There’s the industrial meal- Pollan follows corn from a field in Iowa and a steer from a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) to his McDonald’s meal eaten in his car.
The ‘Big Organic’ meal- the author follows ‘Rosie’ the chicken from an organic industrial farm to Whole Foods and asks “could a factory farm be considered organic?” along the way. He also eats organic asparagus grown in Argentina and examines the ethical and environmental implications of doing so.
His third meal is grown locally through sustainable agriculture on a ‘beyond organic’ farm and is a real education not only on the value of eating locally, of “opting out of a globalized industrial agriculture” and of how our food choices profoundly impact our environment, but on the symbiotic relationship between man, animal and the land.
The last meal is one the author forages himself- hunting and gathering all the ingredients and includes an enlightening discourse on the ethics of eating meat.
Reading this book has been the catalyst for me to change the way I eat and, as such, has been life-changing. I recommend you read it and guarantee that it will revolutionize the way you think about the food you eat.
If you don’t have time to read the book, Pollan gave a great talk at UC Davis in 2006 that covers all the main points of The Omnivore’s Dilemma. It’s about an hour, but worth it.