The Omnivore's Dilemma: a natural History of four meals. Summary study guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections: This detailed literature summary also contains. Topics for Discussion and a, free quiz on, the Omnivore's Dilemma: a natural History of four meals by michael Pollan. The Omnivore's Dilemma, by michael Pollan, is a book about American eating habits, and the food dilemma American's have today. Pollan tries to help readers decide the answer to the age-old question: "What's for dinner?" by examining the different food paths available to modern man and by analyzing those paths to determine the best for health, stability, and sustainability. Pollan begins the book by discussing the dilemma of the omnivore, a creature with vast choices for eating.
The, omnivore ' s, dilemma : a natural History of four meals
Pollan lists his meal by order of diminishing corniness: soda has the most corn, followed by the milk shake, the salad dressing, the chicken nuggets, the cheeseburger, and finally the French fries. Pollan explains that from the point of view of the agribusiness, the corn-fed industrial food chain allows corporations to increase profits faster than the American age population expands. For consumers from the lower rungs of Americas economic ladder, this food is cheap—but it also leads to obesity, type ii diabetes, and heart disease. Ecologically, the industrial food chain requires a great deal of energy to continue running because it relies not only on solar energy but also on fossil fuels. Although the corn plant itself is more abundant than ever before, american corn farmers exist only by government subsidy. Pollan concludes: you have to wonder why we Americans dont worship this plant as fervently as the aztecs; like they once did, we make extraordinary sacrifices. Ultimately, the pollan familys meal added up to over four thousand calories, far more than they naturally require for lunch. Although many people may view fast food as a comfort food or as a food that recalls their childhood, pollan finds that his family had finished eating (while in the car) in less than ten minutes. Ironically, it seems that perhaps the food is consumed as quickly as it is made. Pollan suggests that the speed of consumption indicates that it is not worth savoring.
Having discovered how ubiquitous corn has become in America, pollan acknowledges that he could have eaten almost any meal to finish his investigation. However, he ultimately chose to take his wife and son out to McDonalds, where they each ordered individual meals. Although his wife objects to wasting a meal by eating fast food, pollans son quickly shares that McDonalds now serves salads. Pollans son is fulfilling a marketing strategy in which pdf a child is able to deny the denier of fast food by pointing out that there are more healthful options like salads. At the drive-through window, pollan receives a handout titled a full Serving of Nutrition Facts: Choose the best meal for you. He discovers that one of the ingredients (dimethylpolysiloxene) is a suspected carcinogen. Pollan considers whether Chicken McNuggets taste like chicken and realizes that almost all fast food simply tastes like fast food. This leads him to speculate how much corn was used to make his familys meal, and he decides to have a meal tested using a spectrometer.
Pollan makes a meal from the ingredients from a small Virginia farm as a lesson in our food, where book it comes from, and what our expectations are from such a local meal. He shows readers how far we have come as a society from knowing the sources of our food. What ends up on our tables little resembles its original state. Critics appreciate pollans cause and admire his compelling and clear writing. The Omnivores Dilemma alerts its readers to the changes in our countrys food industry and how radically it has changed our health, diet, and country. The meal concludes the first part. The Omnivores Dilemma, in which Pollan mini attempts to trace what he calls the industrial food chain.
In the milk shakes and sodas, the syrup that is used also comes from corn. Amazingly, corn also makes up thirteen of the thirty-eight ingredients in Chicken McNuggets. Any reasonable reader would ask, how can this be? Pollan continues his assault on corn, which makes up more than one fourth of the 45,000 items in a supermarket. Eggs, chickens, corn starch, corn oil, corn syrup, prepared foods, toothpaste, and mayonnaise all go back to corn. The food industry went overboard with the corn plant and sold its many byproducts to the American people, making them become fatter and fatter. This exploitation of corn also did not help farmers.
The, omnivore ' s, dilemma, summary - four Minute books
Michael Pollans, the Omnivores ala Dilemma: a natural History of four meals, published in 2006 by penguin Press, is the author's examination of Americans' overall eating habits. 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. The first section focuses on industrial farming, the second analyzes organic food, and the third discusses hunting and gathering one's own food.
