Customer Reviews for

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

24 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

You are what you eat

The phrase "you are what you eat" has recently brought on a completely new meaning for me-eating stressed animals is really stressing me out! I have become increasingly aware and preoccupied with animal stress lately--this due to the fact that I have just finished readi...
The phrase "you are what you eat" has recently brought on a completely new meaning for me-eating stressed animals is really stressing me out! I have become increasingly aware and preoccupied with animal stress lately--this due to the fact that I have just finished reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. Ignorance was bliss for me, up until now.
My entire life I have been surrounded by happy and unstressed animals. In addition to numerous childhood pets, I have spent many days on my grandparent's farm. The only animal stress that can be detected at this farm is from the occasional birthing heifer. I have been (maybe purposely) oblivious to animal stress and misery. Michael Pollan has enlightened me to a world of animal stress, including my own. This intriguing book exposes how Americans eat, what they really eat and why eating has become so complicated and stressful.
He begins with a surprisingly interesting, but lengthy (109 pages) section titled "Industrial CORN." I now know everything that I ever wanted to know about corn and its purposes. Pollan points out that corn is in almost everything we eat (from frozen yogurt to salad dressings), but more importantly he points out that corn is in animals that were never designed to eat it. He writes, "Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes the steak. Corn feeds the chicken and the pig, the turkey and the lamb, the catfish.even the salmon, a carnivore by nature that the fish farmers are reengineering to tolerate corn" (18).
Pollan views corn as the root of all evil. It is amazing to learn from his intensive research about how corn has come to rule the industrial world. However, he is not preachy or pushy in anyway-he just lays out the facts. These facts speak for themselves; it is very difficult to like corn after reading this book.
One point that he keeps bringing to our attention is that cows have not evolved to digest corn. He writes, "cows (like sheep, bison, and other ruminants) have evolved the special ability to convert grass-which single-stomached creatures like us can't digest-into high quality protein" (70). He then goes on to explain how the government subsidized feedlots and promoted a grading system based on the fat marbling system that favored corn-fed over grass-fed beef. This is why in feedlots cows are fed huge amounts of corn, even though cows can live better and healthier without any corn.
I have grown up with a family who raises beef cows in East Tennessee; therefore, it was hard for me to understand the claim that Pollan makes about "force feeding" cows and other animals corn. All cows LOVE corn. However, like humans, cows do not always make the right food choices. If I were given a choice between plain salad and fried corn bread, I probably would not make the healthier choice either. This is why our intellectual farmers and government need to step up and make the choices for the cows. Cows like how corn taste, but the cows aren't smart enough to know that eating corn is making them sick (which is why they are in turn fed antibiotics and hormones-that eventually become part of the hamburger you get at McDonalds). The cows aren't smart enough to know this, but we now are.

posted by MsMillion on April 9, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

64 out of 98 people found this review helpful.

Readers Must Protest -- Price Too High, Lousy Sample

Once again, eBook readers are being taken advantage of. An additional eBook costs publishers nothing to sell, and the marginal costs of the sale to B&N are negligible.

Yet the eBook price for this book ($12.99) is 40% MORE than the paperback ($9.19).

Too, as ment...
Once again, eBook readers are being taken advantage of. An additional eBook costs publishers nothing to sell, and the marginal costs of the sale to B&N are negligible.

Yet the eBook price for this book ($12.99) is 40% MORE than the paperback ($9.19).

Too, as mentioned by others below, the "sample" is useless...only a page of actual writing...the rest of the 15 pages being TOC, reviews, and filler pages. No chance at all to see the author's writing style or examine his logic and depth of research.

Still, the book does have some good reviews.

The solution I've decided on, and hope other eBook readers will adopt. is to check out a copy from my local library--electronic or hardcopy.

That way, I get all the information the author has to offer, and the publishers, author, and bookseller get no additional revenue.

If enough eBook readers boycott publishers that take advantage of them, B&N might have enough leverage to negotiate more reasonable prices for their eBooks.

posted by BillonKauai on June 25, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

    Readers Must Protest -- Price Too High, Lousy Sample

    Once again, eBook readers are being taken advantage of. An additional eBook costs publishers nothing to sell, and the marginal costs of the sale to B&N are negligible.

    Yet the eBook price for this book ($12.99) is 40% MORE than the paperback ($9.19).

    Too, as mentioned by others below, the "sample" is useless...only a page of actual writing...the rest of the 15 pages being TOC, reviews, and filler pages. No chance at all to see the author's writing style or examine his logic and depth of research.

    Still, the book does have some good reviews.

    The solution I've decided on, and hope other eBook readers will adopt. is to check out a copy from my local library--electronic or hardcopy.

    That way, I get all the information the author has to offer, and the publishers, author, and bookseller get no additional revenue.

    If enough eBook readers boycott publishers that take advantage of them, B&N might have enough leverage to negotiate more reasonable prices for their eBooks.

    64 out of 98 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2011

    Ebook costs more than the paperback.

    Ebook costs more than the paperback.

    17 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

    really bad sample

    The way the sample was done prompted me to go directly to the library and save my money on this purchase. If I were Michael Pollan, I would demand a real sample or none at all.

    9 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    Baf

    A total load of horse hockey. Its just the cause du jour to trash everything. Wouldnt believe anything this author writes as he is just pushing his opinion.

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Worthless.

    Why anyone would ever want to read this is beyond my ability to understand. This book is poorly written and researched.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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    Posted July 27, 2010

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    Posted July 1, 2011

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