Submitted By jrosebed123
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O M N I V O R E ‘ S D I L E M M A by M I C H A E L P O L L A N a study guide
You are what you eat; you are what your eat eats, too.”
As omnivores, we are asked what should we eat? The Omnivores Dilemma
We can eat almost everything
But what SHOULD we eat
Something can sicken or kill us
We rely on recognition and memory
What should we have for dinner?
It is being skewed by others because we have forgotten to relay on our ancestors?
We rely on scientists and journalists
We can eat many different types of food
Since we do not have strong roots as a country, we are not tethered to a particular culture of food that is why fad diets are the craze
This allows companies to tell us what to eat so they make money and we get fat. They make processed foods that are “better” for us while endangering the nature we have
Snaking and binge eating has become common in America and isn’t looked down upon. If we look at NA, we see that they hunted for and gather what they needed. They ate only what they had and didn’t over eat because, most likely, there wasn’t enough.
Problems that are brought up
There exists a fundamental tension between the logic nature and the logic of human industry
Conflict with nature
Maximize efficiency (Nature never does)
We oversimplify nature’s complexity which harms our environment and animals
Patch of soil  human body
The health of one depends on the other
Replcing solar energy with fossil fuel
Raising millions of foo animals in close confinement
By feeding animals foods they never evolve to eat
Feeding ourselves food far more novel than we even realize
We are taking risks with our health and the health of the natural world
The way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world
Eating turns nature into culture
Reshaping nature
Eating is the most direct connection to nature
All these “diverse” products in the supermarket are usually run by one large company.
It is becoming increasingly more and more difficult to distinguish where our food comes from and what it is made of
Americans rely so heavily on corn
Carbon 13 shows that we are true corn people
Everything has corn
Farms are subsidized when they use corn as feed for their animals that do not normally eat corn!
It allowed white settlers to live through the harsh territory of the new world
It was good for the NA as well because it was used as a trade good and could be dried for the winter
Now corn needs out intervention
Easily processed
George Naylors Farm and corn
Chemical fertilizer industry is the product of the government’s effort to convert its war machine to peacetime purposes
Growing corn makes the soil corn sick (sucking up all the nitrogen) and they need to be rotated with legumes and spreading fertilizer
Synthetic nitrogen was found and changed this (synthetic fertilizer =fossil fuel)
Farmers where encourages to consolidate
Naylor grandfather used to be able to support his family with the vegetables and animals they produced
Now, Naylor is broke, living on his wifes paycheck and government money
He only grows corn and soybeans, and they cant actually be eaten, used to feed live stock
Sun feeds legumes  legumes feed cows  cows feed legumes is broken
Buschels per acre only matters, not how much money you make from it
Due to a large sum of corn, farmers must find a way to use it: American factory farm
There are two companys (Cargill and ADM) that control buy most of the corn. They also provide the fertilizer and pesticides to the farmers and they control the rules that govern them.
(Remember this is where Pollan buys a steer number 534)
Obscures all human-animal relationships and connections
Forgetting or not knowing the food chain
Forgetting yourself be most costly not only in the terms of the animals pain but in our pleasure too
It is opaque
Industrial food is any food whose provenance is so complex or obscure that it requires expert help to ascertain
Most of the corn goes to the feed lots where they should