Wednesday, April 02, 2008
The Omnivore's Dilema
Everyone should read this book!
Here's a quote from the last page that kind of encapsulates the whole thing, "But imagine for a moment if we once again knew...these few unremarkable things: What it is we're eating. Where it came from. How it found its way to our table. And what, in a true accounting, it really cost."
It took me exactly 30 days to read this book (411 pages). It was facinating and engrossing. It moved more quickly for me after the first section.
The book is divided into three sections, here is a little of what I learned from each:
Section 1: Corn
We grow a ridiculous amount of corn in this country because the government subsidizes farmers for it.
We eat a lot more corn than we realize and Americans use corn for all sorts of things.
There are 38 ingredients in a McDonalds chicken nugget. Thirty-eight!
Cows are not meant to eat corn, but because it is a rich, cheap source of calories, we feed it to them anyway.
If you are what you eat, Americans are processed corn.
I am going to start eating only grass-fed beef instead of grain-fed whenever possible.
Section 2: Grass
I learned a lot about organic farming.
Americans don't seem to care where there food comes from, they just want it cheap and not because they couldn't afford to spend a little more on it.
Sustainable farming is facinating.
I seldom notice how unseasonaly we eat these days (lamb in spring, asparagus in winter, etc.).
"For example, if the sixteen million acres now bing used to grow corn to feed cows in the United States became well-managed pasture, that would remove fourteen billion pounds of carbon from the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of taking four million cars off the road."
Support local farmers, meat producers, etc. (I joined a CSA).
Section 3: The Forest
Facinating section, especially if you like to cook.
Mushroom hunting would be fun to try sometime.
Eat meat only from humanely treated animals.
Continue buying eggs only from free-range chickens.