Participate in Go Big Read at the HSLC: Kick off week is September 21-26

The 2009 Go Big Read program, initiated by Chancellor Biddy Martin, aims to engage students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members in a shared, academically focused reading experience. Participants are encouraged to read the book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan, and take part in virtual and in-person discussion groups and events throughout the 2009-2010 academic year.

Pollan’s book examines the modern American food landscape where the deceptively simple question of what to eat has been muddled by numerous and often conflicting claims of food producers, marketers and nutrition experts.

Pollan will appear at two free public events in Madison—Thursday, September 24, at the Kohl Center, and Saturday, September 26 at the Food for Thought Festival—and several events with a fee. See the events calendar below for details about the kick-off week’s events, including daily activities at the HSLC and Ebling Library.

Additional Go Big Read activities and information are outlined on the program’s Web site ( which includes an campus-wide events calendar and blog. Health sciences-specific events will be also be listed on the Ebling events calendar ( Additionally, the SMPH’s IME Video Library ( contains a compilation of related lectures.

Pollan’s book is for sale at area bookstores, including the University Bookstore in the HSLC, and can be borrowed from university and public libraries in print, audio and electronic formats.

Go Big Read Events, September 21 – 26


Discussion: “Backyard Food Options—Lessons Learned in Backyard Gardening and Chicken Raising”

WHEN: September 21, 12:15-1:15 pm



Lecture: “Food and Health: How to Choose Well,” by UW Health Nutritionist Gail Underbakke

WHEN: September 22, 3-4 pm

Historical Exhibit: “It’s Good For You! 100 Years of the Art and Science of Eating,” Opening Reception

WHEN: September 22, 4-6 pm
WHERE: Ebling Library Historical Reading Room and 3rd Floor Gallery.

The exhibit will run through March 31, 2010.


Lecture: “Farmers’ Market Traditions,” by veteran farmers’ market vendors Mary and Quentin Carpenter, who will share photographs, oral histories, anecdotes, insider’s tips, recipes and more concerning this engaging tradition of commerce, confusion, fun and fresh food.

WHEN: September 23, 12:15-1:15 pm


Lecture: “The Longevity Code” by Dr. Zorba Paster, who will discuss his book, “The Longevity Code: Your Personal Prescription for a Longer, Sweeter Life.”

WHEN: September 24, 12:15-1:15 pm

Michael Pollan lecture, “In Defense of Food: The Omnivore’s Solution.”

WHEN: September 24, 7 pm
WHERE: Kohl Center, Madison; no tickets required.


Discussion Group Based on Pollan’s Book: “In Defense of Food,” by Ebling Library and UW School of Medicine and Public Health facilitators.

WHEN: September 25, Noon-1 pm


Michael Pollan’s free keynote speech at the REAP (Research, Education, Action and Policy on Food Group) Food for Thought Festival. The festival is free and open to the public. For more information see

REAP FESTIVAL: September 26, 8:30 am-1 pm
KEYNOTE SPEECH: September 26, 10 am
WHERE: Food for Thought Festival, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Madison

Watch throughout the academic year for other events related to the Go Big Read theme!