Book Review: The Omnivore’s Dilemma
In part one, Chapters one, two, and three of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan takes an in depth look of the history and sources of corn, a family farm in Iowa, and the economic pressures that influence farming and food policies. Part one showcases a captivating enlightening history with many descriptive qualities. Chapters one, two, and three are a perfect start to The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in that they set up the re-occurring theme in the book: the conflict between the way farming should be done, and how economic survival dictates how it is typically done. However, this book might not be as appealing to others as it was to me.
The first chapter is a about a particular piece of produce that is all around us: ...view middle of the document...
Next, we learn that large companies such as Cargill and ADM control the corns’ vague stages from elevators to feedlots.
For two out of the three common expectations, chapters one, two, and three have exceeded my expectations. The first common expectation is that a nonfiction book must have proper use of statistics. Pollan uses many statistics to show the readers the effects that corn have in food and how obesity is affecting the nation. He states one in every three American children eats fast food every day and one in every five American meals today is eaten in the car. The second common expectation is that the book is supported by facts and Pollan uses numerous facts throughout chapters one through three to support his findings. An example is “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.”
For one out of three common expectations, chapters one, two, and three do not meet this expectation. The only common expectation that is not met is that a nonfiction book must solve common problems; that is, solutions need to be discussed to any problems that are presented in the text. In the case of the corn problem, he explains how corn is put into many of the foods we eat on a daily basis but does not say what could be used as a substitute.
In conclusion, Pollan did an exceptional job of descriptive phrases and really forced me to imagine myself walking the lanes of the supermarket to get an understanding of what he was saying. Throughout the first three chapters, all of the topics were clearly identified first, and then went into great detail. He is a very technical writer and wants the reader to be highly informed. Pollan has many interesting facts and insights about all that is wrong with the farm factory and the big businesses of today.