This book by Michael Pollan wishes to illustrate to the reader’s several eating “dilemmas” that we humans experience. Since we are considered as omnivores, we basically could eat anything, from meat, vegetables, to processed foods. Because of this we are faced with the problem of choice, what we should eat, how much we should eat, when we should eat it. This book wishes to address the eating problem that the society experiences today. This book tackles the complexity of us humans, wherein the choice that we make when it comes to our meals tells us what kind of person we are.
What makes the situation more difficult is that we are faced with various choices with the advent of technology and advancements in agriculture. This book tackles the sad reality of the American diet, wherein most Americans are said to be dysfunctional eaters, as a result of a fast-paced lifestyle. For people on the go, fast foods is a convenient source of their meals, thus creating a fast food diet for most of the Americans. This was, according to Pollan’s diagnosis, was the “national eating disorder,” wherein the abundance of the possible food sources becomes a problem.
Because of this abundance, people often make the mistake of choosing the inappropriate meal for him (Hutson, 2006). Unlike other animals, man has a lot of choices. The koala for example, has no problem in choosing what to eat because it only nibbles on eucalyptus leaves. As for humans, we could eat meat, vegetables, fruits, and other foods. We can’t eat all of these foods at once, that’s why we have to make a choice on what to put in our stomach. Mixing this dilemma with the lifestyle of the modern man often leads to choosing the wrong set of meals.
Time is of the essence for most of us, wherein we choose to spend more time working than concentrating on what to cook, what would be healthy, nutritious or delicious. We often rely on fast foods like McDonalds for our meals. But eating fastfood doesn’t mean eating the right food (Kamp, 2006). Pollan has given emphasis on the three principal food chains that we humans usually engage in. These include the Industrial, Organic and Hunter/Gatherer meals. Industrial. The Industrial types are those who thrive on corn. They usually have corn on their diet, whether or not they are aware of it.
These people are usually those who live on fast foods. Corn binds the ground meat of the McNuggets, and used as sweetener for soft drinks and sodas. It is also used to obtain fat, plump meats for your meals. When you are an industrial type, you are considered to be as partially fossil fuel, because of the fact that corn requires a lot of nitrogen from the soil and is usually cultivated with fertilizer in order to get the necessary amounts of nitrogen. It is also an effective food supplement for the cows, wherein they’re supposed to eat grass.
Organic. Another type is the Organic eater, which are mainly made up of grass. These are the ones who eat mostly vegetables in their diets. But then the problem that arises with this was the transportation of these goods. Transportation entails large costs wherein we are spending much not for the food alone but for the shipping expenses. This is impractical albeit nutritious, that is why it is advisable to grow organics in your own backyards, which is impossible for those living urban lives. Hunter/Gatherer.
Another menu was the hunter/gatherer, wherein it consists of ingredients that came from animals shot dead or foraged. This tackles the constraints of taking away the lives of animals in order to feed and suppress your hunger. The book presented these facts to a reader in a conversational-persuasive manner. He wishes to impart to the readers the various eating patterns that we are presently observing and the underlying consequences it has to offer. This book tells us of the eating habit or pattern that has resulted through the years and then supplies the downside of every concept.
This is a fair illustration of the real situation that we are facing now. Taking for example its take on the Industrial foods, it elaborated the culprit of the “fattening” of the American population which was the corn. It showed the readers where corn might be in their diets, and then gave the possible negative effects it poses. It also showed that it is a cheap source of calories. But at the latter part, he also emphasized that it has major contributions on the fattening of the people, leading to obesity (Alter, 2006).
This book is significant to the readers because it promotes awareness. It gives us the fair share of knowing what we’re eating. It is like deconstructing our meals, looking closely at its compositions and ingredients, analyzing the positive and negative effects it could bring to the human body. Awareness is a step in which everyone could take in order to live a healthy life. This book doesn’t impose what to eat; it merely suggests or shows what could be the underlying effects the meals we are eating could bring us.
This book is a clear illustration of what could be the most important things that we often disregard or neglect when it comes to our meals. This is essential for our well being, especially now that the we are living in a fast-paced world, wherein we don’t have the luxury of time to eat and decide what we should intake. Most of us could learn a lot of new things in this book, and this is highly recommended to all readers, not only for those who are concerned with their health, but also to those who value every aspect of their lives.
References: Alter, L. (2006). Book Review: The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Retrieved March 8, 2007, from http://www. treehugger. com/files/2006/05/book_review_the_1. php Hutson, S. (2006). Michael Pollan. Retrieved March 8, 2007, from http://www. michaelpollan. com/omnivore. php Kamp, D. (2006). Deconstructing Dinner. Retrieved March 8, 2007, from http://www. nytimes. com/2006/04/23/books/review/23kamp. html? ex=1303444800&en=3c0958f57a4112b7&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss