Sample Book Review on Omnivore’s dilemma by Michael Pollan

Agricultural Studies

In the article Omnivore’s dilemma by Michael Pollan, the book talks about the confusion that people go through before deciding on what to eat. It also covers some of the changes that have shaped today’s eating habit of the American people (Pollan 15). The author describes the violent changes in the eating habits of the Americans as national eating disorder. The changes are mainly brought about by the legislative by setting dietary goals, which the American population is supposed to achieve. The author contrasts the America’s struggle with the diet to keep healthy with other nations who stick to their traditional mode of choosing a meal: tradition and pleasure. These other countries do not mind too much about the nutritious content of a meal, but they still end up very healthy than the nutrition-conscious Americans.

The author therefore asks the question of what happens to the omnivores when everything present in the table is likely to cause some discomfort to your body (Pollan 65). Should you just eat it to satisfy the dietary requirements? The article looks at some of the foods available in the America meals: hunter-gatherer, the organic, and the industrial. All these can be traced back to earth’s fertility and the sun’s energy.

One of the themes discussed in this article is the discordant character of the nature and the human activity. Human activities seem to be in contrary to the works of nature and this brings problems in feeding (Pollan 208). These disparities bring problems to the lives of the humans and other things present in the world.

Another theme present is how foods eaten form greater connection between humans and nature. Everything eaten can be traced to the mother earth. The work we do in the farms have shaped the earth’s landscape and eating brings nature into our own bodies. The processed food and the addition of syrup to the corns is one of the major causes of obesity (Pollan 85).


The book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Seasonal Eating by Kingsolver talks about good food. People change their areas of residences in search of good food (Kingsolver, Barbara, Steven, and Camille 3). Human would always want to live in an area that has enough water and fertile soil to sustain the production of good food. The agricultural activities lead to depletion of the land resources and humans have to change their residence so that they can survive.

There is the mention of the asparagus plant. This shows that agricultural products are still the major source of good foods. The book mentions some of the nutritional benefits of the agricultural asparagus. The nutritional benefit is not the only factor that is considered when deciding on what to eat (Kingsolver, Barbara, Steven and Camille 9). The taste of the food also matters a lot and the method of preparation and cooking can be the defining miracle between a good meal and a bad one. Cooking method should be selected carefully to allow people to enjoy the taste of food in their mouth as their bodies enjoy the nutritional benefits

In some cases, humans use technologies like the greenhouses and the use of chemicals to increase crop productions. These new resources in agriculture help people to keep starvation at bay and enjoy good harvest even during unfavorable climatic conditions. However, the locally available species of plants are the main shield between abundance and scarcity of food.

The author talks of the modern vitamin supplements and medication, but argues that eating green can solve all the problems that supplements and medicines are made for. The supplements have huge loads of nutrients, which are not suitable for the human body since the body is not able to make use of all the nutrients at once(Kingsolver, Barbara, Steven and Camille 16). The small combinations of these nutrients are available in plants and are more useful to the body than from the supplements.

Rita Astuti, in her article The Vezo Are Not A Kind Of People argues that people are not what they are because they were born to be so, but are what they are because of what they do and where they live. A person is defined by the things he does (Astuti 7). The Vezo people regard anyone who fish and live near the ocean as Vezo and their neighbors are also only described by what they do and where they live. The person’s characteristics are not looked at and when they shift their occupation and residence, their identity changes.

The above description can be felt in the way humans eat. The Italians are said not to mind about their diet as their U.S conter-parts. Their health is defined as healthier more than the U.S citizens are. The things that a population does also determine the type of food they would eat. The dietary complications people face are because of what they eat (Astuti 15). People are not born to face such problems but they come about because of the food eaten: and the food eaten is influenced by the place of residence and the occupation of the people.

The first two articles have all acknowledged that eating meat from the animals and the fresh farm produce cannot cause health problems, but problems majorly arises from the processed foods. People should therefore refrain from eating processed foods and eat more fresh meat and plants. The nutritional supplements and fortification of food are some of the causes of health problems experienced in the modern world.

Works cited

Astuti, Rita. The Vezo are not a kind of people: identity, differences, and ethnicity among a fishing people of western Madagascar. American ethnologist 22(3):464-482.1915.Internet Resource. Available at <>

Kingsolver, Barbara, Steven L. Hopp, and Camille Kingsolver. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Seasonal Eating. , 2007. Internet resource.

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.