books

Meat and Potatoes (and Corn)

For better or worse, I’m officially finished my psychology class for the semester, which means that I can turn my attention once again to reading for pleasure. Due to the nature of educational reading, I all but abandoned New York soon after I added it to “Currently Reading” in the sidebar and as happens with books, I’m not particularly motivated to read it now that I’m able to. I turn instead to The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. When I revealed this choice to a friend, her response was “That’s your first choice for pleasure reading?” Strangely enough, it is. I’m close to finishing the first chapter, which has been nothing short of fascinating — if you’re interested in the life of a stalk of corn, or more specifically in the sexual reproduction of a stalk of corn. Which I am, as it turns out.

A few weeks ago, I caught a nightly news-magazine-show piece about British chef (oxymoron?) Jamie Oliver’s quest to revolutionize the nutritional intake of Americans, and more specifically, American schoolchildren. In the piece, Oliver had a typical American mom reveal what she fed her children on a daily basis. The mom soon had an entire kitchen table filled with — for lack of a better term — crap. Heaps and heaps of processed foods consisting of ingredients that most of us cannot pronounce, let alone explain. From the recesses of my memory, I recalled a friend talking about the Pollan book and I went in search of it last weekend, hungry (pun intended) for more knowledge and understanding of what we eat and why we eat it. My friend noted that The Ominivore’s Dilemma is an interesting, educational resource, but it is not a fast or light read, which is why I am mentioning it before I finish reading it. I suspect that it will raise questions and illuminate things that I will want to ponder long before I come to its conclusion, and so for the first time, I’m going to try something different: chronicling a book here as I read it.

We’ll see how it goes.

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