Deconstructing Dinner

From The New York Times:


The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A natural history of meals by Michael Pollan.

Wealth, abundance and the lack of a steadying, centuries-old food culture have conspired to make us Americans dysfunctional eaters, obsessed with getting thin while becoming ever more fat, lurching from one specious bit of dietary wisdom (margarine is better for you than butter) to another (carbs kill). Pollan diagnoses a “national eating disorder,” and he aims to shed light on both its causes and some potential solutions. To this end, he embarks on four separate eating adventures, each of which starts at the very beginning — in the soil from which the raw materials of his dinners will emerge — and ends with a cooked, finished meal.

These meals are, in order, a McDonald’s repast consumed by Pollan with his wife and son in their car as it vrooms up a California freeway; a “Big Organic” meal of ingredients purchased at the upmarket chain Whole Foods; a beyond-organic chicken dinner whose main course and side dishes come from a wondrously self-sustaining Virginia farm that uses no pesticides, antibiotics or synthetic fertilizers; and a “hunter-gatherer” feast consisting almost entirely of ingredients that Pollan has shot dead or foraged himself.

More here.