Eng1A MWF 11-12
April 19, 2013
Literary Analysis: The Omnivore’s Dilemma
In Michael Pollan’s, The Omnivores Dilemma everything we eat is somehow derived from corn. Dating back to the day of the Mayans when they were sometimes referred to as “the corn people” (Pollan 19). Pollan takes us back to the “beginning” of the industrial food chain. In The Omnivores Dilemma historical context, ideology, and setting do not do the reader justice in opening their eyes to the harsh reality that without the corn industry eating as we know it today would cease to exist.
The use of historical context in The Omnivores Dilemma insufficiently details the actual origin of corn. Per Pollan’s writing he explains that “Squanto taught the Pilgrims to plant maize in 1621…..” (Pollan 25), but the existence of corn dates way back much further than 1621. In a 1948 excavation of Bat Cave, New Mexico by then student of anthropology at Harvard University, Herbert W. Dick found small cobs of corn at the bottom of Bat Caves floor which were estimated to contain maize that had their beginning no later than 2000 B.C. (Mangelsdorf 148). Many different types of test have been used to determine how old the corn plant is, but only with solid evidence provided by archeologists has there been any real way to argue the actual evolution of corn. It is more than evident having conducted my own research about the origin and historical context of corn that Pollan merely “touched” on the subject matter of, where corn came from. In this day and age with many households having both the husband and wife, or single parent households, or just because of mere laziness, society as a whole doesn’t put as much thought into what we consume as they use to. For the most part what we consume is what is most convenient at the time we are hungry, but little do most of us know what it really is that we are eating…..corn. As Pollan so bluntly states, “…. At the end of the food chain (which is to...