The Omnivore's Dilemma - commentary

Michael Pollan is getting a lot of attention for his recent book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. (tag phrase: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.")

I buy used books, so I'm reading his previous book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006).

I'm about 3/4 of the way through the book and it's been a fascinating tour of our industrial agricultural food system, our industrial organic food system, a beyond organic / local food system, and in the final pages a local hunter/gatherer food system.

His complete message is nuanced and best read and interpreted for one's self, but one obvious take home message is that there are glaring problems with application of industrial techniques to food production. A brief summary of the guiding philosophy one could take home from the book is here.

The introduction and first chapter of The Omnivore's Dilemma (PDF)

Other writing by Michael Pollan.


  1. Haven't gotten around to reading any of Pollan's books yet. Must try to fit them in.

  2. Some more widely read reviewers have said that The Omnivore's Dilemma is better than In Defense of Food.

    Like others, I kept waiting for the meal that came right from his own kitchen garden - the complete local solution. He has the gardening chops to pull that off. Perhaps he thought that aspect of the foodshed (like a watershed, it's a term people use to describe the locally available food) would have narrower interest, since the days of the Victory Garden are long gone.