Pollan approaches this subject by looking at food as a naturalist does. He points out that all of our food originates as plants, animals, and fungi. The book is divided into three sections. Corn and oil compose the heart of the food industry:
Summary[ edit ] Noting that corn is the most heavily subsidized U. In the first section, he monitors the development of a calf from a pasture in South Dakota, through its stay on a Kansas feedlot, to its end. The author highlights that of everything feedlot cows eat, the most destructive is corn, which tends to damage their livers.
Corn-fed cows become sick as a matter of course, a fact accepted by the industry as a cost of doing business. In the second section, Pollan describes the large-scale farms and food-processing outfits that largely satisfy surging demand for organic food, using Whole Foods as a proxy.
The author aims to demonstrate that, despite the group's rhetoric, the virtues on sale often prove questionable. The "free-range" chicken on offer, it turns out, hails from a confinement operation with a tiny yard, largely unused by the short-lived birds.
Pollan also accuses large-scale organic agriculture of "floating on a sinking sea of petroleum" by analysing that a one-pound box of California-produced organic lettuce — that contains 80 food calories — requires 4, calories of fossil fuel to process and ship to the East Coast.
He adds that the figure would be only "about 4 percent higher if the salad were grown conventionally".
One of Pollan's major arguments about the organic farming industry is that it creates an unrealistic pastoral narrative, giving people the false idea that, by definition, organic products come from picturesque open pastures.
In contrast to his discussion of the large-scale organic food industry, Pollan presents in the third section Joel Salatina farmer who runs a successful mid-sized, multi-species meat farm in Virginia, and insists on selling his goods close by and on relying on his family and a few interns to supplement his labor.
Pollan discusses how each part of the farm directly helps the others -- the sun feeds the grass, the grass feed the cows, the larvae in the cow manure feed the chicken, and the chicken feed the grass with nitrogen. It's all a cycle and the farm doesn't require any or much fossil fuel injection.
The final section finds Pollan attempting to prepare a meal using only ingredients he has huntedgathered, or grown himself. He recruits assistance from local foodieswho teach him to hunt feral pigsgather wild mushroomsand search for abalone.
He also makes a salad of greens from his own garden, bakes sourdough bread using wild yeastand prepares a dessert from cherries picked in his neighborhood. Pollan concludes that the fast food meal and the hunter-gatherer meal are "equally unreal and equally unsustainable".
He focuses on what is before his eyes but neglects the macro perspective of the economist. He wants to make the costs of various foods transparent, but this is an unattainable ideal, given the interconnectedness of markets.
Many in the university's community, including those who run the kinds of industrial farms The Omnivore's Dilemma discusses, were unhappy with the selection, and speculation[ by whom? Elson Floydpresident of WSU, claimed instead that it was a budgetary issue, and when food safety expert Bill Marler stepped up to cover the claimed shortfall, the program was reinstated, and Pollan was invited to speak on campus.
Critics of Pollan have argued that he perpetuates a similar false narrative by holding up Joel Salatin 's farm as a model and by advocating eating only food from local producers.
Salatin's farm has been controversial because he does not place an emphasis on animal rights, while eating only local food can also be harmful to the environment.
Studies have shown that the locavorism Pollan advocates is not necessarily beneficial to the environment. As an example, a study by Lincoln University showed that raising sheep, apples, and dairy in the United Kingdom resulted in higher carbon dioxide emissions than importing those products from New Zealand to the UK.
Some critics have also argued that simply cutting out meat itself would be much less energy intensive than locavorism.
Given that, according to Pollan, other than raising ruminants for human consumption, no viable alternatives exist in such grassy areas, for growing any grains or other plant foods for human consumption.Omnivore’s Dilemma, A natural history of four meals.
Michael Pollan. Penguin Books Ltd, USA In his book the ‘Omnivore’s dilemma, A natural history of four meals’, Michael Pollan chronicles the man-made problems associated with our food chain that compromise the quality of the food we eat.
In writing this book, Pollan, as an investigative journalist, toured various levels of the food production chain. Michael Pollan is the author of seven previous books, including Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, all of which were New York Times bestsellers.
A longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine, he also teaches writing at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. In , TIME magazine named him one of the one hundred most. The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Search for a Perfect Meal in a Fast-Food World (reissued) of Pollan, Michael on 17 January The Omnivore Dilemma: Part One Summary Essay The Omnivore Dilemma: Part One Summary Student Name DeVry University Industrial/Corn Summary The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan, analyzes the eating habits and food chains of modern America in .
Excellent post. We decided last year we’d rather kill one or two large animals for a year or so’s worth of meat, than 60 chickens (after butchering for our home and my mothers, we’d done over 80). View Notes - The Omnivore Review from ENGL at DeVry University, Chicago.
1 RUNNING HEAD: THE OMNIVORES DILEMMA PART 1 REVIEW, CH The Omnivores Dilemma Part One Review Chapters by Michael.