Friday, July 4, 2008

book review: the omnivore's dilemma

the omnivore's dilemma by michael pollan is my kind of book. i don't think my mom would like it at all (she doesn't like being questioned on the ethics of her choices) and not my dad's kind of book (no gun fights or intrigue) but i suspect that barbara kingsolver, david suzuki and i all deeply enjoyed the omnivore's dilemma.

the book traces four meals to their sources. a meal from mcdonald's, a meal from whole foods (an american organic/ natural grocery chain) a meal from polyface farm (only sells locally, all organic) and a meal that the author hunted, foraged and grew himself.

a book this informative can't help but have some dry parts. pollan writes clearly and eloquently, but on occasion he goes on for too long. i found 90% of the book fascinating, exciting and inspirational. some of the information he had on factory farms, corporate policies, environmental impacts, agricultural techniques and so on blew my socks off. this isn't stuff you'll find advertised on the walls of your local burger king. it's alarming, troublesome and incites both thought and change.

if you want to eat more ethically and tread more lightly, this is the book for you. one warning, though: you can't read it while eating at mcdonald's. (i had to leave it at home and take my knitting instead. but seriously, why doesn't a more ethical eatery have a playplace? i only go there so my kid can run around without too much supervision and i can enjoy the air conditioning. someone please start a local, organic restaurant with a playplace and a/c. near my house. thankyou.)