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: a UC Food Observer Q & A with dietitian Andy Bellatti, one of the founders of Dietitians for Professional Integrity. An interview with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Diane Marcum, about her series on California’s drought. A piece on Protests and potato salad from our friends at the Southern Foodways Alliance; it discusses the South’s food culture within the context of civil unrest in Baltimore. Culinary diplomacy? Increasingly, nations are promoting their food culture through gastronomic tourism. Case study: Peru. And Tyson Foods – the nation’s largest chicken producer – makes a big announcement about antibiotic use in its operations.


1. Q&A: Andy Bellatti, Dietitians for Professional Integrity. UC Food Observer chats with Andy Bellatti about integrity in the dietetics profession, food politics, ethical eating, California’s drought and more


2. Interview with Diane Marcum, Pulitzer Prize winner. For many Californians – and many people around the nation – Diana Marcum has emerged as one of the key voices talking about the state’s punishing drought. A writer for the Los Angeles Times, Marcum covers California’s Central Valley, where the impacts of the drought have been acutely felt. She wrote the stories “late at night at her dining-room table, fueled by Diet Coke and a copy of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” a gift from her editor.” Recently, Marcum earned a Pulitzer Prize for her writing.


3. Protests and potato salad. This week, amidst the unrest in Baltimore, the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization that “documents, studies, and celebrates” Southern food culture, received criticism for a blog post it published. The response SFA published was brilliant. “To break bread with someone is to recognize a shared humanity.”


4. Food culture as a form of culinary diplomacy. A number of nations are diving into culinary diplomacy, promoting their food on the international stage. The result? Increased recognition and a growth in “gastronomic tourism.” A case study of Peru.


5. Tyson Foods – the nation’s largest poultry producer – announced it will stop “feeding its chickens any antibiotics that are used in human medicine.” In the last year, other producers have announced they will cut back on antibiotic use, but Tyson’s announcement marks a significant shift in the industry. Industry analysts termed the move “huge.”


Have a great weekend.