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Book Discussion Series Eats Through Defense

The “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” book discussion series at Oklahoma City University will continue with In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 in the Walker Center for Arts and Sciences room 151 at N.W. 26th Street and Florida Avenue.

The series is funded by grants from the Oklahoma Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In his well-seasoned essay, Pollan says that in the past, culture and tradition dictated how and what to find, hunt or grow things that are edible and good for us. Today “we are becoming a nation of people with an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating.” He provides a detailed account of how and why people got into this pickle.

The series’ food theme is titled “Much Depends on Dinner.” It is based on a quote in Byron’s “Don Juan” that states: “Since Eve ate the apple, much depends on dinner.”

“Our relationships with food are complex and convoluted,” said Harbour Winn, director of the Center for Interpersonal Study through Film and Literature at OCU. “What we eat can be a source of joy and delight, and of creative expression, as well as a reason for anguish, worry, dread and even fear. Nearly every aspect of our lives affects what we eat — politics, religion, economics, geography, culture and ethnicity, aesthetics, health and personal taste.

“As a species we have elevated many of our basic needs to an expression of who we are, what we believe, how we interact with our environments, and how we communicate and express ourselves. Food is no exception.”

English professor Tracy Floreani will facilitate the “In Defense of Food” book discussion. At each session in the series, a humanities scholar makes a presentation on the book in the context of the theme. Small group discussions follow with experienced discussion leaders. At the end, all participants come together for a brief wrap-up.

Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to preregister and borrow the reading selections and theme brochure by calling Winn at (405) 208-5472, e-mailing him at or dropping by the Dulaney-Browne Library room 211 or 207.

Other dates and books in the series are:

* Oct.  25, “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg

* Nov. 8, “Secrets of the Tsil Café” by Thomas Fox Averill