Some of the world's preeminent food policy thinkers and researchers are taking part in a new Edible Education lecture series at UC Berkeley this spring semester, and their lectures are being made available to stream online. Starting this Monday with an introductory note from Michael Pollan (video above, jump to the nine-minute mark to skip the preamble), the series will be updated weekly with contributions from Marion Nestle, Eric Schlosser, and Raj Patel. You can stream those live on the day itself and participate in a Q&A on Twitter and Facebook, or you can just pick up the video on YouTube later on.
The decisions made when setting food policy, argues Pollan, have broader consequences than most of us imagine. "Eating is, among other things, an ecological act," he says, before detailing some of the more devitalizing impacts of high-volume agriculture on our environment and ecology. He also echoes the words of New York Times writer Mark Bittman, another participant in this Edible Education initiative, in asking for more political attention to be granted to the centrality of food to so many issues:
"These are all related: You can’t address climate change without fixing agriculture, you can’t fix health without improving diet, you can’t improve diet without addressing income, and so on. The production, marketing and consumption of food is key to nearly everything."
The series will run all the way through the end of April, with the final few lectures looking into ideas for a more sustainable food system that can serve the planet's population without sapping its resources as aggressively as the current one.