Each section ends with a meal, and Pollan's narrative traces the meal back to its origins. In the book's first section, pollan zeroes in on the corn industry. Corn and oil compose the heart of the food industry: corn as a crop with byproducts, and oil as the fossil fuels that transport it to our tables. Pollan analyzes a mcDonalds lunch. The meals origins are on a cornfield in Iowa, with a main focus on the burgers that come from the steer that eat the corn. The oil used for cooking the fries also comes from corn.
Or could it be that the current food system, despite its challenges, is the best under the prevailing circumstances? When I was in kindergarten, my teacher taught me, we eat to grow and be healthy. But now, with my education in public health, i am in a dilemma not only as to what to eat but why i eat, whether i eat to live and be healthy or otherwise. I used to praise myself for not having any dietary restrictions. But now, i no longer confidently envy myself for possessing this ability. These are my dilemma as a consumer.
Omnivores, dilemma, summary - by Croomashley
Furthermore, there are the dangers posed by runoffs of pesticides and fertilizers into bodies of water that serve people and other living organisms. Finally, pollan blamed the rising prevalence of obesity in the United States on the overconsumption of unhealthy food as a result of it being cheap and readily available. He stressed how food companies are devising strategies to make consumers pay more for the same quantity of food or to eat more in order for them to make profits. This reminds me that my aim as a consumer is not the same as that of the producer, the latter wants profits while the former wants satisfaction and good health. Though Pollans analyses are based on the United States food system, they are of relevance to other countries as industrialization and globalization have narrowed the geographic borders of cultivation and processing entry of food. Pollans book, omnivores dilemma is eye-opening. However, i think pollan could have added more information if he had toured a couple of food regulatory institutions to appreciate how they work and the challenges they face. Secondly, although Pollan identified all the problems, he proposed no solution to them. The problems are fairly known, what is needed writings are solutions.
The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in modern diet has increased from 1 to 1 to an alarming 10. Secondly, pollan explains the process by which resistant strains of bacteria develop as a result of feeding cow with corn. The use of antibiotics such as Tylosin to prevent bloat, an alimentary disorder which results from feeding cattle with corn, leads to the development of these resistant strains of bacteria. Also, corn produces an acidic rumen which supports the growth of drug resistant pathogens such as E-coli 0157:H7. . Of concern is the fact that these resistant strains are easily transferred to human and such implications are even more worrisome given the very few new antibiotics currently being developed. Thirdly, pollan discussed the negative effect of the industrialization of agriculture: the use of nitrogen based chemical fertilizers in place of livestock manure and crop rotation and the concomitant shift from reliance on solar energy to fossil fuel. Though this may make food production economically cheap, it is ecologically expensive bearing in mind the devastative effect of pollution, and greenhouse gases both by-products of fossil fuel consumption, on the environment.
According to pollan, about 34,000 of the 45,000 items in long the average American supermarket contain corn. Corn has become the botanical winner. It is the major sweetener and the main cereal for brewing beer and whiskey. What is more concerning, as Pollan witnessed on his trip, is how the diet of most animals such as cattle has been changed from grass to corn for economic reasons. Corn fed animals take a shorter time to grow and gain weight compared with animals raised on grass or on their natural diet. However, the physiology of these animals has not evolved to rely on corn and on the receiving end of the negative effects of such ripples along the food change is us, as consumers to put Pollans observation in different words: The process by which. In Pollans analogy, if we are truly what we eat then we are corn. Pollan mentions some major public health problems posed by mans desire for economic efficiency in food production.
Dilemma : Part One, summary
Penguin Press, 2006, omnivores Dilemma, a natural history of four meals. Penguin books Ltd, usa 2007. In his book the, omnivores dilemma, a natural history of four meals, michael Pollan chronicles the man-made problems associated with our remote 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. He began his journey from the industrial farms of Iowa and feedlots in Kansas to organic farms and slaughter houses in Virginia to finally, the supermarkets in which we all partake. He not only traced the ecological path of food from cultivation to consumption but also the evolutionary path of our diet over the years. Pollan points out that the omnivores dilemma is how we as humans have so many dietary options but so little information about what we should eat and where our food comes from. From the corn fields of Iowa, pollan explains why corn, because of its photosynthetic efficiency, high yield, versatility and ease to transport, has become the most preferred cereal for cultivation. In my opinion, this is the genesis of the problems with the food on our table: The motivation for cultivating the food we eat is unfortunately, not because we need it to be healthy, but rather because it makes economic sense to cultivate.