The Trouble with Omnivores Explained in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma

1395 WordsJul 13, 20186 Pages
What is an omnivore? An omnivore is a creature that consumes both plants and animals for nutrition. In Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma he explains just as the title suggests, the omnivore’s dilemma. In it he describes how omnivores, such as ourselves, came to eat the way we do now. After he discusses the basics of that, he proceeds to talk about Americans and how they eat. Pollan divides his writing into four main areas: introducing what the omnivore’s dilemma is, explaining how we decide what to eat, introducing our anxieties towards eating, and the problem with how Americans decide what to eat. Pollan calls on the expertise of Paul Rozin and other specialists to help back up his claims. Omnivores are very interesting…show more content…
Many bitter plants can contain helpful nutrients and can even be used for medicine. Both the sap from opium poppies and the bark of willows hold healing properties, but they are very bitter. Once it was discovered what they could do though, people were able to get past the bitterness. Our most useful tool we discovered was cooking. Cooking allowed us to eat many more things than we could originally. It removed the harmful bacteria and substances from food making them edible. The ability to cook is also the only tool humans have that other omnivores do not. This is often cited as evidence that humans entered a new ecological niche, “the cognitive niche,” as many anthropologists have labeled it. Pollan says it is this “term seems calculated to smudge the line between biology and culture” since cooking helped develop many cultures. It is this tool that altered the way our bodies digest food. With cooking we no longer needed to consume raw meat and other foods became safe to eat. What we should and shouldn’t eat, unfortunately, is not as obvious as it should be. Animals, such as the koala, need only determine if the food option is the one their body is adapted to. For humans, much of what we eat is passed down by our culture and the area we live in. For generations, people around the world have been discovering different foods and how to eat and cook them. The knowledge of how these foods are cooked stayed in their local area, mainly

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