Friday, August 8, 2008

Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

If you want to know how our food gets to us, and how animals are treated, this is the book to read. It is American, so I do not know how relevant it is for Canadians, but it is interesting none the less. I am sure a lot of what sells in Canada is the same as in the US. Our food is the result of an industrial system. It is interesting how much corn plays a part in the food we get at our grocery stores.

Although, I must admit that I always tended to get only fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy in my weekly shopping. About the only prepackaged stuff I got was some cereal, and this was usually things like a package of oatmeal. I had a kid, so I had to also get some boxed cereal and some pop.

It is interesting how such books as thus one come out just when thinks are changing. This summer, in my local area, we have a farmer’s market opening one day a week. Also, just in the past year, we have a small bakery opened. The bread is wonderful. They list the ingredients for the bread, and it is only 5 items and I understand what all are. Unlike the awful bread, we were subjects to just 10 years ago (and still in the shops) which have a list of ingredients as long as your arm. I had no idea what most of the ingredients were.

When I had a cottage, I got local meat, and the local cattle were grass fed. The steaks were the best I have ever had. I do not know how the pigs and chickens were fed, but the chops and chickens I got were great also. The local place I went for meat was called an abattoir. This is just a French word for slaughterhouse and I do not know why it was called that. It would seem that such small local slaughterhouses are illegal in the US. That is too bad. I heard nothing locally about anyone having any problems with this slaughterhouse. This was a small community, and everyone knows everything that happens. If there had ever been a problem, I would have heard. I guess that sometimes it helps to be behind the US in things as having the privilege of a local slaughterhouse.

Michael Pollan has his own site at He also has a blog at and is on the Berkeley web site at You can find his books at if you go to There is also an review of his commandments of eating at

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