Michael Pollan’s book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” is a mind-blowing book that details the production links in the chain of the food we consume. This book is incredibly relevant as we address our complex relationship with our food and the environmental implications that we either assume are irrelevant or choose to ignore. It’s also an easy read that’s engaging and interesting.
For anyone trying to live an eco-friendly life, food plays an important role in their efforts to save, preserve, and protect earth. Unlike many environmental issues, such as our addiction to oil, global warming, habitat destruction, and loss of biodiversity, food is very much in our control.
In fact, by taking control of your food, you can become empowered and more aware. Reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” can be the first step in exerting influence over your food. Pollan guides his readers through the complex food chain that comprises our diet, from farm to table and everywhere in between. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” is written around four meals as examples to explain these relationships.
The first two meals are not unlike many typical American dinners: a fast-food meal consumed en route at sixty miles an hour, and a typical grocery-store meal of out-of-season produce flown from thousands of miles away and meat from a typical concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO).
After reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” these first two meals might seem as unappetizing as other-worldly delicacies like fresh maggot larvae. Instead, you might find Pollan’s latter two meals much more appetizing.
The second two meals are centered on food that is better for its eaters and the best for the earth. The first is a more practical meal composed of local foods that Pollan himself either slaughtered (the chicken from a farm that he visited, which also provided the eggs) or bought locally. The final meal, although impractical for everyday living, was either hunted or gathered by Pollan.
After reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” you might not feel inspired to follow in Pollan’s footsteps by gathering local mushrooms, but you will, undoubtedly, taste your food differently. You will never eat the same, in a very good way. This is a must-read; it will heighten your environmental senses, inspire your diet, and enable you to make the choices that will lighten your carbon footprint, one delicious bite at a time.