America’s Love-Hate Relationship with Food
Michael Pollan embarked upon an incredible journey throughout America’s Heartland, known as the Corn Belt, to bring us his eye-opening account of just exactly what is behind putting food on our table in “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” In the first three chapters of the first section of the book, Industrial: Corn, Pollan not only questions what exactly is in the foods we eat, but also where, precisely, does it come from? Though Pollan covers all the critical elements of a good read; conflict, dastardly villains, and even sex; all with touches of sardonic humor, one must keep in mind this is non-fiction, and be prepared to be shocked and somewhat disturbed at his findings.
At the heart of the story is the discovery that Americans are fast becoming more people of corn, rather than the wheat people we have always been. As everyone knows, the first settlers were introduced to corn by true corn people, the Native Americans. Once their knowledge was imparted to the newbies, they were no longer needed or wanted; thus the first and major conflict of the story ensued (not to mention, enter dastardly villains!). The true villain in this story comes in the form of the government, who spotted the value of this wondrous grain, and capitalized on it, even at the expense of the health of its citizens. Sex in our story may be disappointing to say the least, since this is corn we’re talking about, but interesting, nevertheless. Pollan teaches you much more about the sex life of corn than you thought you ever cared about.
Throughout Pollan’s book, irrefutable facts about corn’s rise to power in America are astounding as he backs them up with plenty of resources, yet infuses enough humor to keep the reader turning those pages. The writer follows the history of one particular farming family over the last century. In the days of this farmer’s grandfather, the bounty from his plot of land was enough to feed his own family along...
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