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Reasons and Seasons of Food

Reasons and Seasons of Food

WWBA is holding a six-week discussion series designed to educate our participants through engaging discussions about the many aspects of food –spiritual, physical, emotional, political, and cultural. The dates of the series are Thursdays: June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and July 7, 2022, at 1:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. EST at the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site, 246 Old Walt Whitman Road, Huntington Station, NY, 11746.

The facilitator for this series, Laurie Rozakis PhD, is a cook, teacher, mother, and consumer. She aims to explore both the serious and fun aspects of food for the health benefit of all participants. Dr. Laurie Rozakis is a full professor of English/Humanities at Farmingdale State College. She earned her B.A. and M.A. from Hofstra University and her Ph.D. from SUNY Stony Book. In addition, Rozakis is a longtime community volunteer, including service on the Farmingdale Public Library Board of Trustees, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and, of course, the Walt Whitman Birthplace and Interpretative Center. She has published over 100 books and scores of articles and appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly! The CBS Morning Show, the Maury Povich Show, Fox Personal F/X, and many more.

Book Discussion Schedule: 

Week 1: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.
Explore the issue of food safety by focusing on the deplorable conditions at the city’s famous stockyards and slaughterhouses at the turn of the 20th century.


Week 2: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle.Discuss Nestle’s exploration of the ways in which corporations and food companies influence politics in order to improve their bottom lines – and how it affects the health of Americans.


Week 3: The Road to Wellville by T. Coraghessan Boyle.
Enjoy Boyle’s comic satire of the early 20th century diet fads and compare and contrast those to the diet fads of today.


Week 4: Diet Cults: The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of Us by Matt Fitzgerald.
Build on the previous book by examining today’s diet fads and discuss how each becomes the “only” way to eat healthy.


Week 5: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan.
Explore Pollan’s highly influential “one true way” to eat healthy by following his mantra: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”


Week 6: A cookbook of each participant’s choice. Participants share their favorite cookbooks and recipes. If Covid restrictions allow, we will end the program with a potluck meal.

There is a $10 registration fee that covers 6 meetings.

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