When a consumer wants to buy a product, a normal practice would be to research the product, read reviews on the product and company making it, and look for competitors offering better alternatives. For some reason, when it comes to food, something so essential to life, we tend to buy and consume it without asking a lot of important questions. This is what Michael Pollan explores in his book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”
To answer many of his questions about food, the author thoroughly explores corn production revealing some interesting things. Corn is subsidized by the government making it cheaper to produce than it technically should in a free market. A downside to this is businesses then try to take advantage of this cheap product to lower costs and increase profits, even when not in the best interest of the consumer. For example, in the book we learn that this cheap corn is largely used to feed beef cattle as it is cheaper and fattens the animal quicker than their natural diets and is now used to produce over 90% of our beef, most farms that raise these cows put them in extremely overcrowded feed lots never getting the chance to freely roam. If that isn’t bad enough, the corn based diet they use does not suit a cows dietary needs combined with unsanitary feedlot conditions makes the cows very sick; to keep the cows from dying before they are ready to be butchered, farmers use antibiotics to treat the cows causing them to develop drug resistant bacteria which, through the meat we eat, transfers to humans making antibiotics less effective on us.
That is barely a glimpse of what you will learn reading this book. In a world where everything happens out of the consumers sight, this book is extremely effective in making readers a more informed consumer. This book will have you questioning the morals your normal everyday actions that revolve around food. Read this book and learn what it really means to eat the food you eat.
You can buy the book through Michael Pollan’s website, the first chapter is free to read before you decide to buy.