The Omnivore’s Dilemma


Michael Pollan

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The founder of Cascadian Farms in Washington state. Kahn began Cascadian Farms as a small family farm in 1971 as part of the original organic movement, and he later sold the farm to General Mills. Kahn is a proponent of compromise within the organic food system, believing in the need to scale up and partner with big business to improve the system from within.

Gene Kahn Quotes in The Omnivore’s Dilemma

The The Omnivore’s Dilemma quotes below are all either spoken by Gene Kahn or refer to Gene Kahn . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Nature vs. Human Intervention Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bloomsbury edition of The Omnivore’s Dilemma published in 2006.
Chapter 9 Quotes

You have a choice of getting sad about all that or moving on. We tried hard to build a cooperative community and a local food system, but at the end of the day it wasn’t successful. This is just lunch for most people. Just lunch. We can call it sacred, we can talk about communion, but it’s just lunch.

Related Characters: Gene Kahn (speaker)
Page Number: 153
Explanation and Analysis:
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Gene Kahn Character Timeline in The Omnivore’s Dilemma

The timeline below shows where the character Gene Kahn appears in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9: Big Organic
Nature vs. Human Intervention Theme Icon
One of these early reformers was Gene Kahn, founder of Cascadian Farm near Seattle. Although Kahn was one of the pioneers of the... (full context)
Interconnectedness Theme Icon
Efficiency and Utility Theme Icon
Pollan visits Cascadian Farm with Kahn, who explains how he began his “corporate adventure.” In 1990, consumers panicked when they discovered... (full context)
Efficiency and Utility Theme Icon
In the 1990s, major food companies began selling organic products. Kahn’s venture expanded and absorbed several other small farms, reconstituting the company as Small Planet Foods.... (full context)
Efficiency and Utility Theme Icon
...caused much controversy between “Big Organic” and “Little Organic.” On the one hand, people like Kahn advocated for looser standards that would allow the use of synthetic ingredients and thus the... (full context)
Efficiency and Utility Theme Icon
3. Down on the Industrial Organic Farm. According to Kahn, the industrialization of organic farming is a victory. Every farm managed by an organic farmer... (full context)
Efficiency and Utility Theme Icon
...reconcile the ideals of organic farming with the needs of an industrial food chain. Although Kahn set out to prove that organic farming could work on a large scale, large-scale organic... (full context)