Synopses & Reviews
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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.
"What's for dinner?" seemed like a simple question — until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers' adaptation of Pollan's famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices.
In a smart, compelling format with updated facts, plenty of photos, graphs, and visuals, as well as a new afterword and backmatter, The Omnivore's Dilemma serves up a bold message to the generation that needs it most: It's time to take charge of our national eating habits — and it starts with you.
The New York Times bestseller that’s changing America’s diet is now perfect for younger readers
“What’s for dinner?” seemed like a simple question—until journalist and supermarket detective Michael Pollan delved behind the scenes. From fast food and big organic to small farms and old-fashioned hunting and gathering, this young readers’ adaptation of Pollan’s famous food-chain exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and global health implications of their food choices.
In a smart, compelling format with updated facts, plenty of photos, graphs, and visuals, as well as a new afterword and backmatter, The Omnivore’s Dilemma serves up a bold message to the generation that needs it most: It’s time to take charge of our national eating habits—and it starts with you.
An enhanced edition of Food Rulesand#151;beautifully illustrated and packed with additional food wisdom
Michael Pollanand#8217;s Food Rules prompted a national discussion helping to change the way Americans approach eating. This new edition illustrated by celebrated artist Maira Kalmanand#151;and expanded with a new introduction and nineteen additional food rulesand#151;marks an advance in the national dialogue that Food Rules inspired. Many of the new rules, suggested by readers, underscore the central teachings of the original Food Rules, which are that eating doesnand#8217;t have to be so complicated and that food is as much about pleasure and community as it is about nutrition and health. A beautiful book to cherish and share, Food Rules guides us with humor, joy, and common sense toward a happier, healthier relationship to food.
This young readers edition of the worldwide bestseller Three Cups of Tea
has been specially adapted for younger readers and updated by Greg Mortenson to bring his remarkable story of humanitarianism up to date for the present. Includes new photos and illustrations, as well as a special interview by Gregs twelve-year-old daughter, Amira, who has traveled with her father as an advocate for the Pennies for Peace program for children.
Michael Pollan and Maira Kalman come together to create an enhanced Food Rules for hardcover, now beautifully illustrated and with even more food wisdom.
Michael Pollan's definitive compendium, Food Rules, is here brought to colorful life with the addition of Maira Kalman's beloved illustrations.
This brilliant pairing is rooted in Pollan's and Kalman's shared appreciation for eating's pleasures, and their understanding that eating doesn't have to be so complicated. Written with the clarity, concision, and wit that is Michael Pollan's trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely. Kalman's paintings remind us that there is delight in learning to eat well.
The hardcover Pollan-Kalman collaboration will be the Food Rules edition that families will pass down for posterity, sharing lessons for eating healthfully-and joyfully-for all their lives.
What to eat, what not to eat, and how to think about health: a manifesto for our times
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." These simple words go to the heart of Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, the well-considered answers he provides to the questions posed in the bestselling The Omnivore's Dilemma.
Humans used to know how to eat well, Pollan argues. But the balanced dietary lessons that were once passed down through generations have been confused, complicated, and distorted by food industry marketers, nutritional scientists, and journalists-all of whom have much to gain from our dietary confusion. As a result, we face today a complex culinary landscape dense with bad advice and foods that are not "real." These "edible foodlike substances" are often packaged with labels bearing health claims that are typically false or misleading. Indeed, real food is fast disappearing from the marketplace, to be replaced by "nutrients," and plain old eating by an obsession with nutrition that is, paradoxically, ruining our health, not to mention our meals. Michael Pollan's sensible and decidedly counterintuitive advice is: "Don't eat anything that your great-great grandmother would not recognize as food."
Writing In Defense of Food, and affirming the joy of eating, Pollan suggests that if we would pay more for better, well-grown food, but buy less of it, we'll benefit ourselves, our communities, and the environment at large. Taking a clear-eyed look at what science does and does not know about the links between diet and health, he proposes a new way to think about the question of what to eat that is informed by ecology and tradition rather than by the prevailing nutrient-by-nutrient approach.
