This fall the School of Journalism at UC Berkeley is offering a 13-week course called Edible Education: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement. It's purpose is to provide a forum to explore the many aspects and challenges that the so-called food movement is facing as it works to change and reform our industrial food system. Developed by well-known writer and UCB professor Michael Pollan and People's Grocery's (Oakland, CA) Executive Director Nikki Henderson, the course is structured around several impressive guest lectures that are being held on the UCB campus. The lectures are also open to the public and are being made available (for free!) on video.
Fixing our current food system is an enormous and complex undertaking. It requires a multi-disciplinary understanding of history, economics, psychology, anthropology, agricultural policies, immigration policies, food subsidies, science, sociology, nutrition. What about the central issues of race, justice, class and power dynamics? What role does art and beauty play? Can the world be fed on sustainable food practices? Are multi-national corporations the enemy or a potential partner?
In response, Ms. Henderson and Mr. Pollan have created a first-rate lineup of speakers to dive deep into these questions. They have brought in experts and visionaries, Walmart executives and food justice activists, artists and thinkers to inform, encourage and inspire change. Ms. Henderson and Mr. Pollan are both sharp observers, skillful and articulate in their framing of the issues. It's a lively and engaging exploration and well worth your time. I for one am pleased and impressed that I can listen in on this very important discussion.
The course is sponsored by The Edible Schoolyard Project, with support from Stephen Silberstein and The Knight foundation for Environmental Journalism.