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The Omnivore's Dilemma

I wanted to share with you guys and amazing book called The Omnivore's Dilemma. In it Micheal Pollan talks about how food is raised in 4 categories in today's society, and how to quit being stuck in one category. Everyone should read this because Its quite the eye opener for most people on what they are eating and where its coming from. Beware...the truth is never pretty but it certainly will set you FREE!


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Not a lot of info here.

Sounds like a long add trying to sell a book. But from watching the video I have made some observations.

First is the idea of people raising chickens in their back yards in the cities thinking it is healthier. This sounds great but the fact is that most of those back yard chickens are fed the same corporate feed and cannot free range as God intended.

Second is the lady who says that it is SOOO expensive to buy directly from the farm. I'm not sure what she means unless she is talking about drive time. Usually if you buy anything directly from the farmer then you are cutting out the middle man and the product is cheaper.

Third is that this is not just an omnivore's dilemma. It doesn't even seem to be an omnivore vs vegan debate as some below are trying to make it. It is about all the corporate produced food in the markets.

Fourth is that nothing is going to change on the larger scale because people want cheap. This is what happens when "technology" is king and people turn their production of sustenance over to others. This is also why we have all these wide spread food related illness and death as well as long term health problems on a national scale. The ship will not be turned as long as the production of food is dependent on a few large corporate farms. And I don't see that changing under any political or social means.

Daily Paul

I came to the Daily Paul to support Ron Paul. It is quite interesting that I have found out high level-balanced discussions on topics such as economy and eating habits/diet. Thanks to all, I've learned a lot.

You can eat what you like,

just make sure in the end it produces blood in your arteries and veins that is slightly alkaline.

However, cows, chickens, pigs in the modern industrial farms are sick animals because of being grain fed, overcrowding, and being forced to grow FAST with hormones. To eat these animals is to be poisoned with antibiotics and hormones, and the FEAR that builds up as chemicals in their blood and flesh.

A little naturally raised fish and poultry will not harm anyone if the diet is balanced on the alkaline side. It is the acid diet that KILLS. The underlying problem with the modern diet is that it is ACID, whereas the natural pH of blood is slightly alkaline.

If people continue to eat a diet that makes the pH of the blood ACID it will lead to all the modern diseases; diabetes, clogged arteries, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, cancer. ACID BLOOD is what links all those diseases. So eat a diet that makes your blood slightly alkaline, and that CAN include flesh. Grain carbs and sugar are NOT the ONLY foods that make blood acid. This is one of many sites: http://rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm Scroll all the way down. Choose 80% alkaline producing foods and 20% acid producing foods in your diet. Another good site http://www.essense-of-life.com/moreinfo/foodcharts.htm

I do not eat animals, fish, insects, and birds because I love them and do not see them as food. When I see an animal or bird or insect I see a friend, an intelligent little being. I would only kill one for food if there were no other food to feed my children. They are simply NOT food in my eyes and I never crave eating flesh of any kind. Each to his/her own. You have do do what comes natural to you and what gives you inner peace and joy! I am very healthy and at peace, and well researched on human health, body chemistry, and diet.

Yes, great book. If it

Yes, great book. If it interests anyone, also check out the documentaries "Food Inc" and "Forks Over Knives". There's so much information out there.

Not really omnivores

We're only omnivores because we decide that's what we want to be. We're omnivores because we can't control our desires and suffer from gluttony. Fact is humans are not even designed like all the other meat eaters.

Now this isn't a moral crusade. Has nothing to do with that.

Take all the meat eaters on the planet. All of them eat their meat fresh off the kill. It nauseates humans to even think of eating a carcass fresh. That means we aren't natural meat eaters.

Also, every other meat eater on the planet has a really short digestive tract. Humans have one of the longest digestive tracts, very similar to herbivores and fruit eaters.

So, with these two things in mind 1. We don't kill and eat fresh kill (we have to cook it and spice it just to be able to tolerate it) and 2. Our digestive tracts are not consistent with every other meat eater, how can anyone say "oh yeah, we're meat eaters"?

Sometimes simple common sense is great for a runaway debate with no direction.

tasmlab's picture

Only humans cook

I'm not sure the fact that other animals can't find a frying pan or make a decent bearnaise sauce is an indicator of us being 'designed' not to eat meat.