In Defense of Food reminds us that, despite the daunting dietary landscape Americans confront in the modern supermarket, the solutions to the current omnivore's dilemma can be found all around us.
In looking toward traditional diets the world over, as well as the foods our families-and regions-historically enjoyed, we can recover a more balanced, reasonable, and pleasurable approach to food. Michael Pollan's bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we might start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives and enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy.
, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elementsfire, water, air, and earthto transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.
Each section of Cooked tracks Pollans effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panissetrained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us.
The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.
#1 New York Times Bestseller
A definitive compendium of food wisdom
Eating doesnt have to be so complicated. In this age of ever-more elaborate diets and conflicting health advice, Food Rules brings welcome simplicity to our daily decisions about food. Written with clarity, concision, and wit that has become bestselling author Michael Pollans trademark, this indispensable handbook lays out a set of straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely, one per page, accompanied by a concise explanation. Its an easy-to-use guide that draws from a variety of traditions, suggesting how different cultures through the ages have arrived at the same enduring wisdom about food. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat buffet, this is the perfect guide for anyone who ever wondered, What should I eat?”
"In the more than four decades that I have been reading and writing about the findings of nutritional science, I have come across nothing more intelligent, sensible and simple to follow than the 64 principles outlined in a slender, easy-to-digest new book called Food Rules: An Eaters Manual, by Michael Pollan." --Jane Brody, The New York Times
"The most sensible diet plan ever? We think it's the one that Michael Pollan outlined a few years ago: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” So we're happy that in his little new book, Food Rules, Pollan offers more common-sense rules for eating: 64 of them, in fact, all thought-provoking and some laugh-out-loud funny." --The Houston Chronicle
" It doesn't get much easier than this. Each page has a simple rule, sometimes with a short explanation, sometimes without, that promotes Pollan's back-to-the-basics-of-food (and-food-enjoyment) philosophy." --The Los Angeles Times
"A useful and funny purse-sized manual that could easily replace all the diet books on your bookshelf." --Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times
Michael Pollans newest book Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation--the story of our most trusted food experts culinary education--was published by The Penguin Press in April 2013.
Help a teen you know deal with the changes in his or her life with the book that has helped so many others.
?Cheese? is a metaphor for what you want in life and the book gives teens a fun vocabulary and way to understand change and move forward in their lives.
About the Author
Spencer Johnson, M.D., is the originator of The One Minute Manager System ™ and co-author of The New York Times
bestsellers The One Minute Manager ®, The One Minute Sales Person
, and One Minute for Myself
. His other bestsellers include Who Moved My Cheese?; The Precious Present
; and Yes or No: The Guide to Better Decisions
He has written more than two dozen books dealing with medicine and the behavioral sciences, and has millions of copies of his books in print in twenty-six languages, including the popular children’s book series ValueTales ™.
Dr. Johnson received a B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Southern California, an M.D. from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and medical clerkships at Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic. He lives with his family in Hawaii.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Our National Eating Disorder
One: The Plant: Corn's Conquest
Two: The Farm
Three: The Elevator
Four: The Feedlot: Making Meat
Five: The Processing Plant: Making COmplex Foods
Six: The Consumer: A Republic of Fat
Seven: The Meal: Fast Food
Eight: All Flesh is Grass
Nine: Big Organic
Ten: Grass: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Pasture
Eleven: The Animals: Practicing Complexity'
Twelve: Slaughter: In a Glass Abattoir
Thirteen: The Market: "Greetings from the Non-Barcode People"
Fourteen: The Meal: Grass-Fed
The Forest: (Hunting and Catering)
Fifteen: The Forager
Sixteen: The Omnivore's Dilemma
Seventeen: The Ethics of Eating Animals
Eighteen: Hunting: The Meat
Nineteen: Gathering: The Fungi
Twenty: The Perfect Meal