Saturday, August 9, 2008

Book Bundles: The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

The Omnivore’s Dilemma (3-stars) is Michael Pollan’s tour de force on the place of food in the lives of the ultimate omnivore, human beings.

In the book, Pollan charts four separate meals, or rather culinary journeys: fast food, conventionally produced industrial food, organic farm food, and hunter-gatherer food. Throughout the book, he examines the relationship between human beings and our food, and some of the relative merits between the four meals.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a good introduction to thinking about the importance of food, and how going organic may be important not just for our health and well-being, but also for the well-being of the planet.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (3-stars) by Barbara Kingsolver is a book that charts the Kingsolver family’s one year experiment in eating only local food, that is food produced by themselves or in the vicinity of where they live.

The experiment was undertaken before the idea of eating locally (the so-called 100-mile diet) became trendy and a rallying cry from Slow Food International all the way to the Google Headquarters.

It’s an interesting book that continues, in some ways, where The Omnivore’s Dilemma left off. It also encourages its readers to rethink how and where they get their food from, and to consider sources that perhaps are healthier or more environmentally friendly.

Ratings System

2-stars: Casual reading only, or interesting but not easily readable, or important but narrow interest material.

3-stars: Interesting, readable and ideas of some importance.

4-stars: Interesting, highly readable, and ideas of considerable importance.

5-stars: Interesting, highly readable, important material of high relevance to most people.

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