Following this logic, we can be presumed to not be designed to do anything animals don't regularly do, such as wear fedoras, drive to the dry cleaners in our cars, or listen to Rothbard speeches on our ipods. Blow bubbles with our kids. Play air guitar to old Van Halen songs. Use toilets.

And we tend to like to cook/prepare/spice our veggies and grains too. Please don't tell me you are ANTI-PIE!!!

We could point to the placement of our eyes, the presence of canines, being masterful hunters,etc. but the case for us being meat eaters could simply be our thousands of years of biological dominance on the planet all whilst having some meat now and again.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football


I became a lacto vegetarian about 10 years ago; raw and cooked vegetables, raw fruit, nuts, seeds, berries, minimum grain carbs (3 slices bread a day), cheese, eggs, milk, honey, soup made from cooked vegetable water every day, and 500 mg vitamin C every day. (no to sugar, artificial sweetener, soy, no alcohol, no drugs or smokes of any kind)

I am slim and strong, look younger than my years, and never have so much as a cold. I feel good mentally, emotionally, physically, and have abundant energy.

The wrong diet leads to illness and a cascade of symptoms:
clogged arteries, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, kidney failure, cancer, amputation of limbs.

The alkaline diet (Google it) can turn it around if started soon enough and will improve health even if you are ill.

I think that is a very healthy diet

Nuts, cheese, eggs and milk? Just swap a bit of meat for the bread and you practically have a Primal, or Paleo + Dairy diet. Hopefully you are choosing high-fat options when you can to increase satiety.

If you include eggs (I think it's called ovo-lacto-vegetarianism then?) you are definitely getting your B12 which you can't get from any plant source. I commend you. :)

"The wrong diet leads to illness and a cascade of symptoms: clogged arteries, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, kidney failure, cancer, amputation of limbs."

I am unsure what you are blaming for these ailments though. Surely not meat. High sugar and carbohydrate intake are clinically linked with all of those things except IIRC kidney failure which can be caused by a high protein diet. However, a proper low carb diet including meat is high in fat, not protein.

Eggs are my main source of B12.

Two eggs for breakfast, and I use eggs to make veggie patties to replace meat. The patties are a higher and better source of protein than meat because they contain the proper mixture of seeds, beans and vegetables. Quite delicious and easy to make.

The modern diet contains basically meat and grain carbs (bread stuff) with no raw vegetables and no raw fruit, and this alone can cause illness. Cooked food contains little or no enzymes for digestion. Many people are obese and malnourished and have Vitamin C deficiencies.

Most people are toxic from the meat (hormones and antibiotics). The other problem is high sugar intake and fats cooked at high temperatures. How you combine your food is important. Fruits and vegetables should never be eaten together because each requires a different acid environment in the stomach for digestion.

Kidney failure is often the end result of diabetes because diabetes is associated with poor circulation related to arteries clogged with plaque. Cell death results because oxygen and nutrients cannot reach the cells. It is also because the pancreas is not producing enough insulin to change glucose to energy needed by the cells. That is why you see many diabetic people with amputation of limbs and kidney disease; caused by poor circulation and cell death.

Diabetes is often not diagnosed until there is serious clogging of the arteries with plaque and is often diagnosed as a result of a heart attack or stroke. That is why diabetes, clogged arteries, heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, bladder stones, amputations, are all part of the same disease brought on by wrong diet.

Please don't blame meat for any of that

It is not supported by any kind of clinical science. If you just isolated your concern to *processed* meat, then you may have a case. However, good natural meats do not cause any of the diseases you list. In fact, in many cases meat, especially saturated fat, has been shown to guard against all of these things.

Here is a good site to peruse with links to 1000+ studies, both clinical and observational, which counter the "meat will kill us!" hysteria. http://healthydietsandscience.blogspot.ca/

As for diabetes, it's essentially the body building up a resistance to insulin. Insulin production is triggered by many things, but BY FAR the most powerful stimulus is carbohydrate/sugar intake. There is no reason to significantly associate it with anything else. It is not caused by meat consumption.

Agree! I did not blame disease on meat consumption.

Meat consumption along with the proper alkaline diet will produce health. Google the alkaline diet.

