Omnivores Dilemma Essay

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Introduction: “Our National Eating Disorder” Michael Pollan opens The Omnivore's Dilemma by asking what we might take at first as a simple question: “What should we have for dinner?” A hundred and fifty years ago, we might have loaded up the shotgun and headed out into the forest to bag a deer or a wild pig which we would have butchered and frozen or dried for the weeks and months ahead. We might have wandered among our backyard gardens checking for ripe tomatoes and bright green lettuces in the summer, carrots, potatoes, and parsnips in the fall. In the winter we may have opened a jar of preserved fruits and vegetables. There was also no guarantee that we would have had anything at all for dinner. Today, the landscape, both physical and mental, has changed. The majority of us have never killed anything bigger than a mosquito, let alone killed something with the intention of eating it. There's little space left for gardens (although an urban gardening movement has arisen in recent years). Many of us might answer the question of “what should we have for dinner?” by digging a frozen pizza out of the back of the freezer or speed-dialling our local Chinese joint. The Omnivore's Dilemmaweighs the pros and cons of this seismic paradigm shift. The blessings brought about by the Industrial Revolution have been mixed. On one hand, national and international rates of hunger have decreased. On the other hand, the resulting population explosion often offsets any quality-of-life gains. Although Pollan acknowledges that he does not have all the answers to the world's massive food, health, and intertwined economic problems, his call for all of us to understand the origins of our food is a powerful beginning. All in all, Pollan's aim in The Omnivore's Dilemma is to rediscover the connection to the food we eat and the environment it comes from. Section I:

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