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Book 2 – The Omnivore’s Dilemma

We established 9to5strength to help the 9am-5pm (or 8am-8pm!) office worker take control of their life for the better.

The sooner you realise that companies who sell food prioritise PROFITS over your HEALTH and well-being, the more suspicious you become as you do your weekly shop. This book should ward you off fast food and fizzy drinks, favouring more wholesome foods.

My second recommended read is…

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

omnivore's dilemmaPRO TIP: Take notes! When you read a book, use a blank sheet of paper as a bookmark and write down any interesting facts and information from the book. You won’t remember everything a year from now, so this condenses a whole book into 3-4 pages of key notes that are important to you.

Some of my notes:

  • Pages 334-354 are on author’s hunting trip (skip)
  • Pages 364-390 are on author’s mushroom foraging trip (skip)
  • It’s estimated that 3 in 4 US supermarket products are derived from CORN in some way. Fast food meat, french fries, chicken nuggets, soda (fizzy drinks), ketchup, fruit juice, yoghurt, salad dressing, soup, baked goods, gravy, mayonnaise, peanut butter, milk, jelly beans.
  • Non-food items that use corn in production: Toothpaste, make up, shampoo, nappies, adhesives, perfume, varnish, hand soap, matches, paving bricks.
  • Only naturally able to grow corn for 2 years out of five as it depleted nitrogen in the soil, which was ‘fixed’ by the creation of synthetic nitrogen.
  • Leftover ammonium nitrate from World War 2 used as chemical pesticides/fertilizer
  • Government is funding corn production which keeps prices low for fast food companies and damages the health of the population.
  • Food companies burdened by ‘inelastic demand’, meaning the consumer can only eat a fixed amount of your product and no more
  • Real food loses profits from both over- and under-production, factors from external sources like the weather as well as wastage from failing to sell all the produce before it goes off
  • A company like McDonalds can only grow at 1% per year (annual population increase) if it remained the same
  • McD profits by a) making your calories more expensive, b) cutting corners to produce it cheaper or c) making you eat more than your daily allowance of calories.
  • Something like Diet Coke has overcome inelastic demand by being 0 calories, so people will drink as much as they like in a day without getting full
  • Supersizing allowed for a reduction in price per gram but without hurting profits
  • Bigger portions allow them to sell you more of the product, as people are less inclined to buy two small portions but will purchase one extra large portion
  • Large bag of lettuce is 80 calories, the energy to grow and transport each bag is 4,600 calories
  • Feed kelp to a chicken and it produces Omega 3 rich eggs
  • Free range is defined by “access” to outdoors, but in a shed of 20,000 chickens they aren’t allowed outside in the first five weeks (due to infection risk), meaning they have only a two week window before slaughter (7 weeks). Food and water are indoors so they see no reason to venture outside.
  • Omega 6 is inflammatory (blood clots). Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory (blood flows)
  • Ratio of Omega 6:Omega 3 is important for health, and recently our diets have too much Omega 6.
  • Beef was initially 1:1, now the animals are corn-fed it’s 10:1. Grass “finished” beef is fed grass in the last two weeks, and the ratio is 2:1.
  • Non-wild salmon are now being fed corn.
  • Most people think chicken is chicken and don’t appreciate the nutrients
  • Brain consumes 18% of our energy in a day, all from glucose (carbohydrate)