Common sense? Really?

Humans are omnivores, and much closer to carnivory on the food spectrum. Any cursory examination of our digestive system reveals as such. Bile salts to dissolve animal fats, proteases and peptidases to munch animal protein, and teeth which are hybridized between herbivorous grinding molars and sharp carnivorous canines and slicing teeth in the front.

Humans can eat raw meat just fine, the same as other carnivores. However people learned long ago that cooking meat improved the flavour (we have VERY well developed taste buds for meat/umami) and also somewhat reduced the chance we would get sick from eating it.

Humans have a longer digestive tract because we are omnivores. If we were full carnivores, the DT would be shorter, true. However, our digestive systems bear very little resemblance to those of herbivorous animals, which are designed for fermentation rather than direct digestion.

Sounds like a little common sense is what's needed on your end of things.


1. Is a psychological issue that has been built up by society over time. Primitive cultures will in fact eat meat raw.
2. We aren't meat eaters, we're omnivores. Meat is a phenomenal source of nutrients however, and our body is able to take advantage of meat as a source of those nutrients. We're best designed for a diet with OCCASIONAL meat, not unlike chimps who'll eat meat given the chance, or gorillas, who they've found evidence that they do in fact eat small other animals.

Actual meat, that you catch and kill is different than grabbing an animal, breeding it, and stuffing it with hormones and chemicals.

Eric Hoffer

Steak tartar is a treat.

Walleye fishermen often take the cheeks when fresh caught. A little nougat of flesh the does't spoil the market value.

It has a wonderful fresh, clean flavor. Added a dash of salt.

We raised and butchered our own rabbits. The meat was clean but we were dirty. The rabbit was stewed with vegetables and herbs. While the rest of the rabbit was frozen. And we then got cleaned up for dinner and were thankful for our blessings.

However, some studies on primal diets and carnivores suggests that the animals preferred the organ meats and left the flesh for the vultures and flies and other scavengers.

Only when tools replaced incisors did man have easy access to flesh. Storage was a new technology that was added to the hunt.

Then government intervention caused shortages and surpluses at the wrong times.

We have enough stomach acid to digest about a 1/4 pound of protein at a sitting assuming we do not dilute the acid and that we produce enough from the sodium chloride we eat. Eating more is a nutritional waste of effort. Noshing on the fatty bits and cartilage is a pastime enjoyed by many. Stomach acid does not limit fatty acid uptake.

We also have three main pancreatic enzymes. protase, lipase and amylase. Our recent diet history sets the proportions of the three enzymes.

Eat meat when you've not been eating it or eat starches when starch free can make you sick. The enzymes needed aren't present in the right amounts.

The Inuits in their ancestral home eat seafood and caribou. The flesh is pounded into a powder and mixed the fat. The result is pemickin. A slice a day will provide all the calories, essential fatty acids and protein a body needs. The seafood provides the 60 essential minerals. Vegetation free.

Inuits have the healthiest cardio-vasular system on the planet. When eating the ancestral diet.

Vegetarians have the B12 dilemma.Can we grow the organism that converts Cobalt into its essential form. B12.

Also cartilage and gelatin is easy to consume. I don't know if we produced it from vegetable raw materials.

Are vegetarians dependent on external production for survival?

Free includes debt-free!

Many native peoples eat raw meat.

We physically can eat raw meat, the thought of rare bloody stake makes me salivate...

Native Americans ate the heart raw right after the kill.

Our meat is not killed directly by us, thus is not fresh and its ill advised nor as pleasant to eat it raw.

Also chimps our closest ancestor is an omnivorousness creature when the opportunity arises. Primate diet tends to be highly variable when need or opportunity arises.

We ate meat before we were human instinctively not by choice. We made a great evolutionary leap and began to cook our food. It greatly helps unlock vitamins in our vegetables. Can you image eating half the vegetables you eat raw? It makes them a great deal more palatable to.

We are also highly intelligent, intelligent animals tend to be carnivorous or omnivores. Dolphins, pigs, apes. (insects are eaten by all non-extinct apes)

Most herbivores break down food via fermentation, using multiple stomach chambers or hindgut fermentation. Humans as omnivores have no such process...

