Michael Pollan's visit to WSU on Jan. 13 not without controversy

On January 13 Michael Pollan, the John the Baptist of food and author of Omnivore's Dilemma, will speak at 7pm in Beasley Auditorium at Washington State University as part of their annual common reading program. Back in May I posted about some controversy around this visit:

After MIchael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemmawas chosen as a book for all incoming WSU freshman to read, the President and Provost pulled the plug, citing financial constraints. Only problem is, they've already purchased the 4,000 books. Critics of the decision not to distribute claim that it was political pressure rising from the book's critique of industrial ag that is the source of the decision. The Spokesman article says;

That political pressure apparently was brought to bear by a member of the board of regents, Harold Cochran, who disapproved of the author’s characterization of agribusiness. Cochran owns and operates a 5,500-acre farm near Walla Walla, is a founding stockholder in the Bank of the West in Walla Walla and is a member of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers.

They apparently worked through their concerns because they did proceed with the book for common reading and he will make the scheduled visit. But, as one of my farmer friend says, WSU is being a little "passive aggressive" by not promoting the visit widely and burying the details of the event on the web site. At least that is the impression they got. It could be that we'll be hearing a lot more about the visit after the first of the year. A big shout out to Mimi and Rob from Cascade Creek Farm for bringing the visit to my attention.

The 7 pm event is free and open to the public.