03 January 2007

Books to Read

I just came across a review of Michael Pollan's book on Dykotomy of Omnivore's Dilemma. I'm really looking forward to reading it. I've fallen off my food activism as of late, as I have from a lot of political things, and I think it may be time to get back on the train. In terms of food in NYC, this is going to take some pretty serious research. Being vegetarian doesn't solve conscious eaters' issues anymore. It feels like now, to be sure of anything, you have to raise, pick and/or kill whatever you're eating yourself.

You heard of him first when he wrote The Botany of Desire.

He's got a series of speaking engagements coming up. I'll be going on May 21 to see him uptown. There's a ton of dates on the West Coast, so Rob, Sara, Cleaver, Cole, you all may be interested in seeing him.

A class he teaches at Berkeley sums up how I feel:

It might be hard to see what transpires between a child and Big Mac as an ecological event, but of course that’s exactly what it is. Like every other creature, we are a species connected to other species, as well as to the earth and the sun, by a food chain—albeit a very special sort of food chain, one that’s been shaped by political and economic decisions as much as by biology. This course aims to develop the intellectual context in which to understand, and connect, the many food stories now finding their way to the front page: GMOs, the obesity epidemic, factory farming, animal rights and welfare, antibiotic resistance, agricultural pollution, agricultural subsidies, third world hunger, and the rise of alternatives to the industrial food system, such as organic agriculture and “slow food.” Expect to do lots of reading (from Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson to Wendell Berry and Eric Schlosser) and writing.

He ends with a KICK ASS list of links.

For now I'm keeping Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foerby my bed, along with American Religious Poems edited by Harold Bloom and Good Poems for Hard Times edited by Garrison Keillor (the original, Good Poems is excellent, also). The poetry bug bit and stuck and I'm pretty stoked about it. My friend Ceri and I are talking about starting a poetry book club. Anyone moving to NYC anytime soon and wanna check it out ;) you're more than welcome!

Job/school search is on. I found a program with the exact description of what I want...but it's in Tampa. Doesn't matter, right? If I do it in conjunction with the Peace Corps, especially, it won't matter. I'll be a year on campus. I can do anything for a year. This is the page that comes up when I search for Health/Public Health/Nursing/International Health. And this is the description of the program in Tampa that I love the sound of:

The MPH in Global Health is a college-wide program. Students will follow a plan of study that includes core courses from each department, global health core courses, emphasis area support courses, and will complete a special project. Emphasis areas may combine courses from two or more departments to create unique specialties. Students will be prepared to: (1) understand socio-cultural, political and economic determinants of health at the global level; (2) assess the burden of disease on health and the importance of prevention; (3) analyze international health systems in developed and underdeveloped countries; (4) understand factors that contribute to the incidence of infectious disease; (5) understand problems related to infectious disease control and surveillance’ (6) apply culturally appropriate technology, interventions and ethical considerations; (7) understand epidemiologic study design; and (8) propose methodologies for evaluation public health programs and interventions.

Rock out. Let me know what you think-about anything!



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