Saturday, August 31, 2013

Talking About: The Omnivore's Dilema

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four MealsThis is one that I've meant to read for years. (I seem to have unusual ambitions, don't I?)

This was a really neat read- food sciences and agriculture are two of my interests, so this was a good read. This one is all about where food comes from and all of the dilemmas we humans go through when choosing what we should eat.

Michael Pollan focuses in on three meals: a fast food meal, one made with food grown sustainable, and one made from ingredients that were hunted and gathered. Before focusing on these meals, Pollan takes us through the current state of the agriculture industry, which boils down to one thing: corn. I know more about corn than I thought was possible. The economics, the reproductive cycle, the processing, the effects on the environment, and its roll in the industrial farming industry. Corn. That said, it was an important part of the book.

I enjoyed reading about sustainable farming. I'm kind of a sustainability geek there so, make of that what you will. It was nice to read about letting nature do it's thing a little more using rotational farming. (See, geek). It seems to be the more hopeful part of the book (hunting and gathering takes so much time and energy that an individual couldn't survive in our society that way, and couldn't support populations, simply because of space). I hope that we can one day get to the point where we can farm sustainably, since the industrial food chain really isn't sustainable.

Basically I loved this book. I have my copy bookmarked all get out (do people say that anymore?), with notes to myself. Again, food sciences and sustainable living in a modern age are two passions of mind, and this book marries them. It took me a little longer to read than fiction usually does, but it wasn't too heavy a read, and was generally quite intresting.

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