker written by a man who believes that you should know what you're eating, who goes to a village in Tuscany and learns pig preparation from a butcher who follows the same methods his ancestors used in 1530.


                2 Replies
                1. re: Brian S

                  Thank you so much for posting this, Brian. I saw this issue of the New Yorker yesterday at the bookstore and didn't get it because I made a promise to myself I'd get the subscription already and stop buying single issues.

                  Great piece of writing:)

                  1. re: EMZ

                    Yeah, it's a lovely article. You get to meet the butcher and an assorted wacky cast of characters, see how the pig is prepared and hear the raucous and often ribald dialogue. He could have simply visited a restaurant and written about the taste. But that would have given me far less appreciation for the food. Eating isn't just about consuming food, it's about the people who prepared it, and history too.