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Get educated about your food with Michael Pollan

  • Author Michael Pollan will teach a 12-week course at UC Berkeley on the sustainable food movement.

What is the difference between Slow Food and Big Food? What do the terms GMO and CAFO stand for? How do food safety and farm bill reform affect you and your family?

If you want to learn more about the food system this year, here's your chance: UC Berkeley is offering a multi-disciplinary course led by some of the rock stars of the sustainable food movement.

“Edible Education 101: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement,” meets from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays, starting Jan. 27, at Wheeler Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. In addition to 500 students, the course is open to 200 members of the public, through online ticketing and video. It also will be available online.

Michael Pollan, Knight Journalism Professor at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, will co-teach the 12-week lecture course with Raj Patel, an award-winning writer, activist, academic and economist.

The course traces the modern food system from the rise of industrial agriculture through some of the current, controversial ideas about the future of food.

Every week, Pollan invites farmers, scientists, activists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, agronomists and writers from across the country to serve as guest speakers. Pollan will introduce the course with a lecture on “The Rise of Industrial Agriculture” on Jan. 27. Other topics include “Food Wars Across the Globe” to “Reinventing the Farm.”

A limited number of free tickets to each session will be made available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, at the Edible Schoolyard website (edibleschoolyard.org/ee101).

Registration goes live at 10 a.m. on the Tuesday morning before the following Monday's class. Reserve tickets by clicking on the title of each lecture.

If you can't get down to Berkeley, the lectures will be posted on the Edible Schoolyard's Vimeo and YouTube channels within one week of each class. If you need a little brushing up on your food IQ, check out past years' lectures already posted at the website.

Edible Education was started in 2011 as part of the 40th anniversary celebration of Berkeley's Chez Panisse restaurant. Founder Alice Waters helped launch the course as a way to strengthen the partnership between her Edible Schoolyard Project and the university.

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