Those of you who have been faithfully following this blog from the beginning may remember the mention of a “Book of the Month Club” that the apprenti were going to be doing. That was at the beginning of July, and the first book to read was The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Well, things can get kind of busy on a farm, and it is now October, and the first book has just been completed!
I won’t try to make any excuses of why it took me so long. It was certainly not because the book was boring! This is a most fascinating and well-written book that really causes you to stop and think about today’s food system. This is one of those books that really needs to be read a few times to get everything that is in it.
In the book, Pollan explores food from many different angles, looking at the industrial food supply, organic foods, sustainable farming, and being a hunter/gatherer. He does not attempt to tell the reader which is the best food system, but merely sets forth the truth about each. Many of these truths are ones that do not cross the average consumer’s mind, but they are issues that need to be addressed and are important to the future of our food supply and health in America.
We are raising a generation that does not know where its food comes from. Where the word “chicken” only brings up thoughts of a Chicken McNugget. There are people that do not know that eggs come from chickens. They would not be able to identify plants in the garden. So much of our food supply is becoming industrialized, with ingredients that are made in a laboratory. We have lost our appreciation and understanding of food, and we are losing our health.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to know about our current food supply as well as the exciting things that are happening to improve this system. This is a great book for a farm apprentice, because it fits so well with what we are trying to do at the farm; bring people to an appreciation of farm-fresh produce and the understanding of cooking and enjoying whole foods. As Wendell Berry said, “Eating is an agricultural act.” We need to make people aware of this fact and bring them back to the land.