Friday, 1 February 2013

Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

This week for Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56 I've selected Michael Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma'.

Book Beginnings:
Air-conditioned, odorless, illuminated by buzzing fluorescent tubes, the American supermarket doesn't present itself as having very much to do with Nature. And yet what is the place if not a landscape (manmade , it's true) teeming with plants and animals?

The Friday 56:
And then of course there's the corn itself, which if corn could form an opinion would surely marvel at the absurdity of it all - and at its great good fortune. For corn has been exempted from the usual rules of nature and economics, both of which have rough mechanisms to check such wild, uncontrolled proliferation. In nature, the population of a species explodes until it exhausts its supply of food; then it crashes. In the market, an oversupply of a commodity depresses prices until either surplus is consumed or it no longer makes sense to produce any more of it. In corn's case, humans have labored mightily to free it from either constraint, even if that means going broke growing it, and consuming it just as fast as we possibly can. 


  1. Oh what a wonderful book, it's a powerful and life changing read- like most of Pollan's writings I imagine. I read about a quarter of this before I had to take it back to the library, but I still remember many things from it. I must read more of his writing. I know you're a fan too, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I look forward to hearing more from you about it.

    1. Thanks Louise. I'm loving it so far though I can only take in a few pages or so at a time! I keep stopping to share what I've learnt with my husband.
      The section on Pollan's calf purchase and following it from birth to abbatoir was almost enough to make me a vegetarian for life! And grateful that Australian food isn't quite so industrialized and so removed from Nature as in the States (or that at least we have more choices & information about what we buy to eat.)

  2. I'm not too familiar with this book by Pollan - but I'll certainly investigate it further after reading your post above. Thanks for the tip!

  3. This does sound like a book worth exploring...thanks for sharing.


  4. Great beginning! This is something I would read.

  5. This book sounds very interesting. I love to garden and cook so I enjoy reading books about the food system. They are usually enlightening.

  6. Just by reading your post I learned a lot about corn, so I can imagine what the whole book must be like! Sounds like I need to read this book.
    Today I'm featuring LOVE AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS on my blog.

  7. Looks like an interesting book.

  8. This sounds VERY good...thanks for sharing.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Beginnings


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