Be a Part of the 5H Community Read

Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants.

So counsels Michael Pollan in In Defense of Food, a book the Washington Post called “remarkable” and “engrossing,” and Publishers Weekly called “a shocking yet essential treatise on the industrialized Western diet and its detrimental effects on our bodies and culture.”

As the 5H Community Read book for 2012, In Defense of Food is the centerpiece of a host of events being presented this fall by partner libraries in Stockbridge and four other small towns: Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake and Manchester. The initiative is supported by the Chelsea Area Wellness Foundation, the Stockbridge Area Wellness Coalition, and the Friends of the Stockbridge Branch Library.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m., we’ll discuss Pollan’s book at the Capital Area District Libraries’ Stockbridge branch. Copies are available for checkout throughout the CADL system. Limited quantities of free copies to read and pass on are also available in Stockbridge at these locations: Positively Chiropractic, Family Medicine of Stockbridge and Cravingz and Stockbridge Library.

For children, the Stockbridge Library is hosting healthy food-themed storytimes for 3-5 year olds (Mondays, Oct. 1, 8, 15 and 22 at 11 a.m.). By participating in an “eat better” game running Sept. 15-Nov. 10., school-age kids can win prizes and enter a drawing for a gift certificate from a local eatery.

Other Community Read events in Stockbridge clustered around this year’s theme include:

  • A discussion of  The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food and Love
    by Kristin Kimball
    Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 • 12 p.m.
    at CADL Stockbridge
  • Cooking with Herbs with Suzi Greenway
    Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 • 6 p.m.
    at CADL Stockbridge
  • Healthy Pizza Contest
    Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 • 6:30 p.m.
    at Heritage Elementary School in Stockbridge

Most of these events seem straightforward enough, but a Healthy Pizza Contest?  What’s that? We’ve invited pizza-making establishments in the Stockbridge Community Schools District to submit healthy pies, and you are invited to come and sample them at no charge. Once the winning ‘za is determined by a panel of judges and by popular vote, the winning pizza-maker will walk away with a cash prize, a certificate for display and bragging rights. Local participants include Rob’s Pizza, Willow Creek and the Unadilla Store. Congratulations to all contestants for rising to the challenge! Anyone attending the event on Oct. 18 is warmly invited to stay for the Stockbridge Area Wellness Coalition meeting that follows.

The “eat better” theme also dovetails nicely with Capital Area District Libraries’ current Thumbs up for the Mitten series:

Find more about the Thumbs Up series, celebrating Michigan food, history, art and more, at

For a list of Community Reads events happening throughout the five participating towns, visit

– Paul C., Head Librarian at CADL Stockbridge

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