Author, journalist, activist and professor headlines campus Earth Day events

Cosumnes River College faculty and students are invited to welcome renowned author and activist Michael Pollan as part of the Earth Day Sustainable Food Festival on April 24.

In collaboration with OneBook, the CRC Foundation and the Sustainability Committee will host the all-day event.

The OneBook project began in 2010 to encourage a campus-wide discussion of a common book.

“Our goal is to foster thought, to foster intellectual curiosity, to foster experiencing education and reading a book together creates a sense of community,” said Psychology Professor James Frazee, one of the many coordinators of the OneBook program.

This year’s focus has been on “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which addresses the question of what we should have for dinner. With such a wide variety of foods that have resulted from the rise of modern technology, the American eater is faced with a dilemma when it comes to food choices.

Communications Professor Georgine Hodgkinson will moderate the discussion with Pollan and said that she is truly honored to have this opportunity.

“One of the things that I love about Michael Pollan and his work is his ability to demystify food production,” Hodgkinson said. “And I think he has really helped contemporary society to understand the differences between food and food production and the impact that food production has on food.”

Ben Miller, a 26-year-old political science major had his own opinions on “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and Pollan.

“He’s not putting moral judgments on other people,” Miller said. “He’s saying, ‘here are the expert facts and you can make your own decisions from there,’ which I think is a pretty helpful approach.”

However, Pollan is not the only one to discuss the impact of foods on our campus.

Throughout the semester, students may have noticed keynote lectures by professors or food topics in their classes, which is not by coincidence.

“We have tons of ways to address the topic of eating, so I want to encourage professors to utilize this book in their classrooms because that connects the students to the outside events at the college,” Frazee said. “It really promotes a better college community.”

Not only has the OneBook project impacted the CRC community, but the Sacramento community as well.

Frazee said he reached out to members of the community who are involved with teaching about foods and who deal with this very issue of choosing what to eat, as well as the consequences those foods have on our overall well-being.

He said he even invited Mayor Kevin Johnson to the event, but the mayor will not be able to attend.

Having Pollan as a keynote speaker will be an incredible opportunity for our community, Frazee said.

Pollan will be speaking in the Recital Hall at 10:30 a.m., but students are encouraged to arrive early when doors open at 9:30 a.m. Once the seats are filled, students will wishing to attend will be directed to the first overflow zone of the Black Box theater where the event will be simulcast.

In addition to overflow seating in the Black Box theater, the community room in the Winn Center is the second designated area where the event will be simulcast. Once all three rooms are full students can watch a live stream of the event on any computer on campus or even their own computers or devices by going to the campus website.

“I don’t think we will have any problems filling seats,” Frazee said.