January Series: Joel Salatin

As part of their January lecture series, Calvin College invited noted author and alternative farmer Joel Salatin to deliver a presentation at the Covenant Fine Arts Center. The event occurred on January 17; the following day, members of the Grand Rapids community, including several middle school students, gathered at the Ladies’ Literary Club to watch a recording of the talk.

The speech, titled “Dancing with Dinner”, explores the disconnection between individuals, their food, the environment, and even each other, as a result of modern North American constructions of eating. Salatin illustrated this through the metaphor of dance, comparing the intimacy of dance to the historically intimate connection between people and their food; an intimacy which, Salatin feels, has been seriously diluted by the transition from small family farms and local food production to big industry farming and supermarkets. Salatin supplemented the talk with concepts from his newest book, Folks, This Ain’t Normal.

 Salatin’s other books include Salad Bar Beef, Holy Cows and Hog Heaven, Everything I Want to Do It Illegal, You Can Farm, Pastured Poultry Profit$, and Family Friendly Farming. He travels frequently for the purpose of presenting educational lectures and writes articles for agricultural publications.  Salatin’s farm, Polyface Inc., was highlighted in food writer Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. In light of his extensive work, it’s no wonder that the New York Times dubbed this extraordinary man “The High Priest of the Pasture”.

 A recording of “Dancing with Dinner”, as well as other past Calvin lectures, may be purchased through Calvin’s Campus store.

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