Wednesday, October 24, 2007

omnivorously yours

My good friend Eric is a vegetarian. He corrects people who brag about being carnivores that they are not carnivores, they are omnivores. Right again, my flesh-shunning friend. (Sometimes I affectionately call him soy-fucker.)

Much to the relief of friends and family, I have just finished reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I can now stop boring you with commentary about the "book I am currently reading" and race right over to waxing philosophical about the "book I just finished reading." It's a win-win for me.

But seriously, my tendency to verbosity aside, this has been one great read. It's a book about food origins, food industry and man's relationship with food. Not what some might call a page-turner but there were times I really couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I love his examination of the food industry. His willingness to face his flesh-eating nature head on--slaughtering chicken on a poultry farm or hunting boar in a forest.

The odd thing about people's reaction to my comments about this book is that they all wanted to know if I was going to become a vegetarian--as if fear of vegetarianism was a good reason to never pick up the book. Funny. I am a passionate fan of the barely cooked rib eye and fairly sure that it would take at least 2 or 3 books to pry the bloody steak knife from my hand if that is, in fact, possible. Yet even I had a moment of hesitation prior to reading lest the horrors of the food industry (and horrors they are) rob me of this and a perfectly grilled chicken breast.

But the book has changed my attitude about food. Perhaps in part because being a meat eater is not the equivalent of agreeing with the inhumane treatment of the creatures we eat. However, right now, the biggest impact for me is the consciousness of removing as many of the steps between food being harvested, caught, slaughtered and my table. The less traveled and processed the food is, the healthier it will be. I have all but eliminated prefab foods (cereal, mixes, frozen meals, etc.) and try to purchase ingredients in their rawest, freshest forms locally.

This does of course, increase my food prep time. But cheap, fast AND healthy is rare. Usually you only get two out of the three. I'm okay with the trade-off.


StevensVox said...

I'm in Heaven, Yes I'm in Heaven....
big, full, thoughtful blog entries back to back, Karma finally found my address!
Hope you feel well soon, and are having fun with the lot next door...

Dave E Crockett said...

Does this mean you wanna go bow hunting with Ted Nugent?

fimbulwinter said...

Have you ever noticed that, upon hearing of something, you're immediately confronted with more evidence of it's existence? Rather than creeping up on me, it seems like often things spring into being all at once and while I should have noticed them earlier, there was some sort of nexus that I touched in a few days, leaving me with multiple references to the same suddenly corporeal thing. The book, is what I'm getting at, I've been present for no less than three references to it in the last three days, for no apparent reason. I don't believe it's that new, is it?

Incidentally, I'm well, and I appreciate the dropping of the line. My word verification down here is brrbstnk...that just looks wrong somehow.


Epiphenita said...

omnivore's dilemma was published about six months ago. it is a delight for anyone who thinks food and philosophy and anthropology and science taste great together.

e. said...

thanks for the shout-out. always nice to see yourself referenced in such a thoughtful entry.

i'll have to look into this book. sounds fascinating...

on friday steven took his boyfriend to nelore - hyped as a "carnivore's dream." sounds like my nightmare... but there ya go.

as always, your soy-fucker