What Are We Eating
A review of The Omnivore’s Dilemma chapter 1-3
It is so easy in our society to sate our hunger; a trip to the grocery store, a quick stop at the convenience store or local fast food outlet. How often do we as Americans consider where our food comes from? Yes, we see the commercials of the beautiful rolling farm hills, the “happy cows”, and the portrait of the commercialized nostalgic Norman Rockwell imagery giving each consumer the warm fuzzy feeling inside that our food comes from farms and not huge industrial complexes. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma section one “The Plant: Corns Conquest” Pollan provides a base for the purpose of his noted dilemma by providing history, data and background information in three chapters titled “The Plant”, “The Farmer”, and finally “The Elevator”; providing a detailed argument that today’s food production is very un-natural in what was once a very natural process. Chapter 1, The Plant
In chapter one “The Plant” Pollan begins laying the foundation for his argument that we as Americans are “walking corn”. He begins with a breakdown of our local grocery store, pointing out several faucets of corn product utilization in such creative uses as everything from the coating sprayed on cucumbers to make them appealing, to corn as binder used in toothpaste. He moves on to provide information related to the history of corn, its carbon count, and how it grows. Surprising to this reader Pollan notes corns intertwining relationship with man from the earliest first people; and that without man corn would be unable to reproduce as if left to “survival of the fittest”, a natural process, and corn may have well been extinct long ago.
Chapter 2, The Farmer
Chapter two “The Farmer” Pollan meets with an Iowa native and lifelong farmer, George Naylor. The two spend their time planting corn on 160 acres of Naylor’s farm. In an eye opening interview seeded with history the two...
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