Tag Archives: Raj Patel

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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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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Could UC and Occupy the Farm compromise on Gill Tract?

People in Occupy the Farm work on the Gil Tract in Albany. Photo: Occupy the Farm
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Stranger things have happened: Maybe six months down the track a crop of winter greens will occupy a  stretch of land on San Pablo Avenue along the Berkeley-Albany border known as Gill Tract, site of a nearly two week standoff between the University of California, Berkeley and Occupy the Farm.

And everyone in this growing controversy might be happy. The saga over an often overlooked but special patch of earth began, aptly, on Earth Day. Now, both sides in this brouhaha in the normally quiet enclave of Albany appear to be making noises about having “meaningful dialogue” to facilitate a resolution that could include “shared custody” — though the situation resembles more of a spurned suitor (urban ag activists argue the university has repeatedly ignored requests to use this land for farming) than a marriage gone bad.

At stake: UC-owned land on the last parcel of Class 1 soil (considered the best for growing food) left in the East Bay that, except for a few months every summer when it’s used for corn research, lies largely vacant — aside from a proliferation of wild mustard, wind-carried trash, (often fast food wrappers), and, reportedly, the odd hypodermic needle.

Indeed, a private meeting between Cal representatives, Occupy the Farm advocates, and attorneys for both sides was slated for Thursday night at an undisclosed location to dig into their differences and come to a compromise over the 15-acre plot, the remaining remnant of a 104-acre area that UC Berkeley bought for $400,000  bequeathed to UC Berkeley in 1928. It is named for the family that once owned he land.(No settlement was reached, UC spokesman Dan Mogulof said at 9:20 am) … Continue reading »

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Food Day: Growing a movement around what we eat

Tara xx Farm: one of the farms on Ecology Center tour to mark Food Day
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Can Food Day, which is on October 24th, do for the growing food movement what Earth Day did for the nascent environmental movement back in 1970?

The organizers, the Center for Science in the Public Interest in D.C., certainly hope so. A national, grassroots campaign, Food Day is designed to celebrate what we eat while drawing our attention to the need to overhaul this country’s food system from farm to fork. In this way it is similar to Earth Day which sparked widespread interest in the fragile nature of our planet.

Events planned for Monday, including in Berkeley and around the Bay Area, will highlight the good, bad, and ugly of the way we consume food in this country.

Simply put, how we grow, transport, process, market, and eat is not sustainable for the environment or our health, said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of CSPI and the creator of Food Day in a recent piece for The Atlantic. Dietary diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart attacks are rising at alarming rates. Industrially raised meat sucks up energy, pollutes the land and water, and is cruel to beast and worker alike.

Even in places like Berkeley where local, seasonal, organic, sustainable, and fresh food is available in abundance, too many people lack access to good grub and/or go hungry or malnourished. … Continue reading »

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Tickets expected to go fast for Michael Pollan’s food class

Michael Pollan
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When word leaked out in the spring that Michael Pollan would be co-teaching a class on the rise and future of the food movement, students at UC Berkeley rushed to sign up. The 10-week, two-unit course was filled minutes after it was listed online.

Now, the general community has a chance to participate in this gold rush.

UC will be releasing tickets for Edible Education 101 on a first-come, first-serve basis on August 15. There will be about 282 tickets available for each class and people will be able to sign up for just one lecture or all of them, said Carolyn Federman, director of development for the Edible Schoolyard, which is co-sponsoring and paying for the course. The tickets will be free and will be sold through Ticketweb, she said.

Pollan is co-teaching Edible Education 101 with Nikki Henderson, the executive director of People’s Grocery, a food justice organization in Oakland. While Pollan and Henderson are the co-teachers, much of the class will center around lectures given by luminaries in the food movement. Confirmed speakers include Carlo Petrini, Peter Sellars, Marion Nestle, Frances Moore Lappé, Raj Patel, Ann Cooper, Eric Schlosser, and Alice Waters. … Continue reading »

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Author Raj Patel’s food revolution: From chips to salad

Bill Schechner (right) fetes Raj Patel (left) at the recent Berkeley Public Library Foundation's Annual Authors Dinner./Photo: Richard Friedman
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Raj Patel is a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for African Studies, an honorary research fellow at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, and a fellow at The Institute for Food and Development Policy, also known as Food First, in Oakland.

Such affiliations allow the academic activist to hang out with his brethren in both camps. At the same time it affords the Oxford, Cornell, and London School … Continue reading »

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It’s in The New Yorker: God spotted in Berkeley

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At long last, the truth can be revealed: God has visited Berkeley. And apparently he is tall, broad-shouldered and six foot three. No word on his hair length.

This news of God’s appearance was revealed last week in the New Yorker’s Thanksgiving edition, in an article by Lauren Collins titled “Are You The Messiah?”

Apparently, a Scottish man named Benjamin Creme, who heads up Share International, a London-based religious organization with acolytes around the world, has been predicting … Continue reading »

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