It took me a long time to read, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and as you can tell by the beat-up cover, I gave this book a workout! I was reading it while I had a very busy work schedule, so I was only able to read small sections at a time. With that said, if you only read one book this year, make it be this one!
It is because of this book that I’m finally able to get a better understanding of the news reports that are being presented to us with alarming frequency–obesity, pollution, water usage to raise animals vs. plants, importation and exportation of food products, the treatment of animals, soil conditions, the economy, and the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and hormones…just to name a “few” things.
The author took me on a journey not only through the history of some foods, but he also unveiled some of his own misconceptions about food and food production, which mirror the ideas of the average consumer, including myself. He doesn’t spend time trying to convince his readers to go “vegan,” but rather, he paints an entire picture from the beginning of the food chain until the end. The reader is left with the job of of deciding how to process the information, and then absorb it into their own life, and lifestyle choices.
In the end, he produced a dinner for his family and friends that was grown, hunted, and foraged locally by himself and his friends. He was proud of his accomplishment was surprised by how truly difficult it was, because Americans have walked so far away from growing and preparing their own food. We are now a nation of people who rely on government regulations to keep us healthy and well-feed, and we have no clue how our food is produced, or what’s in it.
We have walked so far away from natural food, that we’re often fooled into believing that industrialized food is healthy. My husband and I recently got back from a trip to France and we noticed that the sign on the prepackaged sweets aisle was labeled in French, “Industrial Pastries.” The word turned us off…we walked away. Interesting, right?
I’m really glad that I read this book–I learned a lot!
P.S. Tomorrow is my birthday, so that means that I read 24 non-fiction books in a year! I was hoping to read a few more than that, but some of those books were thick! LOL! Let’s see how many I can read from now until my next birthday!