Omnivore's Dilemna

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Omnivore's Dilemna

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jul 6, 2009, 11:31pm

Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan is seriously making me question what I eat, and the food industry in general. I'm reading about "organic" industry at the moment for example, and am amazed and frankly a bit put-off by how meaningless the term really is when it comes to anything bought from a supermarket. It's put me off fast food for the second time in my life (the first time being when I saw Super-Size Me in theaters), although I don't eat much fast food anyway. I highly recommend this book. Pollan has written a sequel, call in Defense of Food but I haven't read it yet.

jul 7, 2009, 9:42am

This topic is near and dear to my heart :-) I actually like Pollan's In Defense of Food much better than Omnivore's Dilemma. Pollan is one of the newer writers on this topic, but all the various organic groups (in my home state, that means Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Assoc) have been advocating hard, and well, for simple foods for a long time. If you stay away from processed foods -- whether from fast food restaurants or prepackaged stuff at the grocery store -- you are going to make things easy for yourself. It doesn't take much to change a few things in your diet. I think of it as eating "real" food rather than fake food. So, salads and stir-fry, beans and rice, soups, potatoes, a bit of home-raised or locally raised chicken, some yogurt and cheese, a bit of pasta and olive oil, and oh yeah, a bit of pie from whatever fruit is in season :-). If you work full time, making a big pot of soup or casserole on the weekends really helps alot. You don't have to hassle with gourmet meals (who has time?), simple is best. I'm glad you are reading up on this subject! I still remember one of my first books about it -- Diet for a Small Planet by Lappe, just wonderful. Of course, maybe that dates me a bit...
Thanks for this thread.

jul 7, 2009, 9:54pm

I'm actually reading Diet for a New America by John Robbins now. I started a box of such "food" books as you mentioned to share with my fellow CSA (community-supported agriculture) members.

I very much agree with what you've said, malibby. If you have the chance, go to and select a CSA to join for the next season. You're buying local, organic produce - a truly wonderful thing.

*runs to get her cherries*

The book that swore me off of fast food for good was Morgan Spurlock's Don't Eat This Book (from which the movie "Super-Size Me" was made. The book/movie totally grossed me out. That led me to read more food books, join a CSA, grow a vegetable garden, and so forth. Of all the books about food that I've recently read, I like The Omnivore's Dilemma the most. I think Pollan has a pretty rational ideas when it comes to food. He's not way out on a limb either.

I'm also sick and tired of food conglomerates' CEOs making big bucks from me and then feeding me bad stuff. I still have to buy some food from them, but if I can keep part of my food money for local farmers and/or put it into seedlings from which I'll later harvest my own fruits and vegetables, that's a winning situation.

I won't give up coffee or chocolate, but will try to prepare the best fresh food I can and avoid buying unnecessary packaged foods filled with preservatives or other ingredients I cannot identify.

Want a cherry?

*spits out a pit*

jul 9, 2009, 8:31am

Oh, what a great idea to have a box of food/farming books for the CSA! Haven't read Robbins' book, will have to look that up.

We are proponents of csa, but don't belong to one because we supply others with org eggs and chicken, and we swap stuff from our garden/orchard with stuff from neighbors. Still, anyone without the land/time for a good garden would benefit greatly from joining a CSA, there are more and more every year often located closer than one might think. I'm glad you belong to one squeakychu! Also, those cherries sound mighty fine...

It would be pretty hard for me to give up chocolate, too. I do now use org choc chips from our coop for the cookies that leave this house for a myriad of potlucks :-)

Though I haven't read them in years, I liked MFK Fisher's food writing, and I remember a book by Scott entitled Serving Fire which I enjoyed reading one cold winter.

jul 9, 2009, 8:25pm

I just finished Robbins' book and can't say I'm all that excited about it. :(

okt 20, 2009, 8:20pm

I've recently (in the past year or so) started to add these nutrition/food books to my reading lists. I have yet to pick up The Omnivore's Dilemma, looks like I'll have to put that one back up towards the top... I have read The Compassionate Carnivore and Fast Food Nation. I've seen the movie for Fast Food Nation, but I would recommend on reading the book first; as always, the book goes in more detail.

Another great book to get started in organic eating/shopping is The Organic Food Shopper's Guide. It has taken quite a long time for me to switch and go the organic route. Although I don't buy everything organic, I do think twice (sometimes 3 times) before picking something up that would be "more convenient". Anyways, I'm going off the subject here....