The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Reviewed

A brief review of Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the problem with excess degraded corn in our diet.

November 29th 2006 – For anyone who hasn’t run across Michael Pollan’s Book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I highly recommend it. He denounces the Corn Industrial Complex which puts corn into virtually every food (one quarter of the 45,000 foods in a typical supermarket contain corn)and seems to be in a symbiotic relationship with petroleum. Oil goes into the fertilizer which goes into corn which goes into us and makes us sick. One gem is his send up of a McNuggets dinner:

“The ingredients listed in the flyer suggest a lot of thought goes into a nugget, that and a lot of corn. Of the 38 ingredients it takes to make a McNugget I counted 13 that can be derived from corn: the corn-fed chicken itself, the cornstarch (to bind the pulverized chicken meat); mono, tri’ and diglycerides (emulsifiers which keep the fat and water from separating) ; dextrose; lecithin (another emulsifier); chicken broth (to restore some of the flavor that leaches out in processing); yellow corn flour and modified cornstarch (for the batter); cornstarch (a filler), vegetable shortening; partialy hydrogenated corn oil; and citric acid as a preservative.” He then goes on to list the synthetic and petroleum-derived ingredients.
It isn’t all doom and gloom. He also tracks an organic farm where cattle are rotated to new grass each day with flexible fencing, a connestoga wagon like chicken coop follows them three days later to eat the fly larvae in the droppings (and enhance the eggs with free protein), and pigs which aerate the winter manure in search of fermenting corn.

Of course with this much degraded corn in our diets it won’t be long before we have very widespread corn allergies in addition to the diabetes and gluten allergies from the degraded wheat.

Contact Member:
Acupuncture and Herbs by Karen Vaughan, L.Ac.
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The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
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