Book Review: The Omnivore Dilemma

Again, I always think that we designed as an omnivore, so it is not a sin when we eat both meat and vegetables. The problem now is how to be “wise omnivore”

I went to a book store in Tokyo, and finding the most popular book in popular science on their shelf. Then I found a very interesting book: The Omnivore Dilemma by Michael Pollan. People said you haven’t learn much about agriculture and foods if you haven’t read any Pollan’s book. And yes!

One of the best Pollan’s masterpiece is this book. I you are a young reader (or at least love bigger and more attractive layout of book), I recommend you to find the “young reader edition” because it is very easy to read and some information box and graphics are really help us to understand a whole idea in this book.

omnivore dilemma

It is like my whole research in easy words. In this book, Michael Pollan tried to bring us investigate every point on the food’s chain. From on-farm until off-farm. You’ll find out what human actually do for the shake of industry needs. This book will open your eyes about some hidden facts of all agricultural products including, of course, our foods. A book which brought me to visit farm area in Japan and motivate me to learn more about food chain, agriculture, and stuff. I will recommend it so much, especially if you totally green about animal cruelty, mono-culture in farm, and sustainable agribusiness. This book will be a good start and encourage you to find more.

Another thing I love so much in this book is Pollan, in my opinion, in not kind of “hardliner” about vegan VS non-vegan, he is very neutral and wise, and to be honest we need lots of writer like him. Also, while his background was a journalist (and I think he also guest lecture in Barkeley now), so the way he deliver his ideas is flowing and nice to be read.

So, yuph! If you still wondering which book to read next, then you can try this one 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Omnivore Dilemma

  1. According to biologists and anthropologists who study our anatomy and our evolutionary history, humans are herbivores who are not well suited to eating meat. Humans lack both the physical characteristics of carnivores and the instinct that drives them to kill animals and devour their raw carcasses.

    Although many humans choose to eat a wide variety of plant and animal foods, earning us the dubious title of “omnivore,” we’re anatomically herbivorous.

    Teeth, Jaws, and Nails

    Humans have short, soft fingernails and pathetically small “canine” teeth. In contrast, carnivores all have sharp claws and large canine teeth that are capable of tearing flesh.

    Carnivores’ jaws move only up and down, requiring them to tear chunks of flesh from their prey and swallow them whole. Humans and other herbivores can move their jaws up and down and from side to side, allowing them to grind up fruit and vegetables with their back teeth. Like other herbivores’ teeth, humans’ back molars are flat for grinding fibrous plant foods. Carnivores lack these flat molars.

    Dr. Richard Leakey, a renowned anthropologist, summarizes, “You can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don’t have large canine teeth, and we wouldn’t have been able to deal with food sources that require those large canines.”

    Stomach Acidity

    Carnivores swallow their food whole, relying on their extremely acidic stomach juices to break down flesh and kill the dangerous bacteria in meat that would otherwise sicken or kill them. Our stomach acids are much weaker in comparison because strong acids aren’t needed to digest pre-chewed fruits and vegetables.

    Intestinal Length

    Carnivores have short intestinal tracts and colons that allow meat to pass through the animal relatively quickly, before it can rot and cause illness. Humans’ intestinal tracts are much longer than those of carnivores of comparable size. Longer intestines allow the body more time to break down fiber and absorb the nutrients from plant-based foods, but they make it dangerous for humans to eat meat. The bacteria in meat have extra time to multiply during the long trip through the digestive system, increasing the risk of food poisoning. Meat actually begins to rot while it makes its way through human intestines, which increases the risk of colon cancer.

    1. Wow, thank you for your comment. However let me tell you from my knowledge and my sight.

      ” The bacteria in meat have extra time to multiply during the long trip through the digestive system, increasing the risk of food poisoning. Meat actually begins to rot while it makes its way through human intestines, which increases the risk of colon cancer.”

      Well, okay… but let’s don’t be freak about it. that’s why we human being have another skill called: COOKING. By cooking the meat well we can kill all the bacteria and also change the texture of the meat so it will be easier to digest the meat 🙂

      There are also some way to make our meat “healthier” like by marinade our meat using garlic (ssst… it kills bacteria also).

      Well, thank you for your article 🙂 but trust me, we don’t need to too freak about meat 🙂 as long as we have a balance meal, everything will be alright.

      1. I think it is fascinating the different elements which come into play – don’t you think? Like, a lion or a snake can just eat a whole animal raw, without the use of cutlery or a kitchen, and be totally fine with that, and it just blows my mind 🙂

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