An Embarrasment of Riches

I recently came upon something almost too remarkable to be real:

A class at UC-Berkeley co-taught by Michael Pollan and Nikki Henderson, Executive Director of People’s Grocery, with guest lectures by so many people I admire. There's Carlo Petrini (the founder of the international Slow Food movement), Marion Nestle (my favorite nutritionist), Ann Cooper (the Renegade Lunch Lady), Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation), Alice Waters (of Chez Panisse and the queen of seasonal eating), Frances Moore Lappe (author of Diet for a Small Planet), Van Jones (human rights and green jobs advocate), and so many others! Seriously.

The course description reads like this:

"One of the many currents that the opening of Chez Panisse in 1971 helped set in motion is the movement now rising to reform the American food system. The restaurant focused an early light on the social and environmental benefits of farming sustainably and helped spur the growth of organic and local agriculture.  Today, the food movement is a big, lumpy tent under which many different groups are gathering: organic agriculture, school lunch reform, food safety, animal welfare, hunger and food security, farm bill reform, farm-to-school efforts, urban agriculture, food sovereignty, local food economies, etc. As a subject, food is remarkably multi-disciplinary, drawing on everything from economics and agronomy to sociology, anthropology, and the arts. In this course, each week lecturers representing a wide variety of disciplines will explore what their particular area of expertise has to offer the food movement to help it define and achieve its goals. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer for a food-related non-profit organization three hours a week throughout the semester, and to write a short reflective essay synthesizing what they have learned through their volunteer work with what they have learned from the lectures and readings."


And luckiest of all, we get to sit in on this class! That's right! All the lectures are being recorded and broadcast via Berkeley's Youtube channel, here.

Here's the first session from August 30, The Global Food Movement, with CARLO PETRINI and CORBY KUMMER, introduced by Instructor NIKKI HENDERSON. 1.5 hours.

And the second! September 6, Food as Culture, with PETER SELLARS. 1.5 hours.

I know what I'll be doing for the next three hours...


  1. Holy moly! My first thought on reading the course description was: "this thing had better be available online." Thanks for the tip!


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