We no longer kill and eat fresh meat but could do so. Are digestive tracts aren't consistent with herbivores, or carnivores as we're omnivores.

Common sense or commonly voiced fallacies...

Meh, kind of but no

"We physically can eat raw meat, the thought of rare bloody stake makes me salivate..."

I'm sure it does but its because it taste's good. Not because your body needs it. Almond Joy candy bars make me salivate too. Is it because my body needs it? No. Its because they taste good.

"Native Americans ate the heart raw right after the kill."

And the heart is nutritious. The strongest warrior would eat the heart, everyone else had to settle for what was left. Like Lions eat the heart and organs. Weaker scavengers only have the flesh, which has very little nutritional benefit which is why they are skinny.

"Also chimps our closest ancestor is an omnivorousness creature when the opportunity arises. Primate diet tends to be highly variable when need or opportunity arises."

They eat very little meat. 95% herbivore. They don't eat red meat.

"We ate meat before we were human instinctively not by choice. We made a great evolutionary leap and began to cook our food. It greatly helps unlock vitamins in our vegetables. Can you image eating half the vegetables you eat raw? It makes them a great deal more palatable to."

We ate meat because that's all there was. Any life form will eat what they can even if its not the best for them. Go to a grocery store. Its all poison but its all we can choose. Doesn't make it good. Yes, we cook meat so that we can eat it.

"We are also highly intelligent, intelligent animals tend to be carnivorous or omnivores. Dolphins, pigs, apes. (insects are eaten by all non-extinct apes)"

We can't be that intelligent because the alpha meat eaters eat the organs and leave the flesh to scavengers due to its far inferior nutritional value. Your "salivating steak" is just flesh. So you are a scavenger or what? Seems a highly intelligent being would be an alpha and take the best parts fresh like the heart. I'll let you think about it.

"We no longer kill and eat fresh meat but could do so. Are digestive tracts aren't consistent with herbivores, or carnivores as we're omnivores."

That's right. That's why we have so little disease in our species. LOL

You da man. You got it figure out LOL

Meat is bad for us? Oh my!

"I'm sure it does but its because it taste's good. Not because your body needs it. Almond Joy candy bars make me salivate too. Is it because my body needs it? No. Its because they taste good."

You body needs neither, but can make use of both. It comes down to what you want your nutrients wrapped in: a bunch of sugar, or a bunch of fat and protein.

Animal hearts are super high in protein, almost overwhelmingly so. It is not as broadly nutritious as the other organs, like kidneys, liver and brains, all of which contain more fat and various vitamins/minerals.

Looking at the chimp diet is a useful analogue, however there is no reason we should be eating exactly the same diet as they do. Chimps are also occasional cannibals, so it's wise not to take diet-matching to its logical extreme :)

"We ate meat because that's all there was."

Please. We ate meat because it was delicious and sustaining. Where is your scientific evidence that it is not "the best" for us? And no quoting the China Study either, or I'll sic Denise Minger on you.

And I would argue that the propensity for (Westernized) people to eat mostly cuts of muscle rather than the more nutritious organs is mostly a matter of culture, not an overall indicator that we are illogical predators. For example, just visit any Asian community and you'll see organs being consumed daily with gusto.

"That's right. That's why we have so little disease in our species. LOL"

Are you saying that a diet of meat causes disease? What kind of disease? Where are your clinical studies to back that up?



I read the book last winter

I read the book last winter, and highly recommend it.

Hot off the press, Today's NY OP-ED

ALMOST half of Americans are on a diet — not surprising, since two-thirds are overweight or obese, a frightening statistic that inspired Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to push through a ban on large soft drinks in New York City. The country is preoccupied with calories. McDonald’s, for instance, is now posting them. But our widespread hope for weight loss makes us vulnerable to all kinds of promises, even ones that aren’t true, when it comes to food.

Perhaps the biggest misconception is that as long as you lose weight, it doesn’t matter what you eat. But it does. Yet being thin and being healthy are not at all the same thing. Being overweight is not necessarily linked with disease or premature death. What you eat affects which diseases you may develop, regardless of whether you’re thin or fat. Some diets that may help you lose weight may be harmful to your health over time.

