Book discussion: The Omnivore's Dilemma

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14 years 9 months ago #998 by reggit
Following on from the book club thread, I'm going to propose one that I am about to reread, it's available now in paperback (Whitcoulls stocks it, among others) and should now be in libraries too. Touchwood also has it.

"The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan, Bloomsbury 2006
"In this groundbreaking book, one of America’s most fascinating, original, and elegant writers turns his own omnivorous mind to the seemingly straightforward question of what we should have for dinner. To find out, Pollan follows each of the food chains that sustain us—industrial food, organic or alternative food, and food we forage ourselves—from the source to a final meal, and in the process develops a definitive account of the American way of eating. His absorbing narrative takes us from Iowa cornfields to food-science laboratories, from feedlots and fast-food restaurants to organic farms and hunting grounds, always emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the handful of plant and animal species we depend on. Each time Pollan sits down to a meal, he deploys his unique blend of personal and investigative journalism to trace the origins of everything consumed, revealing what we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods and flavors reflects our evolutionary inheritance.

The surprising answers Pollan offers to the simple question posed by this book have profound political, economic, psychological, and even moral implications for all of us. Beautifully written and thrillingly argued, The Omnivore’s Dilemma promises to change the way we think about the politics and pleasure of eating. For anyone who reads it, dinner will never again look, or taste, quite the same.
"

You can read the first chapter at www.michaelpollan.com/omnivore.php (gotta love the internet ;))

Anyone who wants to grab this book, have a read, and discuss it - see you back here in a month's time :D

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14 years 9 months ago #53841 by oskatd
have just requested it from the library, hope it doesn't arrive the same time as the barbara kingsolver one, otherwise i'll be over run with reading material!

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14 years 9 months ago #53863 by Isla
Which Kingsolver are you waiting for? I just read The Bean Trees and Prodigal Summer.

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14 years 9 months ago #53864 by reggit
The most recent non-fiction one, Animal Vegetable Mineral, about her and her family spending a year eating seasonally and locally, and growing most of their own food. It's very good. I've never read any of her fiction works.

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14 years 9 months ago #53873 by Isla
I didn't realise she'd done that - heard an interview with someone who'd done and written something similar a few months ago, but don't think it was her.

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14 years 9 months ago #53875 by reggit
There was an aussie family that tried to be self sufficient in an urban setting. What I enjoyed about the Kingsolver book is that she is such a good writer it was interesting AND a darn good read. And it has a hilarious section on her attempts to get her turkeys to breed, I never knew it was such an issue!

Get your hands on a copy and we can start another book club discussion on that one too! :D

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14 years 9 months ago #53877 by Isla
We had a turkey which used to think empty wine bottles were good mates. Needless to say he didn't produce offspring and we ate him when he turned nasty.

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14 years 9 months ago #53881 by reggit
I remember seeing a 'hat' that the dedicated folk in DOC designed for the kakapo breeding programme when one of the male birds started landing on their human caretakers' heads and trying to mate their hair - the hat looked like a reverse bubblewrap system and was designed to catch the semen that he produced during his head-shagging frenzies so they could use it for artificial insemination! [:0]

Amazing what they will do when imprinted on humans [}:)]

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14 years 9 months ago #53934 by Isla
:D
The Staff used to have a very "friendly" little Pekin Bantam mate - and I use that word specifically - and it took some time before he realised what was going on on the end of his gumboot! :D

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14 years 9 months ago #53943 by max2
I have the aussie book (one half of them is Kiwi) that you mention Tigger, I have mixed feelings about that and their recent updates in Tasmania. She has a continuing website if you wish to view it these days...

However at least she was truthful and attempted more than others with lots of land... and potential.

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14 years 6 months ago #72380 by reggit
Cripes, here I was wondering if a month had passed since I'd posted this - and it was back in September! How time flies!

Anyone out there managed to find a copy and have a read?? [:I]

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14 years 6 months ago #72384 by hilldweller
It's on my list. Someone else recommended it too. Must go to the library over the holidays.

hilldweller

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14 years 6 months ago #72389 by jeannielea
Have just finished reading Prodigal Summer and loved it. I thought I hated The Poisonwood Bible all the way through but at the end just wanted to begin again! She is a very good writer and Prodigal summer is an ingenious way to get the sustainability message across. Must look for the ones you mention.

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14 years 6 months ago #72392 by reggit
I must try the novels, JL, this non-fiction one was the first one of hers I read and thoroughly enjoyed her writing style.

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