Tag Archives: Michael Pollan

UC Berkeley launches minor in food systems studies

Classes at the SOGA (Student Organic Gardening Association) Garden can now also be taken for credit towards the food systems minor. (Jonathan Fong)
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By Alix Wall / Bay Area Bites

Beginning this fall, UC Berkeley students interested in studying how the food system works can now obtain a minor in it.

“The study of food systems is a relatively new field,” said Kathryn De Master, assistant professor of agriculture, society and environment, who along with her colleague Alastair Iles, associate professor of environmental science, policy and management, are serving as the minor’s faculty advisors.

According to the food system minor’s website, the minor is:

“an interdisciplinary program of study that explores the role of food within the environment and society. Drawing from diverse fields as far ranging as ecology, sociology, the humanities, nutrition, history, and economics, the food systems minor critically examines issues of contemporary food and agriculture from a whole-systems perspective.”

“Majors and minors in food systems are pretty new study emphases, having become more popular in the last 10 or more years,” said De Master. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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BERKELEY SPARK FESTIVAL The Berkeley Spark 3.0 Arts and Innovation Festival will bring artisans, innovators and nonprofits to Civic Center Park on Saturday for a community-based, participant-driven event that aims to connect the great East Bay. The festival features local independent makers with a focus on sustainability and originality. It also serves as a place for fans of the Burning Man culture to gather, and for those who are heading to the desert to stock up on gear and accessories. Civic Center Park is at Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Center Street. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Learn more at berkeleyspark.org. … Continue reading »

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5 local cookbooks that will make great holiday gifts

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The front table of Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore on College Avenue in Berkeley is brimming with cookbooks, a sure sign of the holiday season. Many publishers release cookbooks in October so they have time to build enough buzz to make them a must-have on every foodies’ holiday gift list.

A number of high-profile cooks and food writers released books this year, including a third tome from the popular Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi called Plenty More; How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman; and the ever-popular Joy of Cooking.

All good cookbooks, to be sure. But what is out there to buy for the devoted locavore? How about narrowing that down to authors with an East Bay connection?

Below are Nosh’s holiday gift recommendations: five fabulous cookbooks featuring local chefs or cooks with East Bay connections. And, as with much of the food in the East Bay, it begins at Chez Panisse.

Mention “Berkeleyside Nosh” at Mrs Dalloway’s and you’ll receive a 10% discount on any of these books!Continue reading »

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The Charlie Cart: A little kitchen for every classroom

Charlie Cart
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Designed with reference to the cowboy Chuck Wagon, the Charlie Cart sports two burners, an oven, drawers filled with 10 sets of utensils, dishes, pots and pans, a manual-water-pump, and a drought-wise grey-water waste bucket for returning all water to the garden.

The Charlie Cart Project launched on Nov. 7 on Kickstarter. The $40,000 it aims to raise will fund three pilot cooking and nutrition programs in California, where lessons and a mobile kitchen will be tested and refined before rolling out nationwide in 2015. … Continue reading »

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Michael Pollan, Raj Patel head up new edible course

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Less than two hours after tickets became available for Michael Pollan’s opening lecture on Monday Jan. 27 in the Edible Schoolyard Foundation’s new Edible Education 101 class, the event was full. Such is the popularity of this course, Edible Education 101: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement, now in its third year.

This year Berkeley omnivore, professor and author Pollan, is heading up the program along with author, activist, and filmmaker Raj Patel. The course consists of 13 lectures at UC Berkeley held weekly on Monday evenings, 6:30-8:30 p.m. through May 5.

Two hundred tickets for each of the course’s lecture are made available to the public for free. Advance ticketing is required and registration is opened a few days before each lecture.  … Continue reading »

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Pollan: We teach kids about sex, why not cooking?

Michael Pollan-FranCollinPhoto-049 RT
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For his new book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Michael Pollan, who has ventured far and wide exploring the inner workings of the food chain, opted to spend more time in the kitchen — including his own in north Berkeley — to focus on what he calls ‘the middle link,’ namely cooking.

Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism as well as a highly regarded author, learned how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.

In the course of his journey he discovered that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. His education led Pollan to conclude that taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable.

Berkeleyside caught up with Pollan to quiz him a little more about his cooking instruction, and next steps. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XX

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Openings, closings

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 2.24.55 PMHIVE A new coffee shop called Hive (“the place to bee”) should be open within a month in Oakland’s Dimond district at 2139 MacArthur Blvd. Calanit Kamala, who is opening the spot with Bree Dezort, says they will be serving Highwire coffee and Starter Bakery pastries, as well house-made sandwiches and salads. “We are going to have honey cake as one of our specials, as well as completely vegan honey-lavender-coconut granita,” she adds. Follow Hive on its Facebook page for details of opening day. … Continue reading »

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Podcast: The Three Michaels in conversation

Michael Chabon, Michael Pollan, and Michael Lewis appeared at a Berkeleyside event in December 2012.
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Two weeks ago, 600 Berkeleyside readers were treated to 90 minutes of conversation with The Three Michaels: Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis and Michael Pollan, moderated by Sedge Thomson. As a special holiday treat, here’s a podcast of the evening. To listen, either click on the link or right-click to save to your computer, tablet or phone. You can subscribe to Berkeleyside podcasts using our feed.

