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ENGL 102- Week 10 Discussion: ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals’

Sep 14, 2023

The purpose of this discussion prompt is to get you asking and answering some of your own critical questions about the things you read and how they’re written, just as we’ve been doing throughout the semester (albeit with questions I’ve given you instead of having you develop your own). At this point, you should now be more comfortable developing your own critical questions in connection with the things you choose to read and understand. Work hard now on determining your own useful questions to ask and answer as you engage in this Unit 4 discussion forum, as some of the questions you ask and answer on your own here will likely form the basis of your thesis and analysis work in your final essay of the term.

In order to complete this assignment, you need to have first read and studied ALL of the instructional and lesson resources that I’ve placed in the unit along with the assigned reading for this forum discussion.

Week 10 Discussion: ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals’

‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals’ by Michael Pollan is about the dilemma faced by Omnivores in terms of their food choices. As mentioned in the book, the choice of what to eat is complicated for Omnivores in comparison to specialized eaters because for the latter; if they view something that is in their eating preference, they are hardwired in their genes to eat it (Pollan 6). In contrast, Omnivores like rats and humans have to devote a lot of intellect and brain space in order to decide the food that they are going to eat because they have a lot of choices.

This central idea is visible as the author throughout the book deals with this central dilemma, as he explores the three food chains- the industrial, the organic, and the hunter-gatherer, and understands the various aspects associated with the four meals that he prepares over the course of the book (Pollan 9).

The ‘subtext’ of meaning that the author wants to deliver beneath the surface meaning, is that the Industrial Revolution has completely changed the way humans eat. This meaning is evident from the conflict that the author showcases between nature and human industry. Through his journey, the author demonstrates that in order to amplify the food industry and make food available during times when it should not be available, nature and its ways are compromised.

The author employs descriptive writing strategies to demonstrate his ideas and their various subjects. In the book, the author writes the manner in which he approaches the situations, such as his working on the farm, in such a way that it forms a picture for the readers (Pollan 196). It is through this description that the author justifies his opinion about organic food not being the so-called ‘organic food’ where the produce has been injected with preservatives to handle three days of travel and various other situations.

Works Cited

Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan (2007-08-28). Later prt., Penguin Books, 2022.

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