The Omnivore’s Dilemma


Michael Pollan

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Omnivore’s Dilemma can help.
The research psychologist at The University of Pennsylvania who first coined the phrase “the omnivore’s dilemma” in 1976 with his paper entitled “The Selection of Foods by Rats, Humans, and Other Animals.” Rozin studied the difference between animals who only eat one type of food and those who can eat many foods; the latter type are faced with daily choices about what to eat. Michael Pollan used Rozin’s phrase as the book’s title.

Paul Rozin Quotes in The Omnivore’s Dilemma

The The Omnivore’s Dilemma quotes below are all either spoken by Paul Rozin or refer to Paul Rozin. 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 16 Quotes

And while our senses can help us draw the first rough distinctions between good and bad foods, we humans have to rely on culture to remember and keep it all straight. So we codify the rules of wise eating in an elaborate structure of taboos, rituals, manners, and culinary traditions, covering everything from the proper size of portions to the order in which foods should be consumed to the kinds of animals it is and is not okay to eat.

Related Characters: Michael Pollan (speaker), Paul Rozin (speaker)
Page Number: 295-296
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Omnivore’s Dilemma LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma PDF

Paul Rozin Character Timeline in The Omnivore’s Dilemma

The timeline below shows where the character Paul Rozin appears in The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Introduction: Our National Eating Disorder
Nature vs. Human Intervention Theme Icon
...explains, is what’s known as the omnivore’s dilemma, an idea outlined by a psychologist named Paul Rozin . Juxtaposing the koala’s highly specific eating habits with omnivores like humans and rats, Rozin... (full context)
Chapter 16: The Omnivore's Dilemma
Efficiency and Utility Theme Icon,” humans are pretty much on their own. This problem—the omnivore’s dilemma—was first diagnosed by Paul Rozin in his study of the eating habits of rats. Like humans, omnivorous rats have to... (full context)
Chapter 18: Hunting: The Meat
Nature vs. Human Intervention Theme Icon
Pleasure and Happiness Theme Icon
...He wonders why he feels so disgusted by the pig’s blood and guts. He remembers Paul Rozin ’s theory that disgust is one of the ways humans navigate the omnivore’s dilemma: people... (full context)