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: In a compelling interview, UC’s Seth Holmes talks about his time spent living and working with migrant farmworkers from Mexico; a national initiative launches with a goal of saving the Monarch butterfly; the USDA proposes changes to day care meal standards…photo montages show what that could look like; we celebrate Abraham Lincoln and give you a great recipe; read our Q&A with food leader Anna Lappé.


1. Seth Holmes is a medical doctor and cultural anthropologist at UC Berkeley who spent more than a year traveling, living and working alongside migrant farmworkers from Mexico, as they crossed back and forth between Oaxaca (in Southern Mexico) and the United States. He interviews with PRI The World about this, and his book. A must read piece about the lives of those who labor to provide our food, and the disparities that exist in our world.


2. The Obama administration and environmental groups launched an ambitious initiative to save the Monarch butterfly. Populations of the iconic pollinator have plummeted an estimated 90% in the last two decades. The effort provides money and seeks the public’s help to restore more than 200,000 acres of habitat, by planting milkweed and other pollinator-friendly plants. But is it too late? The Guardian reports.


3. USDA proposes revisions to day care meal standards. Federal day care meals will receive their first nutritional overhaul in almost fifty years. What does it mean? The photo montages depicting potential meals tell the story. Reported by Bettina Elias Siegel for Civil Eats.


4. In honor of Presidents’ Day, we reflect on Abraham Lincoln and his contributions to American food and agriculture policy. We also include a recipe for gingerbread men, courtesy of foodways historian Rae Katherine Eighmey. Spoiler alert: Lincoln cooked.


5. Read our Q&A with food leader Anna Lappé. You’ll hear about the Real Food Media short film contest, and learn what’s inspiring her about the food movement today.


Bonus Reading: This week UC Food Observer debuted “The Long View,” a longer, thought piece that we’ll publish every two weeks. Our first article frames food system reform as an issue of national security. Take a look.