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Tonight: Conscious Eating discussion at the Mercury Cafe

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"You are what you eat" -- we've all heard that one before. But writers and activists such as Michael Pollan have brought the issue of conscious eating into the forefront.

And tonight, the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, will serve up "Conscious Eating: Food Choices and the Natural World," a panel discussion featuring conscientious local foodies.

The discussion is part of Transition Town, a group that meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Merc to talk about conscious eating. "It's a great group of people who are concerned about climate change and a post-oil lifestyle," explains Merc owner and visionary Marilyn Megenity. "You need a secure food source that doesn't need petroleum to truck it around or to grow it, and growing your own vegetables locally is how to do that.

"A lot of people come to the Transition Town meetings," she adds. "I would say probably forty to 140 people come to these meetings. And there is a big movement, not only in this city but around the world, to seriously address these issues."

And all you carnivores out there, no need to be scared. "Transition Town is not necessarily promoting vegetarianism," says Megenity. "Vegetarianism is one aspect, or eating less meat. Also, considering the life of animals. Factory farms are an obscenity, and so if a person were going to choose meat, they need to be buying it from someone who is caring for and loving the animals, and not eating it every day.

"Everybody's concerned," she concludes. "There may be a few cynical people in the world who don't think these problems matter, but most people do, and Transition Town teaches them how to respond."

Panelists include Kate Lawrence, author of The Practical Peacemaker: How Simple Living Makes Peace Possible and past president of the Vegetarian Society of Colorado; Keith Akers, coordinator of Denver Energy Awareness and author of A Vegetarian Sourcebook: The Nutrition, Ecology, and Ethics of a Natural Foods Diet; Adam Brock, who runs the Wild Green Yonder; and Larry Weiss, retired animal-rights attorney.

The discussion runs from 7 to 9 p.m., and admission is a suggested $5 donation; for information, call 303-294-9281.

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