The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals Chapter 6 Summary

Michael Pollan

Chapter 6 Summary

In “The Consumer,” Pollan explains the contribution that corn and its derivative products have had on America’s health. Although America is currently facing what the surgeon general calls an “obesity epidemic,” Pollan explains that the current state of emergency has a public health predecessor in alcohol. He explains that in the 1820s, most Americans drank corn whiskey throughout the day, causing America to become known as a “republic of alcohol.” At the time, there was an abundance of cheap corn, so it was only natural that people began to turn it into liquor.

Pollan suggests that Americans now live in a “republic of fat.” He refers to a United Nations report from 2000 that claims that the number of...

(The entire section is 516 words.)