UC Food Observer chooses a handful of important stories for you to read as you finish your work week. On the menu, in no particular order: Animal protection legislation is introduced in response to a New York Times article; a short film focusing on food waste is a winner at Sundance and you can view it for free; a stunning oral history of Chipotle; a university student turns dorm chef; and the POTUS proposes a single food safety agency. Bonus: Mark Bittman, Trello and thirty days of recipes.
1. Animal protection legislation. In response to a New York Times article by journalist Michael Moss (@MichaelMoss) detailing the neglect of animals at a federal research facility in Nebraska, lawmakers have introduced new legislation. The bill – Animal Welfare in Agricultural Research Endeavors (AWARE) Act – would amend the current Animal Welfare Act to remove existing exemptions for animals used in research at federal facilities. Both Democrats and Republicans signed on.
2. A Sundance Film Festival winner. An eight-minute film documenting food waste – and some possible solutions – was one of five films to win the Sundance Short Film Challenge. “Man in the Maze” explores the complex issues of food waste and hunger. It takes viewers on a journey beginning at a landfill, to a food bank, and into a discussion about gardens. MacArthur genius grant recipient Gary Nabhan is featured. Note: You can view the film for free for the next few days.
3. Chipotle Mexican Grill has experienced a meteoric rise, defining a new kind of “fast casual” dining in the U.S. The ascendancy of Chipotle is in stark contrast to the decline of McDonald’s corporate fortunes. Both tell us something about changing consumer tastes and values in the U.S. Kyle Stock and Vanessa Wong of Bloomberg Business have put together a stunning oral history of Chipotle. Great visuals, too.
4. College student turned dorm chef. Johns Hopkins University student Emily Hu got tired of eating in the campus dining hall. As a public health student, she was also interested in nutrition. So she learned to cook, embracing the limitations of dorm room cooking and finding creative solutions. Now she’s blogging about her experiences, and teaching others to cook. A wonderful piece from NPR.
5. Drumbeat grows for a single food safety agency. President Obama’s proposed budget calls for the consolidation of food safety functions into a single agency under the Department of Health and Human Services. This follows on legislation proposed by Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Rosa DeLauro.
6. It’s a weekend and it’s time to cook. Chef and author Mark Bittman and Trello expert Brian Cervino have just made our lives easier by organizing thirty delicious, nutritious and easy to prepare recipes on Trello. (If you haven’t used it, Trello is a fun, online organization and project management tool with a nifty smartphone application).