A highlight of the stories the UC Food_Observer featured this week.

1. The unsweetened truth about sugar. Three research institutions launch a unique, data-driven site – SugarScience – to serve as a resource to help consumers make informed decisions about sugar use. There’s also an initiative.

2. Feed the 9 billion? End poverty. Mark Bittman challenges orthodoxy in this YouTube video from the New York Times Food for Tomorrow conference. There is also a link to the policy manifesto “How a national food policy could save millions of American lives”, which appeared as an op-ed in the Washington Post. The piece was co-authored by Bittman, Michael Pollan, Ricardo Salvador, and Oliver de Schutter; it urges President Obama to take executive action to adopt a comprehensive food policy that protects public healthy, the rights of workers, the environment, and also animal-welfare. They argue that “ag policy” is not “food policy.”

3. Mobile app says if you can (urban) farm it. A prototype urban.ag mobile application helps aspiring urban agriculturalists walk through the process of setting up urban ag enterprises by lending an assist with zoning, permitting, etc. Good news: “green” means “go farm.” Bad news: the application is currently only available for use in Boston.

4. Book review: food history The University of California Press publishes a comprehensive book on food history – Food in Time and Place –  providing readers with a geographical, chronological, and thematic understanding of food and food culture. Marion Nestle of Food Politics offers a review.

5. Dan Glickman writes about rural-urban division. In a piece appearing in the Huffington Post, former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman describes the partisan split between rural and urban America, and how it jeopardizes in significant ways the bipartisanship needed to pass omnibus bills – such as the Farm Bill – that support agriculture, rural development, public nutrition and global food security programs.