My first insight in to this world of conscious eating was the documentary FOOD INC., which I strongly recommend if you'd like an awakening to our food/meat industry (and, on a more positive note, how people are trying to change it). Thankfully, my brother stumbled upon The Omnivore's Dilemma in a San Francisco bookstore, which I immediately confiscated for my own educational purposes. WHY is it that I lean toward eating more organically? Is there actually a REASON for it? WHERE does my food come from? Is it SAFE? WHO grows it? With WHAT? These questions and MORE are explored in Michael Pollan's thought-provoking and eye-opening exploration of the American food industry. You will NEVER be able to look at Nutrition Facts, Ingredients, or any food for that matter after reading this book. It opens you to the "politics, perils, and pleasures of eating." Pollan describes the current paradox we live in: people flooding supermarkets without a state of awareness, trying to make food choices without sufficient information. In his words, Americans are "a notably unhealthy people obsessed by the idea of eating healthy."
Not to my surprise, the first chapter covers corn and its infestation of food production. You'd be disgusted to learn the amount of fossil fuels we use to grow corn and how many products actually contain it. According to Pollan, "corn has succeeded in domesticating us." Michael looks at the variety of choices we must make when traveling to the supermarket and preparing a meal. Consider conventional, organic, and local grown. Consider the hunter and gatherer mentality, or the industrial farmer.
I challenge you--how many food items in your pantry and fridge contain HFCS (high fructose corn syrup)? You'd be surprised. Read the labels. And become AWARE.
Oh, then do yourself and your health a favor and read this book.