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the omnivore's dilemma

Though some foods seem more reasonable budget-wise, it is often … Had to read this book for a class, and while it's about an interesting subject and has some really good facts, it can get suuuuper boring! This book is very informative and has helped me understand more about the food system. Pollan’s readings have also had significant influence on the way people eat. A food chain is a system for passing those calories on to species that lack the plant’s unique ability to synthesize them from sunlight. Tall-grass prairie is what this land was until the middle of the nineteenth century, when the sod was first broken by the settler’s plow. (Yes, it’s in the Twinkie, too.) What happens next is very strange. The Omnivore’s Dilemma takes a look at food production in America, helping readers make better-informed decisions on what they consume. In order to determine how we got to this point, Pollan decided to go back to the beginning. The result, says Pollan, is that the omnivore’s dilemma has come back with an “almost atavistic vengeance.” (4) We wander bewildered in the supermarket because we don’t know what to eat. There are things in it that will ruin their appetites. We are not only what we eat, but how we eat, too. Shall I be a carnivore or a vegetarian? June 2010; Journal of Anthropological Research 66(2):161-186; DOI: 10.2307/27820880. How do the alchemies of the kitchen transform the raw stuffs of nature into some of the great delights of human culture? 4,5 von 5 Sternen 56. Monday. To take the wheel of a clattering 1975 International Harvester tractor, pulling a spidery eight-row planter through an Iowa cornfield during the first week of May, is like trying to steer a boat through a softly rolling sea of dark chocolate. But I promptly discovered that no single farm or meal could do justice to the complex, branching story of alternative agriculture right now, and that I needed also to reckon with the food chain I call, oxymoronically, the “industrial organic.” So the book’s pastoral section serves up the natural history of two very different “organic” meals: one whose ingredients came from my local Whole Foods supermarket (gathered there from as far away as Argentina), and the other tracing its origins to a single polyculture of grasses growing at Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia. But the surfeit of choice brings with it a lot of stress and leads to a kind of Manichaean view of food, a division of nature into The Good Things to Eat, and The Bad. We are indeed what we eat, and what we eat remakes the world. The sight of such soil, pushing up and then curling back down behind the blade of his plow like a thick black wake behind a ship, must have stoked his confidence, and justifiably so: It’s gorgeous stuff, black gold as deep as you can dig, as far as you can see. The rich descriptions of landscapes and emotions, took me through a range of feelings and made me confront "the omnivores dilemma" head on. that it’s all one thing, just a sea of green). The energy is stored in the form of carbon molecules and measured in calories. That the male anthers resemble flowers and the female cob a phallus is not the only oddity in the sex life of corn. Long before scientists understood hybridization, Native Americans had discovered that by taking the pollen from the tassel of one corn plant and dusting it on the silks of another, they could create new plants that combined the traits of both parents. Descendents of the Maya living in Mexico still sometimes refer to themselves as “the corn people.” The phrase is not intended as metaphor. The human omnivore has, in addition to his senses and memory, the incalculable advantage of a culture, which stores the experience and accumulated wisdom of countless human tasters before him. Since the 1980s virtually all the sodas and most of the fruit drinks sold in the supermarket have been sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—after water, corn sweetener is their principal ingredient. If you look hard enough, you can still find teosinte growing in certain Central American highlands; you can find maize, its mutant offspring, anywhere you find people. Certainly it would never have happened in a culture in possession of deeply rooted traditions surrounding food and eating. How this peculiar grass, native to Central America and unknown to the Old World before 1492, came to colonize so much of our land and bodies is one of the plant world’s greatest success stories. Of course there are benefits to eating a more plant-focused diet rather than having meat 7 times a week, but this is none of the books that proclaim one particular diet as the solution (which is BS anyways, by the way). Corn’s success might seem fated in retrospect, but it was not something anyone would have predicted on that day in May 1493 when Columbus first described the botanical oddity he had encountered in the New World to Isabella’s court. Where most plants during photosynthesis create compounds that have three carbon atoms, corn (along with a small handful of other species) make compounds that have four: hence “C-4,” the botanical nickname for this gifted group of plants, which wasn’t identified until the 1970s. 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