Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Omnivore's Dilemma

I am reading the book "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. I HIGHLY recommend it! The dilemma he discusses is simply the idea 'What should I eat for dinner?' And since humans are omnivores we have the ability to eat pretty much anything. He examines the abundance of options American's have and how we have come to have all these options. Today while I was sitting on the couch reading this passage struck me and I wanted to share it. :)

*To give some context, he is discussing the French Paradox and the ability of Americans to latch onto any food fad as quickly as we do based on one man's ideas (Atkins...), one experiment, cookbook, etc. *

"Perhaps because we have no such culture of food in America almost every question about eating is up for grabs. Fat or carbs? Three squares or continuous grazing? Raw or cooked? Organic or industrial? Veg or vegan? Meat or mock meat? Foods of astounding novelty fill the shelves of our supermarket, and the line between a food and a "nutritional supplement" has fogged to the point where people make meals of protein bars and shakes. Consuming these neo-psuedo-foods alone in our cars we have become a nation of antinomian eaters, each of us struggling to work out our dietary salvation on our own. Is it any wonder Americans suffer from so many eating disorders? In the absence of any lasting consensus about what and how and where and when to eat, the omnivore's dilemma has returned to American with an almost atavistic force. This situation suits the food industry just fine, of course. The more anxious we are about eating, the more vulnerable we are to the seductions of the marketer and the expert's advice. Food marketing in particular thrives on dietary instability and so tends to exacerbate it. "

Pollan, Michael. "The Omnivore's Dilemma, A Natural History of Four Meals". New York: The Penguin Press, 2006.

What do you think?


  1. Wow! Very interesting! I stand by what I always say...The only kind of diet I will go on is the "see food" diet. I see food, I eat it! I am old and believe old school. You should eat at home as often as possible, eat 3 good meals and 2 or 3 small snacks each day. (now, before you say anything-I didn't say I do this-I said I believe this) I still believe microwaving food is bad. I feel it breaks down the nutritional value in the food, I think cooking from scratch is much better for you than meal in a box cooking (have you ever read the ingred. list on one of those meal boxes?) . You should eat from all the food groups and yes, dessert is a food group;) meats, fruits/veggies, grains, dairy, and last but most important....sweets! Our bodies were not designed to eat just meat, just veggies, just grains or just junk! We need a good balance of each group! Anyway, that's what I think.
    Sorry to go on and on! love and miss you!muah! me

  2. I love this! I agree...I try to cook from scratch as much as possible. I figure it's a win win...better for you, less preservatives, you control the flavors, and I ENJOY cooking...why let a huge company decide what should/should't go into my food and do all the cooking for me?

    And yes, dessert is an important food group that shouldn't be overlooked. :) Really though, when I try to limit my sweets intentionally I do well for a few days and then find myself wanting to eat an entire cake! I figure it's better to let myself enjoy something when I want it (with discretion of course) than try to never eat anything "bad" for you at all.

    Thanks for posting! I am so interesting in this subject and want to know what my friends/family say about it!

  3. I agree with you. I saw a quote once..."If you can eat it speeding through an intersection, it's not dinner." Obviously, we have fast food sometimes, too, but the ideal we're shooting for is meals around the table together as a family.