Books That Inspire 2011

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Michael Pollan

The Omnivore's Dilemma honors Socrates' declaration that the unexamined life is not worth living. The focus of Pollan's examination is, literally, our substance: what we eat. He reveals what we are, in that sense, to be concealed from us. For, though eating is central to our relationship with the earth, the modern food system blinds us to what actually happens before we eat its products. The profoundly disquieting lesson of Pollan's book is that industrial agriculture can be an obstacle to an ethical life regarding the natural environment, precisely because it allows us not to know who we are.

Zev Trachtenberg
Associate Professor