A widely publicized study earlier this year showed that a low-carb Atkins-type diet might be a faster way to lose weight. That may have given many people the idea that eating meat and butter is the route to thinness and thus health.
Continues: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/23/opinion/sunday/the-optimal...

A good way to defend your freedoms: www.libertymagazine.org

I will eat what I want!

I will be dammed if anybody is going to tell me what to eat. I have done enough research and yes, tried the Vegetarian "Trip" years ago, to know what is good for me to eat.

The problem is primarily the quality of any food groups you choose to eat. I personally believe anything and everything in moderation, with a emphasis on the quality of the product.

Most people have no idea what a fresh chicken, home raised beef or pig, taste like in comparison to "factory raised animals".

I have no quarrel about the issue regarding the quality or treament of "factory raised animals". But do not use that as a basis to try and tell me what to eat, because I will tell you to go to hell.

This book doesn't tell you what to eat

It's just an informative read about where your food comes from.

Human bodies were never evolved to eat grains

Eating grains came with the age of domestic farming after a million years of bi-pedal evolution. I posted this before and found it quite interesting.
Aquatic Ape theory:

A theory that proposes that human evolution had an aquatic evolutionary history. The more the evidence is examined, the more obvious it becomes. The human body is clearly designed for an aquatic existence, fat layers under the skin (fat babies), hairless body, controlled breathing, bipedal aerodynamic configuration (facilitates diving) dilute urine, limited thirst instinct, swimming ability, involuntary heart diving adaptation, and add in the fact a naked bi-pedal human could not exist without tools on a savanna very long, but could in a semi aquatic environment.

So I would believe the best diet for humans is the one best aligned with our evolutionary past. Fish, shell fish, kelp and misc water plants.

billions of asians and their rice can't all be doing it wrong

different populations of people harbor different bacteria in their gut to best utilize their primary source of energy

it is when those who have mostly eaten vegetables and fish for thousands of years (with meat as a rare luxury item) get exposed to a western diet that you see major problems developing

you can also argue that large amounts of fish can result in mercury accumulation...

and that we're are evolved to suffer high infant mortality rates and people died from a lot of ailments, from rotten teeth, bad vision, appendicitis, etc...

After rice is prepared

After rice is prepared (soaked and steamed), particularly white rice, it is relatively free of phyates, gluten and lectins (passive defense systems). In terms of grains, rice (white rice) is much more tolerated than say wheat. Brown rice has phytin, which binds to minerals and prevents their absorption.


I have to disagree with this statement. Humans are capable to eating almost anything really, its a matter of survival in the end. My ancestors who were part of the Inca tribe in Peru survived ENTIRELY on corn (choclo). this grain is very different from corn in America. It is much larger and is very starchy than sweet. I think the industrialization of the smaller sweeter Genetically modified Mexican corn is what makes it dangerous and a leading cause of illnesses. as for other grains there are a bunch of posts here relating GMO's to illnesses but not to the grains themselves. We still bake with grains in Peru but we used rocks to mill it and no yeast to raise it. Its not that soft and chewy, personally its more like eating unsalted crackers but its bread.

His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?

Corn, especially during the

Corn, especially during the period of your ancestors, had a specific preparation to eliminate both myotoxins and phytic acid.


"Maize subjected to the nixtamalization process has several benefits over unprocessed grain for food preparation: it is more easily ground; its nutritional value is increased; flavor and aroma are improved; and mycotoxins are reduced. These benefits make nixtamalization a crucial preliminary step for further processing of maize into food products, and the process is employed using both traditional and industrial methods, in the production of tortillas, tamales, corn chips, hominy and many other items."


OK, check this out

The Aztecs had an extensive water based farming system thousands of years ago which closely parallels the water based diet of the aquatic biped.

The Peruvian diet was based on sea food and aquatic species.

yes well

you must not forget Asians and many who come from the east had immigrated to Peru and Columbia in the 19th and 20th centuries so there was an explosion of aquatic based foods from there on into the future. Along with that period came their cuisine (Chifa).


You must not forget before The Conquistadors we lived high in the Andes Mountains which gave us a richer supply of blood to absorb the lack of oxygen. The only way to secure iron content was thru grains and small animals like guinea pigs. The ocean is very far away from the Andes and so our main food for survival were Corn, Potatoes, and Quinoa.

His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?