Monday, February 16, 2009

Rereading Omnivore's Dilemma

I have returned to DC and, for my 25 hour plane ride, I decided to reread The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan. Its a book that changed my life when I first read it back in 2006, and has been a big part in my desire to think through my own consumption.

I suggest the book to anyone that eats in a modern economy where CAFOs are the norm and marketing strategies have succeeded in increasing our consumption to a point where overeating is a problem on par with malnutrition.

I was reminded of my favorite chapter, on the modern industrial organic movement, popularized by the Whole Foods superchain. While it is not anything like what most people think of as organic, it has at least succeeded in reducing our consumption of hormones and synthetic pesticides, as well as limited land erosion.

On a side note, to paraphrase my favorite quote from the book to the recent financial crisis: when we mistake what we can know for all there is to know, we get recent macroeconomic models.

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