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The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Penguin Pr
Publication date April 25, 2006
Pages 450
Binding Hardcover
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9781594200823
ISBN-10 1594200823
Dimensions 1.75 by 6.75 by 9.50 in.
Weight 1.60 lbs.
Original list price $26.95
Summaries and Reviews
Summary
An ecological and anthropological study of eating offers insight into food consumption in the twenty-first century, explaining how an abundance of unlimited food varieties reveals the responsibilities of everyday consumers to protect their health and the environment. By the author of The Botany of Desire. 125,000 first printing.
Amazon.com description: Product Description: Make this your next book club selection and everyone saves.
Get 15% off when you order 5 or more of this title for your book club.
Simply enter the coupon code POLLANOMNIVORE at checkout.
This offer does not apply to eBook purchases. This offer applies to only one downloadable audio per purchase.

What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't—which mushrooms should be avoided, for example, and which berries we can enjoy. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance. The cornucopia of the modern American supermarket and fast-food outlet has thrown us back on a bewildering landscape where we once again have to worry about which of those tasty-looking morsels might kill us. At the same time we're realizing that our food choices also have profound implications for the health of our environment. The Omnivore's Dilemma is bestselling author Michael Pollan's brilliant and eye-opening exploration of these little-known but vitally important dimensions of eating in America.

Pollan has divided The Omnivore's Dilemma into three parts, one for each of the food chains that sustain us: industrialized food, alternative or "organic" food, and food people obtain by dint of their own hunting, gathering, or gardening. Pollan follows each food chain literally from the ground up to the table, emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the species we depend on. He concludes each section by sitting down to a meal—at McDonald's, at home with his family sharing a dinner from Whole Foods, and in a revolutionary "beyond organic" farm in Virginia. For each meal he traces the provenance of everything consumed, revealing the hidden components we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods reflects our environmental and biological inheritance.

We are indeed what we eat-and what we eat remakes the world. A society of voracious and increasingly confused omnivores, we are just beginning to recognize the profound consequences of the simplest everyday food choices, both for ourselves and for the natural world. The Omnivore's Dilemma is a long-overdue book and one that will become known for bringing a completely fresh perspective to a question as ordinary and yet momentous as What shall we have for dinner?

A few facts and figures from The Omnivore's Dilemma:

  • Of the 38 ingredients it takes to make a McNugget, there are at least 13 that are derived from corn. 45 different menu items at Mcdonald’s are made from corn.

  • One in every three American children eats fast food every day.

  • One in every five American meals today is eaten in the car.

  • The food industry burns nearly a fifth of all the petroleum consumed in the United States—more than we burn with our cars and more than any other industry consumes.

  • It takes ten calories of fossil fuel energy to deliver one calorie of food energy to an American plate.

  • A single strawberry contains about five calories. To get that strawberry from a field in California to a plate on the east coast requires 435 calories of energy.

  • Industrial fertilizer and industrial pesticides both owe their existence to the conversion of the World War II munitions industry to civilian uses—nerve gases became pesticides, and ammonium nitrate explosives became nitrogen fertilizers.

  • ...


Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780312055967 Book cover for 9780786289523 Book cover for 9781594200823
 
Large print edition from Thorndike Pr (October 4, 2006)
9780786289523 | details & prices | 711 pages | 5.75 × 8.75 × 1.50 in. | 1.85 lbs | List price $30.95
About: Make this your next book club selection and everyone saves.
The price comparison is for this edition
from Penguin Pr (April 25, 2006)
9781594200823 | details & prices | 450 pages | 6.75 × 9.50 × 1.75 in. | 1.60 lbs | List price $26.95
About: What should we have for dinner?
With Victor J. Seidler | from Palgrave Macmillan (May 1, 1991); titled "The Moral Limits of Modernity: Love, Inequality and Oppression"
9780312055967 | details & prices | 6.00 × 9.00 × 0.75 in. | 0.95 lbs | List price $49.95
This edition also contains The Moral Limits of Modernity: Love, Inequality and Oppression
About: In many ways a challenge to prevailing forms of moral theory, this book reflects the authors feeling of a sense of the inadequacy of a rationalistic moral tradition to discern the moral realities that we face after Auschwitz and Hiroshima.
With Fernando Poyatos | from Pergamon Pr (January 1, 1984); titled "New Perspectives in Nonverbal Communication: Studies in Cultural Anthropology, Social Psychology, Linguistics, and Semiotics"
Paperback
Book cover for 9780143038580 Book cover for 9781594132056
 
Reprint edition from Penguin USA (August 28, 2007)
9780143038580 | details & prices | 450 pages | 5.75 × 8.50 × 1.25 in. | 0.60 lbs | List price $18.00
About: Offers insight into food consumption in the twenty-first century, explaining how an abundance of unlimited food varieties reveals the responsibilities of consumers to protect their health and the environment.
Large print edition from Large Print Pr (April 24, 2007)
9781594132056 | details & prices | 709 pages | 5.25 × 8.25 × 1.25 in. | 1.80 lbs | List price $14.95
About: The bestselling author of the Botany of Desire explores the ecology of eating to unveil why we consume what we consume in the 21st century.
Miscellaneous
from Penguin USA (April 11, 2006)
9781429535816 | details & prices | 464 pages | List price $12.99
Miscellaneous
Book cover for 9780786564200
 
from Penguin/Highbridge (April 11, 2006)
9780786564200 | details & prices | List price $39.95
About: Make this your next book club selection and everyone saves.
CD/Spoken Word
Book cover for 9780143058410
 
With Scott Brick (other contributor) | Unabridged edition from Penguin/Highbridge (April 20, 2006)
9780143058410 | details & prices | 5.50 × 5.75 × 2.00 in. | 0.85 lbs | List price $39.95
About: An ecological and anthropological study of eating offers insight into food consumption in the twenty-first century, explaining how an abundance of unlimited food varieties reveals the responsibilities of consumers to protect their health and the environment.
Prebinding
Book cover for 9780606316255
 
from Turtleback Books (August 28, 2007)
9780606316255 | details & prices | 450 pages | 5.50 × 8.25 × 1.25 in. | 1.00 lbs | List price $30.60
About: FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY.

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