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The Omnivore Review

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| The Omnivore Review | A review on Michael Pollans “The Omnivore dilemma” | | Cody Windsor Harrington | DeVry University |

The Omnivore Review
As agriculture technology continues to advance in the new world most of us have lost our pre historic skills of basic survival when it comes to hunting and gathering. America’s agriculture logistics are so well developed that most Americans relay on this system to stay alive. A small portion of people out there still remain intact with their pre historic agriculture skills. That is what Author Michael Pollan writes about In Part 3, Chapters 15, 16, and 17 of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Michael Pollan talks about looking for different foods, the ethics of hunting animals and harvesting the meat as well as giving a brief look into what brought about the paradox of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Chapters 15, 16, and 17 bring up a lot of good points about foraging and hunting. Pollan provides in depth detail and research on the topics. The difficult part is staying focused on the story the author is illustrating. Pollan tends to bounce around on different topics and drags out details making it difficult to keep the reader entertained. Chapter 15 of Omnivore's Dilemma discusses how Pollan is preparing to make a meal from all of the foraging groups. Fruits, vegetables, fungi, and meat were the components that made up this meal. His goal was to find and gather enough from each group to make his first meal from nature. Pollan discusses his recent move to California and how his unfamiliarity with the area was a disadvantage. He gives a brief picture of his family back round. His fathers was an avid “indoors men” who was incapable of teaching him anything about being a hunter or outdoorsmen. His mother was a skilled gatherer and farmer who developed his skills as a gardener and gatherer. Pollan does an excellent job at discussing how his mother instilled her own version of the Omnivore dilemma in himself. His mother always counseled him not to try unfamiliar wild vegetables and fungi from the forest. His mother’s hypochondria as a child followed him into adult hood and kept him from trying healthy wild grown foods.
Chapter 16 takes the reader to a different subject area. This Chapter was very dry and hard to read. Pollan discusses the beginnings of The Omnivore’s Dilemma through a research paper that was written in 1976 by Paul Rozin and titled The Selection of Foods by Rats, Humans, and Other Animals. Pollan discusses the research of how similar we are to rats that we are omnivores, but unlike rats, we have lost our instinct of choosing food and follow advertisements as our instinct. He then goes on to suggest that the problems stem from capitalistic gains and the pursuit of revenue.
In chapter 17 Pollan jumps back on his foraging quest he started in chapter 15. This chapter looks more at the ethics of hunting and eating animals that are not processed in processing plants. He discusses the ethics of being a meat eater and battles with the struggle of eating animals that are mass produced and killed for our pleasure. Pollan drags on the details about the way animals are treated. The author concludes by writing about the morale dilemma of looking away from the animal that goes from being on the farm to a freezer in the supermarket. Part 3 of this book met one good expectation of mine. Pollan used strong descriptive wording that really helps you imagine what he was portraying. An example of one of the statements he used is “I began to notice things. I noticed the soft yellow globes of chamomile edging the path I hiked most afternoons, and spotted clumps of miner’s lettuce off in the shade (Claytonia, a succulent coin-shaped green I had once grown in my Connecticut garden) and wild mustard out in the sun. (Pollan, pg.285)
The strength in this book is the subject matter that pertains to what the author is trying to convey to the reader. We are all controlled by our Omnivore fear of foods. That’s what the Omnivore dilemma is about. Pollan is able to tie in all of his research and personal stories to this main idea. The weaknesses of Part 3 are three is the lack of engagement for the reader and the order in which the subject matter is presented. This book was not written for someone who loves to read fantasy or action, something that will leave you hanging on the edge of your seat wanting more. Instead what you get is someone detailing his experiences and research that supports a lot of his ideas and ethics. Pollan jumps around a lot with the material, for instance, in chapter 15 he is foraging for food then chapter 16 is about a research article that gave him inspiration to write The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Chapter 17 Jumps back to his foraging for food idea and about his moral conflict of eating steak at a steakhouse. In conclusion Michael pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” is fairly un successful in satisfying my common expectations for the chapters I have read. I think overall it would be difficult to read this book front to back and maintain interest. The book does meet my expectations with the use of descriptive wording, this really helped me stay entertained by trying to imagine the place or object the author was describing. My only recommendation for this book is to reformat the chapters so the story is not jumping around so much.

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