Adelphi University's Community Reads pick, Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, sparks discussion and engagement for freshman and the AU community at large.
This year’s Adelphi Community Reads selection was The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, an enlightening book about food choices, food production and how food directly affects the future of America. With obesity and heart disease as our nation’s contemporary epidemic, author Michael Pollan delves into the origins, perils and effects of our food system.
Provided to every incoming freshman through the generosity of the Women’s Giving Circle, the book explores the ins and outs of dietary habits and what Mr. Pollan refers to as “our national eating disorder.” Readers follow the food chain for a McDonald’s hamburger, from the Iowa cornfields to feedlots for the steer, the oil for fries and the syrup for the sweetener. Mr. Pollan also dissects the myths surrounding organic produce—the differences between corporate organic, like Whole Foods, to a tiny utopian farm in Virginia whose owner has his finger on the pulse of modern farming techniques.
The book urged the campus community to search for answers to what seemed like a simple question: What’s good to eat and why? In conjunction, the Performing Arts Center (AUPAC) screened a Food Justice Series including such films as Food Inc. and Supersize Me that addressed food transportation and safety, and food production with minimal chemicals. Adelphi students were stuffed with food for thought—realizing that how we eat is the convergence of our economic, cultural and logical choices.
As time passes, our educators, researchers and especially farmers will learn more about what we eat. Just as we look back 30 years and are stunned by our former eating habits, looking into the future we can only imagine the advancements to be made in the realm of food, diet and healthy eating.
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