Among the highlights of the conversation:

  • How Pollan’s car crashed into Lewis’ studio
  • The professionals’ approach to Star Market’s annual pumpkin carving contest
  • The truth and fiction of Berkeley stereotypes
  • Balancing writing and family
  • The difference between Berkeley’s and “Republican” softball teams
  • How web browsing can lead you from spark plugs to the Partridge Family … Continue reading »
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‘3 Michaels’ talk writing, inspiration and Berkeley quirks

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In an evening designed to focus on the “Berkeleyishness” of Berkeley, and raise money for a great cause, three of the city’s most renowned Michaels kept hundreds of local residents laughing for the better part of 90 minutes with their wit, charm and candor. [Listen to the podcast of the evening.]

Writers Michael Lewis, Michael Pollan and Michael Chabon — all of whom live in Berkeley — answered questions from West Coast Live host and Berkeley native Sedge Thomson, who moderated “The Three Michaels: A Berkeley Conversation” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre on Monday night.

This was the third public forum Berkeleyside has put on, part of its commitment to providing quality conversations and debates on issues that matter to Berkeley, both on- and off-line. (Scroll down for a slideshow, courtesy of Pete Rosos, from the forum.) … Continue reading »

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The ‘Three Michaels of Berkeley’: Supporting, supported

Final poster
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Authors Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis, and Michael Pollan, who all live in Berkeley, will appear at the Berkeley Rep in “The Three Michaels: A Berkeley Conversation,” an event organized by Berkeleyside, to help enable the creation in Oakland of a tutoring and creative writing center for East Bay youth modeled on the highly regarded 826 model.

The original 826 center, 826 Valencia, founded by Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari in San Francisco ten years ago, is dedicated to supporting students, ages six to eighteen, with their writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. All their programs are free of charge and, so far, their model, which combines a writing hub and retail storefront, has been replicated in eight locations nationwide. … Continue reading »

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‘Three Michaels’ sold out, last chance to snag tickets

Screen shot 2012-09-16 at 10.15.06 PM
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As you may have heard, Berkeleyside is organizing what promises to be a hugely entertaining evening on Monday Dec. 10. The “three Michaels of Berkeley” — Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis and Michael Pollan, all Berkeley residents — will come together for the first time to talk place, politics, people and, no doubt, writing. The event is a benefit for 826 Oakland, a new youth writing program for the East Bay, inspired by Dave Eggers’ pioneering 826 Valencia. The event is sponsored by One PacificCoast Bank.

We are delighted to announce today that “The Three Michaels: A Berkeley Conversation” is sold out. Clearly many people are as eager as we are to support a great cause and to hear from three of the country’s best writers, all of whom do fascinating work in their fields.

There is one last chance to snag tickets, however. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley serves up an edible education this fall

Graduate School of Journalism professor Michael Pollan. Photo: Fran Collin
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Tonight marks the return of Edible Education at Cal, with solo instructor Michael Pollan kicking off the 16-week course. The class is open to both undergraduate and graduate students — and, like last year, some 300 free seats are reserved for the public. (See details below for nabbing a ticket to these popular sessions, which typically fill to capacity each week.)

The Graduate School of Journalism professor, and guest speakers from the food and farming world, will examine the future of farming and food and explore how the U.S.’s industrialized food system impacts the environment, health, farm and food workers, as well as the culture at large.

“Food politics are in the forefront of students’ minds these days,” said Pollan, known to tackle wonky food subjects in compelling prose in bestselling books such as “In Defense of Food.” “They like hearing from non-academics — activists, farmers, and journalists.” … Continue reading »

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Wit and grace are hallmarks of book awards ceremony

Winning author Andrea Lingenfelter knows firsthand that a translator’s work often goes unrecognized
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Michael Pollan, taking the stage at the 31st Annual Northern California Book Awards on Sunday June 10, accepted the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement with two caveats: first, he’s not that old. And second, he’s lived in California (on Berkeley’s north side) for only nine years.

The internationally renowned food activist, journalist, and author gave a humorous account of a reading he gave early in his career at Cody’s Books on Telegraph Avenue. Botany of Desire had just come out, and among the fans to hear him read was a woman in purple attire who repeatedly raised her hand during his presentation. When called upon, the woman objected to Pollan’s use of the word “pests” to describe aphids that attack plants. Doing a fine imitation of himself as the bemused young writer, Pollan recalled asking what term she might prefer. The woman’s lightning-quick reply? “Associate species.”

Sedge Thomson, who maintained admirable poise on crutches after breaking his ankle a few days earlier, emceed the awards ceremony. Thomson, a Berkeley resident, announced the names of finalists in six categories, beginning with Fiction and Poetry in Translation. The translators received applause from the audience at San Francisco Public Library’s Koret Auditorium before exiting stage right to await the verdict. … Continue reading »

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