Texas Tech Summer Reading Program Showcases Food Expert

Texas Tech recommends “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” as a summer reading choice.

The issue of the American paradox, where the more we worry about nutrition the less healthy we seem to be, is explored by author Michael Pollan in Texas Tech University’s Summer Reading Program’s recommended book: “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.”

“This book was chosen because it allows the Texas Tech community to interact and discuss a common topic—in this case, our relationship with food,” said Amy Murphy, managing director of the Center for Campus Life. “What we eat is one reflection of our histories and our cultures. We each have something to contribute about our food, health and environment.”

“In Defense of Food” shows how weight-loss obsessed Americans can escape the Western diet and, by doing so, most of the chronic diseases that the diet causes. The book teaches to distinguish healthy food from those “edible food-like substances.”

 “The purpose of the Summer Reading Program is to set the expectation for the accomplishment of learning on their own time. It also gives them the opportunity to create connections with other students, university faculty and staff,” Murphy said.

Pollan is an expert on the intersection between the human and natural worlds such as food, agriculture, gardens, drugs and architecture. His work has earned numerous awards, including the James Beard Award; the John Burroughs prize; the QPB New Vision; the 2000 Reuters-I.U.C.N. Global Award for Environmental Journalism; and the 2003 Humane Society of the United States’ Genesis Award for his writing on animal agriculture.

On Oct. 28, Pollan will open the Presidential Lecture & Performance Series season at the Allen Theatre. The author and food activist will tell the story of the path his writing and thinking have taken him the past twenty years in an autobiographical lecture titled “Out of the Garden and Onto the Plate: One Writer's Path.” The talk will include readings from several of Pollan's books, including “In Defense of Food” and will be followed by a book signing. Tickets are free for students and $15 for the general public. For more information about ticket sales, visit www.presidentialseries.ttu.edu.

“In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto,” as well as Pollan’s other books, is on sale at the Texas Tech bookstore.

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CONTACT: Amy Murphy, managing director, Center of Campus Life, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-5433, or amy.murphy@ttu.edu