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Freshman book by former basketball player focuses on ‘food revolution’

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Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Incoming first-year students will have the chance to learn more about the food they eat from a retired professional basketball player turned farmer in the Buckeye Book Community’s 2015 freshman book.

After a three-month process, the BBC has selected “The Good Food Revolution” by Will Allen as the book chosen for freshman to read before coming to Ohio State in the fall.

Incoming first-year students will receive this book at their orientation to read over the summer and discuss in their freshman survey class in the fall, said Jenna Dicicco, program coordinator of BBC.

“The Good Food Revolution” is the story of Allen’s decision to build a farming and educational center that now produces enough produce and fish year-round to feed thousands, according to a summary on the BBC website. Allen’s organization now advocates for the development of community food systems throughout the country.

The book was selected because of the variety of relevant topics it touches on, including life lessons, inspirational messages and plenty of stories and situations that many students can relate to, Dicicco said in an email.

“Many of the themes and topics in the book are relevant to first-year students’ lives as they transition to OSU, like choosing a career path, dealing with setbacks, physical health and wellness, clarifying values and passions and community activism,” Dicicco said.

There are many parts of the book that prompt thought-provoking questions and address complex issues that are important for first-year students to reflect on and discuss with peers, Dicicco added.

“By reflecting and discussing these big ideas, students will develop critical thinking skills and learn to discuss complex issues with their peers, which are important aspects of the college experience in and out of the classroom,” she said.

First-year students will be able to discuss these issues in their survey class and when Allen visits OSU’s campus in the fall. The date is to be determined.

Dicicco said she is most excited about the different programming and partnership opportunities First Year Experience can develop related to this book because of the range of topics and themes covered.

“This means we can offer a wider variety of BBC campus events for students to attend, so they have more opportunities to choose an event that truly interests them,” Dicicco said.

Matt Inniger, a first-year in food, agricultural and biological engineering on the BBC committee, said he liked the book because it is applicable to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, students.

“In the past, STEM students have had issues connecting with BBC books and the books are rarely used in STEM survey classes,” he said. “We’re hoping that this book can appeal to future doctors, engineers and scientists, as well as future lawyers, writers and teachers.”

Sustainability in food is another important issue the book addresses, Inniger added.

“Because sustainability in food is something that our generation will have to deal with, we’re hoping that students see the value in the lessons that the author learns in the book about work ethic and learning from failure, but we’re also hoping they realize the importance of sustainable food,” Inniger said.

Correction: April 15, 2015
A previous version of this story said Will Allen was in the NBA when in fact, he was a professional player in the American Basketball Association.  

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