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Campus-Wide Reading Project Focuses on What We Eat
Third annual cross-campus reading project chooses Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 24, 2007) -- University at Albany Officer in Charge and Provost Susan Herbst has launched the third annual University at Albany Reading Project, which will engage the entire UAlbany community in reading Michael Pollan's award-winning, non-fiction book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Penguin Press, 2006).

The campus reading project is designed to bring all students, faculty, and staff together for reflection, analysis, and debate, reinforcing the University's shared enterprise as an intellectual community. The project, with the assistance of the UAlbany-based New York State Writers Institute, will include group discussions with students facilitated by University faculty and staff, as well as presentations and related activities in the spring semester. 

"The Omnivore's Dilemma will provoke discussion on one of today's most important issues for ourselves and for our families -- the food we eat and how it is produced -- and its wider implications for our society and the future," said Officer in Charge and Provost Susan Herbst.

In his groundbreaking book, Pollan follows the four food chains that sustain us -- industrial food, organic or alternative food, and food we forage ourselves -- from the source to a meal. In the process, he develops an account of the American way of eating. His narrative takes us from Iowa cornfields to food-science laboratories, from feedlots and fast-food restaurants to organic farms and hunting grounds and emphasizes our co-evolutionary relationship with the plant and animal species we depend on. 

Pollan's work was honored by The New York Times and the Washington Post as one of the 10 best books of 2006.

For previous campus reading projects, the University community read Elizabeth Kolbert's Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change and Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder.

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