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The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals - Michael Pollan This is a fascinating and landmark (for me, at least) read. This, along with Eating Animals, is what started the gears turning in my 18 year old brain. It caused me to reevaluate the way I understood food - what good food is, what ethical food is, what price we pay for cheap food, and what price we pay for the luxury of having access to every food we want at all times. It also opened my eyes to the fact that the supermarket is a fairly new creation. It wasn’t always normal for literally every food to be in stock at all times in all locations with an identical layout no matter where you are in the country. Naive, I’ll be the first to admit it, but that’s all I’ve ever known. And realizing for the first time that not only was that not normal, but that having constant access to every kind of food is decidedly abnormal was nothing short of mind blowing.

It’s not necessarily an uplifting read, Pollen talks about some pretty grim realities, but it’s written in an accessible way. And considering the subject matter, he doesn’t go about it in an overly preachy way. Whether or not you agree with his outlook, I think The Omnivore’s Dilemma is required reading if you want to inform yourself on this topic.