Free «Review of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”» Essay Sample

“The Omnivore’s Dilemma” is a nonfiction book brought to the audience by Michael Pollan. The author poses a straightforward question to the reader about what they should have for dinner. Majority of the population are omnivorous, hence are, for the larger part, unselective of what they eat. Human beings are faced with a vast array of foods to choose from, resulting in a dilemma of what they should choose for their meals. It is the author’s suggestion that is dilemma was solved through cultural influences prior to transportation technologies and modern food preservation. He postulates that it is these technologies that have created the pseudo dilemma by ensuring that foods that were seasonal or regional previously are now readily available. This discourse is aimed at enhancing the understanding of the text that each reader has and assess their expectations from the book.

The first three chapters describe the system of food production through which a vast majority of foods are derived. The first chapter describes in details the production process of corn both by farmers as well as in the industry. In the second chapter, the author takes the reader to a corn firm and explains the importance of the crop in meals. Pollan writes about his visit to an Iowan corn farm in an effort to learn about the factors that led to corn domination in meals. One of the factors, he notes, is the extensive cultivation of the crop throughout the country (Pollan, 2006). In the third chapter, the author explains the vitality of corn in meals. The author discusses the manner with which corn rose to dominate the food chain and became a large part of the majority of meals. The society has come to depend on corn for its survival.

There are a few expectations that the audience has when reading the first part of the book. One would want to gain a deeper understanding of the meals they partake and their natural history. From the title of the book the reader understands that the author wishes to talk about the dilemma that omnivores face when choosing what foods to eat. Also, the reader expects an explanation of the manner with which they can do away with the dilemma they face and make healthy choices for balanced diet meals.

However, there are some aspects of the reader’s expectations that are not met. Rather than giving a history of all meals, Pollan puts a lot of focus on only one food crop, corn. He details its harvesting and production process. This does not enhance the reader’s knowledge of their meals, nor does it alleviate the dilemma that they have. The author fails to detail the steps that a consumer should take when faced with a dilemma so that they can overcome it. With a detailed explanation of the corn process of industrial production, he fails to put other meals into consideration and explain their contribution to healthy meals.

It is evident that corn makes up a substantial part of the meals consumed by the American citizens. This book is a guide to understanding the food production industry and its interaction with the farmers. The chapters are well laid out and systematic, making it easy for the reader to understand and apply the content they gather from the book. This is a delightful read, recommenced for all the consumers who wish to understand their meals and altogether avoid the dilemma of having to choose what makes up their meals.


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