Bryan Series starts off with professor Michael Pollan

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Bryan Series starts off with professor Michael Pollan

The 2016-17 Guilford College Bryan Series kicks off on Sept. 30 with Michael Pollan: professor of journalism, author and speaker on the culture, science and the history of food.

His influence on the sustainable food movement covers the whole United States and raises many conversations about food and nature.

Pollan is an author of four award-winning New York Times bestsellers. One of them, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” was named by the New York Times and Washington Post as one of the best books of 2006.

When he is not writing, Pollan teaches at the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He was also appointed as the director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism and is currently a John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism.

Pollan is outspoken against agribusiness and has received backlash for his anti-GMO stance. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” for instance, followed four ways that human societies got food and criticized many aspects of modern agribusiness such as animal cruelty.

Despite his many books, not everyone knows about Pollan or his event this September.

“Who is (Michael Pollan)?” asked sophomore Olivia Winder.

Guilford invited Pollan to speak in part because of his commitment to sustainability.

“Having Pollan speak as part of the Bryan Series has been considered for many years, and this was a good time for him to come,” said Ty Buckner, associate vice president for the Bryan Series in an email interview.

Sustainability is important to Guilford, as it will launch a Sustainable Food Systems major in spring 2017. Students enrolled in this major will often visit the Guilford Farm, which utilizes sustainable farming practices.

Pollan is a big proponent of sustainability and wrote “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” which provides a framework for eating a healthy and sustainable diet.

“We strive to have Bryan Series programs amplify the great academic and cocurricular programs of the College,” said Buckner.  “In this case, I think we’ve achieved it.”

Pollan’s Bryan Series talk is not the only reason for his trip from California. His wife, Judith Belzer, is the cousin of Guilford Professor of History Emerita Sarah Malino and will come with Pollan on his trip. Belzer is an artist that has an exhibition in the Main Gallery of the Hege Library. Her exhibition runs from Aug. 29 to Oct. 30, and she will talk about her paintings in the Art Gallery on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Pollan’s Bryan Series speech is on Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The Bryan Series will continue throughout the school year with speakers including Mark and Scott Kelly, Amal Clooney and Neil deGrasse Tyson.